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Origin: Tun on the river (Anker), priory for nuns

Domesday: Earl Aubrey held it of the king. Hearding held it TRE. There is land for 20 ploughs. In demesne are 3 ploughs and 3 slaves and 44 villans and 6 coliberts and 10 bordars with 16 ploughs. Yhere is a mill rendering 32d and 20 acres of meadow and woodland 2 leagues long and 1 ½ leagues broad. TRE it was worth £4 and afterwards £3 now 100s. From Thorkil, Robert d’Oilly holds 3 hides. Ther is land for 5 ploughs. In demesne are 3 ploughs and 5 slaves and 9 villans and 6 bordars with 8 ploughs. There are 5 acres of meadow and woodland 1 league in length and breadth. It was worth 40s, now £4. Alwine held it freely TRE.

My home town. It has 1000 years + of history but the casual visitor would conclude, with the exception of the Parish church, that it was built after 1880. The town had a mediaeval market layout and its share of ancient timber framed buildings but fairly spectacular growth in the mid to late 1800s resulted in many old buildings in the town centre being demolished to be replaced by red brick (provided by the local brick works). Out of the town centre new Victorian housing, predominantly terraced, was built to provide homes for the industrial workers at the pits, brick works and mills.

In the town centre some quite impressive buildings were put up by the banks and hotels with a level of decoration that veers between ornate and slightly bizarre. The factories were no less impressive in their way, Listers, Fielding and Johnson, and Courtaulds amongst others built mills that were real statements of industrial strength.


Since the mid 1950s the cattle market has gone, replaced by a supermarket, the last timber building has gone, replaced by a supermarket, any building with a possible connection to George Eliot has gone (with the exception of Griff House – now a pub). Various redevelopments have taken place in the centre and the nicest thing that can be said about them is that the majority are undistinguished (a number are unfortunately plain horrible including the building, a DSS office, which replaced a towering mill where a mill had stood for centuries). The pits have closed, the brick works closed and the factories have all been demolished and replaced by a mixture of modern housing and industrial factory units so living in a loft space will not be an option in Nuneaton! Essentially the town is now a dormitory town


Of the buildings that do remain the church is worth a look, although it is cut off from the town by the ring road and it has absorbed its share of industrial grime on its stonework over the years. In the church grounds stands a (rebuilt – it was damaged in the war) grammar school which was granted its charter in 1552.


The school left the old site when a new building was put up in 1880 (with subsequent extensions) and this building is adjacent to the church yard



At the other end of town can be found St Mary’s church which is relatively modern but built on the site of the old abbey and a few walls of the abbey remain.

For more information “Nuneaton A History” by E A Veasey published by Phillimore is excellent as is the local web site

Most of my ancestors came from the parishes which were around Nuneaton but which have been incorporated in the town since Nuneaton was granted borough status in 1907 (Attleborough, Chilvers Coton, Stockingford and these have separate pages on my web site).