Nuneaton is the largest town in the
Nuneaton and Bedworth and in the English county of
is most famous for its associations with the 19th century author
George Eliot, who was born on a farm on
Estate just outside Nuneaton in 1819 and lived in the town
for much of her early life.
In fiction, Nuneaton is referred
to as "Milby" in the George Eliot novel Scenes of Clerical Life
is located 14.5 km (9 miles) north of Coventry, 32 km
(20 miles) east of Birmingham and 166 km (103 miles) northwest of
London. The River Anker runs through the town.
Nuneaton (as defined
by the Office for National Statistics) had a population of 70,721
according to the 2001 census, though the 2008 estimate is closer to
73,000 inhabitants. However, both of these figures exclude the
Camp Hill area of the town, which is deemed to be in the Hartshill
subdivision of the Nuneaton urban area by the Office for National
Statistics (ONS), as can be seen from the map included in its
report on Key Statistics for urban areas and the dataset of this
report, which cites a population of 12,207 for the Hartshill
subdivision  (by comparison, the population of the
civil parish of Hartshill in 2001 was just 3,611 ).
A more representative figure
is given by the combined population of Nuneaton's 11 wards, which
was 78,403 in 2001 according to the ONS (see table below
).Nuneaton also has a football team
called Nuneaton Town.
close to Nuneaton include Bedworth, Atherstone and Hinckley, with Tamworth and Lutterworth a little further afield. The nearest city is
7 miles (11.25 km) from the centre of Nuneaton.
Leicester and thereafter Birmingham are considerably close.
A local landmark is
Mount Jud, which is a large mound of quarry waste that was formed
when Judkins Quarry was dug out. Mount Jud lies in the northwest of
the town and can be seen for miles around.
Survey-recognised viewpoints at the extremities of the
town. One of the most noteworthy is in the west of
Hartshil Hayes Country Park from where looking north Atherstone can be seen and looking north-east Leicester can be seen, depending on favourable
Nuneaton's name came from a 12th century Benedictine nunnery
(parts of which still survive) around which much of the town grew.
Prior to this it was a settlement known as 'Etone', which
translates literally as 'water-town'. Nuneaton was listed in the
as a small hamlet
. A market was established in 1233 (and
is still held today). The first recorded use of the modern name was
in 1247 when a document recorded it as 'Nonne Eton'. The Nunnery
fell into disrepair after 1539 (with Henry VIII's dissolution of
the monasteries). Nuneaton's only Grammar School (which would
later become a sixth form college), King Edward
VI Grammar School, was established by a royal charter in
Nuneaton grew gradually from the 17th century onwards, due to its
position at the centre of the Warwickshire coalfields. At the time
of the first national census in 1801 Nuneaton was already one of
the largest towns in Warwickshire, with a population of 5,000.
During the Industrial
in the 19th century, Nuneaton developed a large
industry. Other industries which
developed in the town included brick
making and brewing
By 1901 the population of Nuneaton had grown to 25,000.
Nuneaton became an urban district
1894, and was upgraded to the status of a municipal borough
Due largely to munitions factories located in Nuneaton, the town
suffered heavy bombing damage during World War II. The heaviest
bombing raid on Nuneaton took place on 17 May 1941, when 100 people
were killed, 380 houses were destroyed, and over 10,000 damaged, a
few smaller raids took place on the town, most notably on 25 June
1942. As a result of the bombing, much of the town centre was
rebuilt in the post-war years.
On 6 June
1975, six people died and 38 were injured when a train
crashed just south of Nuneaton railway station.
An ancient abbey church founded at 'Eaton' in the 1150s was home to
Benedictine nuns and gave the present town the name
Very little survives today of the original building. The cruciform
church was sold after the dissolution and converted into a mansion.
Abandoned in the seventeenth century it was quarried away until all
that survived by the 1860s were the foundations, some low walls and
the battered crossing piers of the former central tower.
In 1876-7 this desolate ruin was brought back to life as a place of
worship after centuries of neglect, when four of the original seven
of the nave were rebuilt on
the old foundations in neo-romanesque style by the Gothic Revival architect
with the old crossing piers
enclosed by a temporary brick stucture for use as a chancel. The
west wall was also left in plain brick to allow for possible
completion of the nave on the ancient footings further west at a
later date, though this retains its incomplete appearance to this
In 1904 the chancel was rebuilt in neo-gothic style on the old
foundations east of the crossing by Harold Brakspear, followed by
the north transept in 1930. The architect had drawn up plans to
restore the south transept and central tower too, but sadly these
were never realised, leaving the south transept as a ruin sealed
off by the 1877 'temporary' brick wall and leaving the church in an
odd truncated state today (comprising half the nave, the chancel,
north transept and base of the crossing).
Inside the ruined crossing piers remain from the original church,
as well as part of a fine medieval tiled floor and the bases of
what remained of the walls. Outside, the ruins of the nave and
South Transept remain as they were, along with the base of what is
thought to have been a chapter house.
The church (such as it stands) is used as the Parish Church of St.
Mary and is known locally as the Abbey Church.
Despite this building's significance in Nuneaton's past and its
extraordinary recent history, it is a relatively unknown and
obscure place, with little promotion or signage.
Ropewalk Shopping Centre
Nuneaton's traditional industries like textiles and manufacturing
have declined drastically in the postwar years. Due to its good
transport links, Nuneaton is now largely a commuter town for nearby
Coventry and Birmingham. However electronics and distribution
remain major economic activities in the town. MIRA Limited,
formerly the Motor Industry Research Association, is based on a
disused wartime airfield on the A5, to the north of the town.
the biggest developments in the town's history, the multi-million
Shopping Centre, opened on 1 September 2005 in the hope that it
will give the town extra income from the shopping, attract more
visitors and retailers, and steer shoppers away from larger retail
centres such as Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester and
The town centre itself has undergone a successful
transition from being an uninteresting 'dormitory town' service
centre in the 1980s to a relatively thriving and well-planned
retail and business district by the 2000s. Holland & Barrett
Headquarters based on the Attleborough Fields industrial estate but
it moving to a new Headquarters at Elliot Park. Also based at
Attleborough Fields Inudtrial Estate are the main offices of Adams
Childwear.Bermuda Park is home of the National Distribution Centre
of Dairy Crest
and RS Components
is part of the constituency of the same
name in the House of Commons, which is currently represented by the Labour Member of Parliament (MP), Bill Olner. The local council,
Bedworth, is currently controlled by the Conservative Party.
April 1974, Nuneaton's council was merged with the neighbouring
Bedworth Urban District to
form a new district
council, originally named just "Nuneaton".
status was conferred on the new district on 15 November 1976.
Following objections from Bedworth residents, the name of the
borough was changed to "Nuneaton and Bedworth" in 1980. The council
was controlled by the Labour Party between 1973, when the shadow
council was elected in preparation for the 1974 merger, until the
, when the Conservatives gained control. The official
result was: Labour lost 6 seats, the Conservatives won 4 seats, and
Party) won 2 seats.
Nuneaton is currently covered by 11 of the borough's 17 electoral
wards (see table below). Each ward elects two councillors.
||Abbey Green, town centre
||Heath End, Glendale, Bermuda, Arbury
||Attleborough, Maple Park, SW Whitestone
||Black-a-Tree, Sunnyside, Stockingford (east)
||Galley Common, Chapel End, Whittleford
||Grove Farm, Robinson's End, Stockingford (west)
||Horeston Grange, Hinckley Road, The Long Shoot, St Nicolas Park
||Weddington, St Nicolas Park (north)
||Hill Top, Caldwell, Chilvers Coton
||Whitestone (except SW part), Attleborough Fields
Nuneaton's name reflects the part that the Christian religion
has paid in the town's history. Although
Nunnery which gave the
town its name was destroyed at the time of the reformation
, the remaining fragments
were incorporated into the Anglican
building now known as the Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin in
Manor Court Road. This, as we now have it, is a Victorian
construction. The original ruins are left to be an obvious feature
of the new building and its immediate setting.
Near the town centre, but unusually not actually a part of it and
outside the ring road, lies the mediaeval church of St Nicolas.
Chilvers Coton contains All Saints' Church where Mary Ann Evans
) worshipped. This was
badly damaged by bombing during the Second World War, and rebuilt
largely by German prisoners. There are also Anglican churches in
Weddington (St James's), Attleborough (Holy Trinity), Stockingford
(St Paul's), Galley Common (St Peter's) and, more recently built,
Camp Hill (St Mary & St John).
Roman Catholicism is represented by Our
Lady of the Angels Church on Coton Road, whose building was largely
remodelled in the 1930s, and St Anne's,
Chapel End, Nuneaton whose current building dates from
Other Christian traditions in the town include Baptist
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
and United Reformed
Immigration form the Indian subcontinent has, like many British
towns, brought with it believers in Islam
, and Nuneaton has a substantial ethnic
population. There is a mosque on Frank Street, Chilvers Coton, and
(Sikh temples): the Nuneaton
Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Park Avenue, Attleborough, and the Shri Guru
Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara in Marlborough Road, Chilvers Coton.
radio stations are Fox FM and Mercia FM part of the independent radio network,
BBC Coventry &
Warwickshire, all are based in the nearby city of Coventry and
also Fosseway Radio(Now Oak FM) which
is broadcast from the nearby town of Hinckley.
Parts of Nuneaton can also receive BBC Radio Leicester
. Within Nuneaton
itself there is Anker Radio which serves the George Eliot
Hospital, but also broadcasts on 1386am and can be received
throughout the area broadcasting 24 hours a day.
The main local newspaper is the Nuneaton Tribune
, which is
a free paper delivered to most homes in the area weekly on a
Thursday or Friday, taking in Nuneaton, Bedworth and Atherstone.
There is also the Nuneaton Telegraph, a localised version of
Nuneaton News (formerly
Heartland Evening News) is a daily paper but released
free on a Wednesday every week.
The Nuneaton area is covered by BBC West Midlands TV News Show BBC
Midlands Today and ITV Central's Central Tonight but gets limited
coverage from both, with some areas of the town receiving the East
Midlands transmission of BBC East Midlands Today.
The town is near the M6
, the M42
motorways and the main A5
trunk road (Watling Street), which also acts as a border with
Leicestershire and the neighbouring town of Hinckley.
railway station near the town centre is an important railway
junction, served by the West Coast Main Line, the Birmingham to Leicester railway line, and by a line to Coventry via Bedworth.
It offers direct rail services to those
destinations. There are plans to build a new station at Bermuda
Park in the south of the town on the line towards Coventry.
importance as a railway junction is underlined by the fact that
Nuneaton has the third highest level of interchange passengers
New Street and Wolverhampton), of any railway station in the Midlands .
This changed in December 2008 when a new Very High Frequency (VHF)
timetable was introduced by Virgin
on the West Coast Main Line. Very few Virgin services
now stop in Nuneaton. Instead, London
Midland operate an hourly daytime service between London Euston and Crewe via Northampton, Stafford and Stoke-on-Trent with journey times increased significantly,
81 minutes to Crewe versus 40 minutes on Virgin. The
December 2008 timetable has been the source of much outrage
The Coventry Canal
passes through the
The main operator for buses in Nuneaton is Stagecoach in Warwickshire
has two non-league football teams
of note: Nuneaton Town who won
promotion in May 2009 to the Southern Football
League Premier Division and Nuneaton Griff who play in the Midland Combination Premier
There is also a thriving Sunday League football
scene in the town, with teams from Nuneaton, Bedworth, and North
Warwickshire competing in the Nuneaton & District Sunday
Football League (NDSFL).
There are three Rugby Union teams in the town: Nuneaton R.F.C.
(nicknamed the Nuns), who
play in National Division 1, Nuneaton Old Edwardians
of Midlands 3 West
division and Manor
Park of the Midlands 5 West
There are three main leisure centres
in the town owned by Nuneaton and Bedworth Leisure Trust and
maintained by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council:
- The Pingles Leisure Centre - The Pingles is the main leisure
centre in Nuneaton. It was rebuilt in 2004 to replace the old 1960s
swimming baths. The new Pingles includes an indoor and outdoor
swimming areas, a dance studio and
gym. The Pingles also has an associated
athletics stadium, the Pingles Stadium, which was built in 2004.
The Pingles Stadium has a 250 seater stand, a running track, and
athletics facilities. The stadium also has a football pitch which
is used by Nuneaton Griff for their home matches.
- Jubilee Sports Centre - The Jubilee Sports Centre is a sports
hall. The hall is used for various sports including badminton, five-a-side football/indoor football
and basketball. The Jubilee also has a
scoreboard, used for major basketball and indoor football matches.
The hall can be hired out for uses such as karate lessons.
- Etone Sports Centre - Etone Sports Centre is another sports
hall. Etone sports hall also has astroturf
football pitches which are used also for hockey. The centre is in the grounds of the school
which bears the same name, Etone School, but Nuneaton and Bedworth
Leisure Trust maintains the building.
Nuneaton has a museum and art gallery in the grounds of Riversley
Park adjacent to the town centre.
- Nuneaton annually enters the Britain in Bloom competition and in 2000,
Nuneaton and Bedworth was a national finalist.
- Nuneaton is home to the largest carnival in Warwickshire which
takes place every June – see www.NuneatonCarnival.org
- Nuneaton was home to the smallest independent newspaper in
Britain (the Heartland Evening News) until it was
purchased in 2006 by life News & Media
George Eliot's Inspirations
Many locations in George Eliot's works were based on places in or
near her native Nuneaton, including:
- Milby (town and parish church, based on Nuneaton and St Nicolas
- Shepperton (based on Chilvers Coton);
- Paddiford Common (based on Stockingford, which at the time had
a large area of common land);
- Knebley (based on Astley; Knebley Church is Astley Church,
while Knebley Abbey is Astley Castle);
- Red Deeps (based on Griff Hollows);
- Cheverel Manor (based on Arbury Hall);
- Dorlcote Mill (based on Griff House);
- The Red Lion (based on the Bull Hotel, now the George Eliot
Hotel in Bridge Street, Nuneaton);
- Middlemarch (based on Coventry);
- Treby Magna (also thought to be based on Coventry);
- Little Treby (thought to be based on Stoneleigh);
- Transome Court (thought to be based on Stoneleigh Abbey).
The borough of Nuneaton and Bedworth is twinned with the following
- George Eliot, Victorian
- Ken Loach, film and television
- Larry Grayson, comedian,
entertainer and television presenter
- Stuart Attwell, youngest ever
Premier League referee at 25
- Mary Whitehouse, campaigner
(born in Nuneaton)
- Geoffrey de Havilland,
aviation pioneer (educated at King Edward VI School)
- Ben Daniels, actor (born in
- Nigel Winterburn, retired
- Matty Fryatt, footballer
- Ian Roper, footballer, currently at
Luton Town F.C
- Adam Whitehead, Olympic
- Paul Bradley, actor (born
- Peter Whittingham, footballer
(born in Whitestone, Nuneaton)
- Wally Holmes, Former England Rugby Union international (16
- John Curtis,
- Justin Welch, drummer with Britpop
band Elastica (1991-2001) and a drummer for
Suede in their formative years
- John Barber, inventor of
the gas turbine in 1791
- Kevin Kyle, Coventry City
- Lisa Lashes, DJ/producer (born in
- Mick Price, snooker
- A. J. Quinnell,
writer (author of Man on
- George Reader, football referee;
officiated in the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup
- Jon Holmes, writer, comedian and
broadcaster (grew up in Nuneaton)
- Richard Freeman,
- Claudia Lynx, Nuneaton born Iranian
Actress, Model, and a former Persian Pop Singer.
- Dean Richards Former
England Rugby Union player and Rugby Union Coach (Born in
- Nicki Shaw Current member of the
England Women's Cricket team (Born in Nuneaton)
- Julian Alsop Footballer
- Angela White, widower of Olympic Silver participant Duncan White
Districts and suburbs of Nuneaton
Within the borough boundaries:
Outside the borough boundaries but often considered to be part of