Chesterton, Warwickshire

Chesterton, Warwickshire

The village of Chesterton, Warwickshire, is about five miles south of Leamington Spa, near the villages of Harbury and Lighthorne.

The parish forms a roughly rectangular block, nearly four miles in length from north-west to south-east and two miles broad. It is home to the famed Chesterton Windmill, built in 1632 from a design attributed to Inigo Jones, just off the Fosse Way and a Grade I listed building. The windmill was fenced off in September 2006 after one of its sails crashed to the ground, but the sails were removed, and the site is open again.

Chesterton is a peaceful, quiet retreat, and an affluent village. It has no council housing, and property rarely comes on the market. From census reports 1841-1901, the main occupation for residents was agricultural labouring, with many having to leave the village and move elsewhere to find work. The manor house was demolished in 1802, although the remains of the walls and gateway still stand. Humble Bee cottages, on the hill by the manor ruins where sheep graze, are now abandoned, but are thought to have been owned by ancestors of Lord Willoughby de Broke (John Verney), who was descended from the owners of the Manor. Originally, three terraced cottages existed, being rented by farm workers, but the cottage on the far right has been demolished.

The parish church, St Giles, is thought to date back to the 12th century, the most recent update being in 1862. Parish records held at the church date back to 1538. At one time the church served the settlement of Chesterton which existed around it. This settlement disappeared as a result of the inhabitants moving away to Chesterton Green, after receiving a visit from that most unwelcome of itinerants, the plague. The parish also includes the agricultural area of Kingston. Local rumour has it that tunnels connect the church to nearby Humble Bee cottages. It is not known why.

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