Wolvey is a village and parish in Warwickshire, England. According to
the 2001 census it had a population of 1,741, increasing to 1,942 at
the 2011 Census.
The village is located on the Warwickshire/Leicestershire border in an
outlying part of the borough of Rugby. The village is, however, more
than 11 miles (18 km) north-west from the town of Rugby and
Hinckley (five miles to the north),
Nuneaton (six miles to
the north-west) and
Coventry (ten miles south-west). The source of the
River Anker is near the highest point in the parish, 130 metres.
Originally on the main route between Leicester and Coventry, is now
served by the B4065 and B4109 roads. The hamlet of Bramcote forms a
western part of the parish, This was the site of a Second World War
airfield, RAF Bramcote, subsequently used by the Royal Naval Air
Service and renamed HMS Gamecock. Since 1959 it has been used by the
army and is known as the Gamecock Barracks.
Discoveries of Neolithic flint tools and Bronze Age burial mounds
suggest early occupation of the parish while a major Roman road,
Watling Street, forms part of the parish boundary.The village
certainly existed in Saxon times and the Domesday Survey, compiled in
1086, records 22 households with three further households at Bramcote.
By the 12th century there was an additional township, which included a
chapel, at the now deserted site of Little Copston (Copston Parva). At
Wolvey was an important population centre for the area with
a weekly market and an annual fair.
The village still retains some older buildings including the church of
St John the Baptist with its Norman doorway and monumental tombs of
Wolvey (died 1311) and his wife Alice; also that of Thomas
Astley and his wife, Catherine (died 1603). The South Aisle of the
church was rebuilt by Thomas de Wolvey’s daughter as a memorial
Chantry to her husband Sir Giles de Astley who died following the
battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The church building has undergone
considerable repair and alteration over the years. The chancel was
rebuilt in the gothic style by Lord Overstone of
Wolvey Grange in the
mid-nineteenth century and the present porch to the south door added
in 1909. The Millennium Building to the south of the church was built
in 2000 to provide important support facilities.
The early village would have clustered around the market place (now
The Square) but there is little evidence of it in today’s
buildings.. A staircase dated 1677 in
Wolvey Hall reflects the
rebuilding of the original house but this was remodelled in 1889.
Other late seventeenth century survivals, although modified, include
Hollytree Cottage in Wolds Lane and probably 'The Blue Pig' public
house with the village pump which will have served as a coaching inn
Coventry – Leicester traffic in earlier times. The ‘Old
Thatched Cottage’ on the edge of The Square dates to the later
eighteenth century as does the Baptist Chapel, built in 1789.
Essentially a farming community for most of its history,
industrialization had an impact on the village in the nineteenth
century when knitting and weaving became important trades for a time.
There is no evidence to support the popular view that it was a milling
centre with 27 windmills. The well-known engraving of four windmills
in Wolvey, published in 1854, has been shown to be a forgery. While
rural industry continues, modern housing provides for a commuting
population benefiting from the village’s proximity to major motorway
and rail networks and urban centres.
Wolvey most probably came from the Anglo-Saxon wulf-hæg or
wulf-heg e = "wolf hedge" = "enclosure with a hedge to keep wolves
Wolvey Hall is a Grade II listed 17th-century house remodelled in 1889
which stands in Hall Road, Wolvey. It is constructed of brick in two
storeys with attics and a 6-bay frontage. A Roman Catholic chapel
is attached and in the grounds is the ruined Jacobs Well, bearing a
date of 1707.
The current house was rebuilt in 1889 using material from an earlier
house built in 1677 and also includes fragments from an even earlier
building. In the mid-1700s the house was owned by the Arnold family,
who could trace family ownership of the manor of
Wolvey back to Sir
Wolvey (died 1315). It has been owned by the Coape-Arnolds
since Georgeana, daughter of George Henry Arnold, married James Coape
of Goldhanger, Essex in 1840. In 1891 Henry Fraser James Coape-Arnold,
a catholic convert, built the chapel at the Hall which served the
Catholic residents of the area until the early 1920s.
The hall is currently in the possession of the Freeman family by
descent from Mary Freeman née Burbidge.
^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for
National Statistics. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
Wolvey Local History Group. Retrieved 4 November
Wolvey Hall, Wolvey". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 10 April
Allen, G (2000)
Warwickshire Towns & Villages,
Lewis, G (1992) The
Wolvey Area Before History, in
Wolvey - a
Warwickshire Village, Book 2, 21-27,
Wolvey Local History Group
Salzman, L F (ed) (1951)'Parishes: Wolvey', in Victoria County
History,A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 6: Knightlow
hundred, pp. 281–287. URL:
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=57148 Accessed: 10
Wolvey Local History Group. Retrieved 10 September
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