In 1086, the Domesday Book records that the chief estate of Leamington was held by Hasculf Musard.
Broadwell (like the neighbouring villages of Leamington Hastings, Hill and Kites Hardwick) was once a manor in its own right. Joan Hastang (of the family whose name is borne by Leamington Hastings) was allotted Broadwell in 1375. According to Prof. Louis Salzman's History of the County of Warwick, the ...last mention of Bradwell (sic) as a separate manor is in the inquisition post mortem on Humphrey Stafford in 1545.
Broadwell is one of three villages of that name in central England. The other two are in Gloucestershire - one between the towns of Moreton-in-Marsh and Stow-on-the-Wold, the other a few miles west of Lechlade on the upper River Thames.
The villages in Leamington Hasting parish are farming settlements. Today, there is a mix of sheep and arable. However, Salzman records that much of arable land had once been pasture. This is also borne out in Mr Sponges's Sporting Tour written in 1853 by R.S. Surtees which refers to: ... the wide-stretching grazing grounds of Southam and Dunchurch.
Today, Broadwell compromises roughly 70 households. There are four farms in the village itself (Home Farm, Croftlands Farm, Broadwell House Farm and Hospital Farm) and several smallholdings. Other farms border the village.
Broadwell is in the broad flat valley of the River Leam. The valley is bounded to the north by the Rugby ridge and Lawford Heath, to the south by a low range of upland which forms part of the Northamptonshire/Warwickshire ironstone hills. The village sits on fossil-rich Blue Lias clay, hence the proximity of several cement works, all now closed (see Stockton article for details).
Architecturally, Broadwell is very unprepossessing. The Green is surrounded by a mix of 18th and 19th century cottages, post-war local authority houses, 1970s bungalows and 1990s large detached houses. The mix on Main Street and Back Lane (also known as Hayway Lane) is similar. Since 1990, two bungalows and about half-a-dozen detached houses have been built as infil however no new houses can be built outside existing village boundaries.
The Village also comprises an old Forge, a 17th century Listed blacksmith shop which still stands, and now sits as grade two listed. The building although derelict and structually unsafe (with an acro supporting the roof) cannot be demolished due to the protection order and would prove unviable to restore.
Historically, farming has always been the principal activity, although in the 20th century some residents worked in the Charles Nelson Company's cement works in neighbouring Stockton. Today, many residents are retired: the rest work away from the village with a considerable number commuting everyday with the A426 just outside the village and the M40, M1 and M6 all within a 15 mile radius.
Until the 1960s, there was a railway station (Stockton & Napton on the Leamington to Weedon line) a mile from the village. Today, there is a bus service to neighbouring towns. However, most families in Broadwell have a car.
There is no shop or public house in Broadwell. In part, the lack of a pub is due to the village's nonconformist tradition; Broadwell has a substantial Methodist chapel. The village also has a small Church of England chapel, the Church of the Good Shepherd, which is in the ecclesiastical parish of Leamington Hastings. Services are held monthly in the Church of the Good Shepherd. Previously however the village did have a small post office, selling only stamps and based at the rear of a private house; however, due to retirement this service was lost, the nearest now being Stockton about 3 miles up the road.
Communal life centres around the village hall. Until December 2007, this was a corrugated iron sheet building. However, this structure was dismantled and a larger brick-built hall was erected during January and February 2008. Principal users of the hall are the Trustees of the village green, the Flower Show Committee and local art groups.
Demographically, Broadwell is home to a fairly typical rural Midlands population. There is little ethnic diversity or multiculturalism and the age range is weighted towards the late middle-aged. However, there are also about a dozen families with school-age children.