In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Warwickshire like this:
Warwickshire, co. in west-midlands of England; bounded N. by Staffordshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire, E. by Northamptonshire, S. by Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, and W. by Worcestershire; greatest length, N. and S., 52 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 32 miles; area, 566,271 ac., pop. 737,339. Warwickshire presents a pleasant undulating surface of hill and dale, watered by the Avon, Learn, and Tame. The climate is mild and healthy, and the soil, except some cold stiff clays on the higher grounds, is fertile. ...
It consists chiefly of a strong red loam adapted for wheat and beans, or a sandy loam for barley and turnips. Much land is kept in permanent pasture for grazing. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) Formerly the co. was thickly wooded (that part N. of the Avon being called the Forest of Arden), and fine timber is still abundant. Geologically it mainly belongs to the secondary formation. A coal field, 16 miles by 3 miles, extends from the neighbourhood of Coventry to the border of Staffordshire, E. of Tamworth. The principal minerals are coal, ironstone, limestone, freestone, blue flagstone, and fire-clay. The mfrs. are carried on chiefly at Birmingham (hardware and silk goods) and Coventry (watches and ribbons). There are mineral springs at Leamington, Stratford on Avon, Umington, Southam, Willoughby, King's Newnham, &c. The co. is traversed in all directions by canals and railways. Warwickshire comprises 4 hundreds, 256 pars, with parts of 7 others, the parl. and mun. bors. of Birmingham (7 members) and Coventry (1 member), the parl. bors. of Aston Manor (1 member) and Warwick and Leamington (1 member), and the mun. bors. of Leamington, Stratford on Avon, and Warwick. It is mostly in the diocese of Worcester. For parl. purposes it is divided into 4 divisions - Northern or Tamworth, North-Eastern or Nuneaton, South-Western or Stratford on Avon, and South-Eastern or Rugby, 1 member for each division.
For an overview of how the county has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern of Warwickshire -- but you should check this covers the area you are interested in.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Warwickshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th June 2013
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