Warwickshire ( or ) is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare and George Eliot. Commonly used abbreviations for the county are Warks or Warwicks.
The county is divided into five districts of North Warwickshire, Nuneaton & Bedworth, Rugby, Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon. The current county boundaries were set in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972. The historic county boundaries also included Coventry and Solihull, as well as much of Birmingham. The county is bordered by Gloucestershire to the south west, Worcestershire and the West Midlands to the west, Staffordshire to the north west, Leicestershire to the north east, Northamptonshire to the east and Oxfordshire to the south and south east.
Warwickshire came into being as a division of the kingdom of Mercia in the early 11th century. The first reference to Warwickshire was in 1001, as Wæringscīr named after Warwick (meaning "dwellings by the weir").
During the Middle Ages Warwickshire was dominated by Coventry, which was at the time one of the most important cities in England due to its textiles trade in the heart of England. Warwickshire played a key part in the English Civil War, with the Battle of Edgehill and other skirmishes taking place in the county. During the Industrial Revolution Warwickshire became one of Britain's foremost industrial counties, with the large industrial cities of Birmingham and Coventry within its boundaries.