Place:Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England

Watchers
NameLeamington Spa
Alt namesLeamingtonsource: Wikipedia
Lemmingtonsource: Wikipedia
Royal Leamington Spasource: Wikipedia
TypeCivil parish, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates52.3°N 1.517°W
Located inWarwickshire, England     (1902 - )
See alsoLeamington Priors, Warwickshire, Englandprevious civil parish on which it was created in 1902
Warwick District, Warwickshire, Englandnon-metropolitan district covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Royal Leamington Spa, commonly known as Leamington Spa or Leamington (pronounced "Lemmington") is a spa town in Warwickshire, England. Following the popularisation of the medicinal qualities of its water in the eighteenth century, in the nineteenth century the town experienced one of the most rapid expansions in England. It is named after the River Leam which flows through the town.

The town contains especially fine ensembles of Regency architecture, particularly in parts of the Parade, Clarendon Square and Lansdowne Circus.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Formerly known as Leamington Priors, Leamington began to develop as a town at the start of the 19th century. It was first mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Lamintone. For 400 years, the settlement was under the control of Kenilworth Priory, from which the older suffix derived. Its name came from Anglo-Saxon Leman-tūn or Lemen-tūn = "farm on the River Leam". The spa waters had been known in Roman times and their rediscovery in 1784 by William Abbotts and Benjamin Satchwell, led to their commercialisation.[1]

Early development of the old town centre was on the southern bank of the River Leam. Later builders began concentrating the town's expansion on the land north of the river, resulting in the Georgian centre of New Town with the Leam flowing between the two. In 1767 Parliament passed an Act, proposed by Edward Willes, a local landowner, for dividing and enclosing the open and common land on the south and west of the River Leam. Following a survey of the area by John Tomlinson in 1768, the land was estimated to be and was subsequently divided, and new public roads were laid out.[2] After the division on the south of the river most of the land east of the village was owned by the Willes family and to the west by Matthew Wise. To the north of the river most of the land was owned by the Willes family, the Earl of Warwick, and Bertie Greatheed.[2] The main landholders of the village and adjacent land were the Earl of Aylesford, and a number of smaller landowners.[2] In the following decades some of the land was sold.[2] By 1901, the population of Leamington had grown from a few hundred to nearly 27,000.[3]


In 1814, the Royal Pump Rooms and Baths were opened close to the River Leam.[1] This grand structure attracted many visitors, expecting cures by bathing in pools of salty spa water. It also included the world's first gravity fed piped hot water system in modern times, which was designed and installed by the engineer William Murdoch. Leamington became a popular spa resort attracting the wealthy and famous, and construction began of numerous Georgian townhouses to accommodate visitors, and a town hall was built in 1830.

With the spread of the town's popularity, and the granting with a 'Royal' prefix in 1838 by Queen Victoria, 'Leamington Priors' was renamed 'Royal Leamington Spa'. Queen Victoria had visited the town as a Princess in 1830 and as Queen in 1858.[1] A statue of Queen Victoria was almost destroyed by a German bomb during World War II, and was moved one inch on its plinth by the blast. The statue was not returned to its original position, and the incident is recorded on a plaque on its plinth.

The function of the Royal Pump Rooms changed several times over the following years. While retaining its assembly rooms and medical facilities, around 1863 it was extended to include a Turkish bath and swimming pool, in 1875 the Royal Pump Room Gardens were opened to the public, and in 1890 a further swimming pool was added. The economy of Leamington decreased towards the end of the 19th century following the decline in popularity of spa towns, and it became a popular place of residence for retired people and for members of the middle-class who relocated from Coventry and Birmingham, and wealthy residents led to the development of Leamington as a popular place for shopping. In 1997, the owners of the building, the district council, closed the facility for redevelopment, reopening it in 1999 as a culture centre. It now contains Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, a library, a tourist information centre, refurbished assembly rooms and a cafe. Spa water can still be sampled outside the building.

Leamington is closely associated with the founding of lawn tennis. The first tennis club in the world was formed in 1872 by Major Henry Gem and Augurio Pereira who had started playing tennis in the garden of Pereira. It was located just behind the former Manor House Hotel and the modern rules of lawn tennis were drawn up in 1874 in Leamington Tennis Club.

During the Second World War, Leamington was home to the Free Czechoslovak Army; a memorial in the Jephson Gardens commemorates the bravery of Czechoslovak parachutists from Warwickshire.

Research Tips

  • The website British History Online provides seven volumes of the Victoria County History Series on Warwickshire. The first (Vol 2) covers the religious houses of the county; Volumes 3 through 6 provide articles the settlements in each of the hundreds in turn, and Volumes 7 and 8 deal with Birmingham and Coventry respectively.
  • GENUKI main page for Warwickshire provides information on various topics covering the whole of the county, and also a link to a list of parishes. Under each parish there is a list of the settlements within it and brief description of each. This is a list of pre-1834 ancient or ecclesiastical parishes but there are suggestions as to how to find parishes set up since then. GENUKI provides references to other organizations who hold genealogical information for the local area. There is no guarantee that the website has been kept up to date and therefore the reader should check additional sources if possible.
  • Warwickshire and West Midland family history societies are listed in GENUKI.
  • The FamilyTree Wiki has a series of pages similar to those provided by GENUKI which may have been prepared at a later date and from more recent data. The wiki has a link to English Jurisdictions 1851. There is a list of all the parishes in existence at that date with maps indicating their boundaries. The website is very useful for finding the ecclesiastical individual parishes within large cities and towns.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time, Warwickshire, section "Units and Statistics" leads to analyses of population and organization of the county from about 1800 through 1974. There are pages available for all civil parishes, municipal boroughs and other administrative divisions. Descriptions provided are usually based on a gazetteer of 1870-72 which often provides brief notes on the economic basis of the settlement and significant occurences through its history.
  • The two maps below indicate the boundaries between parishes, etc., but for a more detailed view of a specific area try a map from this selection. The oldest series are very clear at the third magnification offered. Comparing the map details with the GENUKI details for the same area is well worthwhile.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Leamington Spa. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.