Wolvey Village          

Wolvey Village Website


Wolvey Local History Group

A Bit of Wolvey History



Wolvey has been strategically placed in the national transportation network since Roman times. The main road linking London with the south-east and north-west, Watling Street, today forms the north-eastern boundary of the parish while nearby High Cross was a Roman settlement at the junction of the south-west to north-east arterial route, the Fosse Way.

But the well-drained and easily managed sand and gravel soils of Wolvey attracted much earlier settlers. Some four thousand years ago, in Neolithic and Bronze Age times people were making and using flint arrowheads, knives and scrapers which suggest some hunting and leather working took place here as well as farming. They also buried their dead under mounds built of turf, a number of which survive in the parish. There were also Iron Age and Roman farmsteads and the famous defeat by the Romans of Boudicca, queen of one of the British tribes, probably occurred on Watling Street not far from Wolvey.

The first written record of Wolvey occurs in the Domesday Book of 1086. From this we learn that Aethelric held land here before the Norman conquest. It lists a priest in the place, so there was presumably a church although the earliest part of the present church is a 12th century doorway. By this date Wolvey was prosperous enough to provide a weekly market for the area. There were other settlements within the parish; one with its own chapel, known as Little Copston, long since disappeared, while another, recorded in the Domesday Book was Bramcote. They were agricultural communities, arable and pasture, with supporting crafts like smiths and millers, and operated within the feudal system. Much of the land was farmed for the benefit of Coombe Abbey; one farm at Wolvey, which included a large fish pond, had been given for the benefit of the Knights Templar in 1257 hence the current name of Temple Farm.

Such land changed hands following the dissolution of the monasteries in the mid-sixteenth century. The manorial system however continued with strips of land cultivated by copyhold tenants in an open field system with shared grazing areas, controlled by two Lords of the Manor, the Marrowe and Astley families. There was little variation to this until changes in farming practice led to the enclosure awards in Wolvey of 1797.

From about this time a number of features associated with modern Wolvey begin to emerge. The road pattern as we know it today was laid out. A school was established by the Vicar of Wolvey for poor children about 1784 and the Baptist Chapel was built 1789. Industrialisation was leaving its mark on rural Wolvey both in farming and in the work of its inhabitants. The 1841 census records more people employed in framework knitting than in farming; farm labouring brought in about nine shillings a week; knitters could earn up to 12 shillings a week.

By the end of the century farming and its support services provided income for the majority of its inhabitants; there was a village smithy and a wheelwright and also a number of traders in Wolvey: butchers, bakers, grocers, coal dealers and other shopkeepers. These gradually disappeared as Wolvey ceased to serve the main road linking south-west and north-east England and changed character to meet the challenges of a diversifying farming and commuting community at the beginning of the 21st century.

For more information on the history of Wolvey visit the Local History Group's Website at:
www.wolvey-history.org.uk

 
See also:
History of  St John Baptist Church Wolvey:
Click here for details

History of Wolvey Baptist Chapel
Click here for Details

Wolvey Local History Group, Photographic Archive - Photos Wanted
Click here for details

Old views of Wolvey:
Click here for details

Wolvey Local History Group
Program of  Events

Forthcoming Events
2104 Oct WLHG - Short Talks by Members 27th Oct 2014
 
Events Archive
2014 Sep WLHG - Life & Times of Archers in 14 & 15 Centuries, Mon 22nd Sept 2014
2014 Jun Wolvey local History Group, Visit Birmingham's Back to Backs, Sat 28th June 2014
2014 Jun Wolvey Local History Group, Richard III, Leicester's search for a King, Mon 2nd June 2014
2014 May Wolvey Local History Group, Open Day, Sat 10 May 2014
2014 Apr Wolvey Local History Group, Memories of a WW II Rear Gunner, Mon 28th Apr 2014
2014 Mar WWI - Request for information
2014 Mar Wolvey Local History Group, History of Barwell & Earl Shilton Boot & Show Industry,  Mon 24th Mar 2014
2014 Feb Wolvey Local History Group, Making the Most of Your Rations,  Mon 24th Feb 2014
2014 Jan Wolvey Local History Group - Old Country Tools - Plus AGM, 27th Jan 2014
2013 Nov Wolvey Local History Group - Dark Deeds at Stoneleigh Abbey, 25th Nov, 2013
2013 Oct Wolvey Local History Group - Pottery & Etiquette of a Medieval Lady, 28th Oct, 2013
2013 Sep Wolvey Local History Group - Elizabeth Grey of Derbyshire, 23rd Sep, 2013
2013 Jul Wolvey Local History Group - Open Day, 27th July, 2013
2013 Apr Wolvey Local History Group - Short Talks by Members, 20th May 2013
2013 Apr Wolvey Local History Group - Hinckley's Medieval Priory, 22nd April 2013
2013 Mar Wolvey Local History Group - History of the Boots & Shoe Industry in Barwell & Earl Shilton, 25th Mar 2013
2013 Feb Wolvey Local History Group - Weavers Cottage & Early Tudor Life, 25th Feb 2013
2013 Jan Wolvey Local History Group - Display of Canal Memorabilia & AGM, 28th Jan 2013
2012 Nov Wolvey Local History Group - The Elizabethan Garden at Kenilworth Castle, 26th Nov 2012
2012 Oct Wolvey Local History Group - Mills & Factories of Old Nuneaton, 22nd Oct 2012
2012 Sep Wolvey Local History Group - THE BLACK DEATH, 1st Oct 2012
2012 Sep Wolvey Local History Group - OPEN DAY, 29th Sept 2012
2012 Jun Wolvey Local History Group - Hawkwise Falconry Display, 18th June 2012
2012 May Wolvey Local History Group - Short Talks by Members, May 28th 2012
2012 Apr Wolvey Local History Group - A History of Hymns, Apr 23rd 2012
2012 Mar Wolvey Local History Group - Burbage Common & Woodhouse Farm, Mar 26th 2012
2012 Feb Wolvey Local History Group - Letters to Bedworth from WW1, Feb 27th 2012
2012 Jan Wolvey Local History Group - Images of Bramcote, Jan 23rd 2012
2011 Nov Wolvey Local History Group - This Bramcote - not any other, Nov 28th 2011
2011 Oct Wolvey Local History Group - The Friendly Midland Red, Oct 24th 2011
2011 Sep Wolvey Local History Group - A History of the Press, Sep 26th 2011
2011 Apr Wolvey Local History Group - Falconry in Tudor Times, 18th Apr 2011
2011 Mar Wolvey Local History Group - Terry Hall, Armourer to the Household Cavalry, Mar 28th 2011
2011 Feb Wolvey Local History Group - The Tradition of Plough Bullocks, Feb 28th 2011
2011 Jan Wolvey Local History Group - Quiz Night and AGM, Jan 24th 2011
2010 Nov Wolvey Local History Group - Where would We Be Without Paper, Mon 22nd Nov 2010
2010 Oct Wolvey Local History Group - Local Milling, Wives & Milling, Mon 25th Oct 2010
2010 Sep Wolvey Local History Group - Wolvey and the POOR LAW, Mon Sep 27th 2010
2010 Apr Wolvey Local History Group - History of Bells & Ringing, Mon 26 April 2010
2010 Feb Wolvey Local History Group - Canals Tradition & Painting Lecture




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