Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for NUNEATON

NUNEATON, a town, a parish, and a district, in Warwickshire. The town stands on the river Anker, on the Trent Valley railway at the junction of the lines to Coventry, to Birmingham, and to Leicester, adjacent to the Coventry canal, 2 miles S W of Watlingstreet at the boundary with Leicestershire, 8½ N by E of Coventry, and 13¾ N W of Rugby; took its name from a nunnery founded at it, in the time of Stephen; occupies a site centrally low, but rising on all sides; is tolerably well built; has a local board of health; is a seat of county courts and petty sessions, and a polling-place; and has a head post-office, ‡ a railway station with telegraph, a banking office, two chief inns, three bridges over the Anker, a town hall, a public library and reading-room, a church, four dissenting chapels, a free grammar school, an English free school, a national school, two infant schools, and charities about £53. The ancient nunnery was founded by Robert, Earl of Leicester; was a cell to Fontevrault abbey in Picardy; had, at the dissolution, revenues amounting to £291; and is now represented by some slight remains. The church stands on high ground, on the road to Lutterworth; is later English and handsome; comprises nave, aisles, and chancel, with pinnacled tower; and contains ancient monuments to the Stratfords and the Trotmans, and a whitemarble tomb of Sir Marmaduke Constable. The dissenting chapels are Independent, Baptist, Wesleyan, and Primitive Methodist. The grammar school was founded in the time of Edward VI., and has an endowed income of £304. The English free school was founded in 1712, by Richard Smith, Esq.; was enlarged and improved about 1835; gives education to 50 boys and 30 girls; and has an endowed income of £194. A weekly market is held on Saturday; and fairs are held on 18 Feb., 14, 15, 16 May, 1 July, 7 and 31 Oct., and 17 Dec. Ribbon manufacture was the staple trade, and was carried on in two large factories. Hat-making and linen-manufacture are now carried on in these factories. Framework-knitting, elastic web and tape making, iron-working, edge-tool and implement making, and malting also are carried on. There are likewise a recently-erected large cotton factory, and a large corn mill; and in the neighbourhood, giving employment to many hands, are brick-fields, quarries, and coal-mines. Pop. of the town, in 1851, 4, 859; in 1861, 4, 645. Houses, 1, 149. The decrease of pop. arose from the depressed state of the ribbon trade.

The parish contains also the large hamlets of Attle-borough and Stockingford. Acres, 6, 112. Real property, £28,027; of which £3, 188 are in mines, and £390 in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 8, 133; in 1861, 7, 666. Houses, 1,847. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £902.* Patron, the Crown. The vicarages of Attleborough and Stockingford are separate benefices. The district contains also the parishes of Caldecote, Weddington, Arley, Astley, Chilvers-Coton, and Bulkington. Acres, 27, 883. Poor-rates in 1863, £8, 698. Pop. in 1851, 13, 532; in 1861, 13,054. Houses, 3,081. Marriages in 1863, 78; births, 469, of which33 were illegitimate; deaths, 277, of which 120 were at ages under 5 years, and 12 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,044; births, 4, 308; deaths, 2, 995. The places of worship, in 1851, were 9 of the Church of England, with 4, 648 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 955 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 430 s.; 4 of wesleyan Methodists, with 661 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists, with 262 s.; 2 of Independent Methodists, with335 s.; and 2 of Roman Catholics, with 380 s. The schools were 13 public day-schools, with 1, 143 scholars; 18 private day-schools, with 414 s.; and 23 Sunday schools, with 2, 395 s. The workhouse is in Chilvers-Coton; and, at the census of 1861, had 98 inmates.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a parish, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Nuneaton CP/AP       Nuneaton PLU/RegD       Warwickshire AncC
Place: Nuneaton

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.