History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 16th century almshouses
Stoneleigh was included in the AA/Reader's Digest Book of British Villages, an indication of just how idyllic it is. The village is notable for the large number of period cottages, some thatched, many built of timber-framing with attractive brick infill.
At the centre of the village is an old forge, indicated by a very large upside down horseshoe on one exterior wall. Almost directly opposite is a row of late 16th century almshouses, established in 1594 by Alice Leigh, who later married Sir Robert Dudley and became Duchess of Dudley in 1645. They must have been a lot shorter in those days - you would have to duck your head quite low to pass through the almshouse doorways!
A short stroll from the almshouses, past an old rectory, is the attractive church of St Mary's standing in a low field beside the Sowe. The church is notable for its wonderfully carved north door, complete with a worn tympanum depicting a pair of dragons. Inside the church is beautifully carved Norman font, and a chantry chapel to the Leighs of Stoneleigh Abbey. The best feature, however, is a wonderfully carved chancel arch. A path leads from the churchyard to a small bridge over the Sowe, past thatched cottages, and over the hill towards Stareton.
One of the things I noticed when wandering about the village was that there was no pub, which seemed odd. It was only later that I discovered the reason. Apparently, there were once 3 pubs serving Stoneleigh, but in the Victorian period the daughter of Lord Leigh of Stoneleigh Abbey was ridiculed by some drunkards when she pedalled to church on a tricycle. In retaliation, Lord Leigh had all three pubs torn down.
Address: Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, England
Attraction Type: Village
Location: Off the B4115, just east of the A46, north of Kenilworth
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Stoneleigh, St Mary's Church - 0.3 miles (Historic Church)
Stoneleigh Abbey - 1.2 miles (Historic House)
Lunt Roman Fort - 1.7 miles (Roman Site)
Kenilworth Castle - 3.5 miles (Castle)
Coventry, Charterhouse - 3.6 miles (Abbey)
Coventry, Cheylesmore Manor (The Register) - 3.8 miles (Historic Building)
Coventry, Whitefriars Friary - 3.8 miles (Abbey)
Coventry, Christchurch Spire - 3.9 miles (Historic Church)
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