|Status:||Ceremonial & Non-metropolitan county|
- Admin. council
- Total (2004 est.)
- Admin. Council
266 / km²
Warwickshire County Council
|Executive:||Conservative (council NOC)|
|MPs:||John Maples, Mike O'Brien, Bill Olner, James Plaskitt, Jeremy Wright|
Warwickshire (pronounced /ˈwɒɹɪkˌʃə/, /ˈwɔːɹɪkˌʃə/, or /ˈwɔːɹɪkˌʃɪə/) is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in central England. The county town is Warwick. The shape of the administrative area Warwickshire differs considerably from that of the historic county. Commonly used abbreviations for the county are Warks or Warwicks.
Warwickshire is perhaps best known for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon. The county has also produced other literary figures such as George Eliot (from near Nuneaton), Rupert Brooke (from Rugby) and Michael Drayton from Hartshill.
Warwickshire is bounded to the northwest by the West Midlands metropolitan county and Staffordshire, by Leicestershire to the northeast, Northamptonshire to the east, Oxfordshire to the south, and Gloucestershire to the southwest and Worcestershire to the west.
The majority of Warwickshire's population lives in the north and centre of the county. The market towns of northern and eastern Warwickshire were industrialised in the 19th century, and include Atherstone, Bedworth, Nuneaton and Rugby. Major industries included coal mining, textiles, engineering, and cement production, but heavy industry is in decline, being replaced by distribution centres, light to medium industry, and services. Of the northern and eastern towns, only Rugby (as the birthplace of Rugby football) is well-known outside of Warwickshire. The prosperous towns of central and western Warwickshire include Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Warwick, with light to medium industry, services, and tourism as major employers.
The south of the county is largely rural and sparsely populated, and includes a small area of the Cotswolds. The only town in the south of Warwickshire is Shipston-on-Stour. The highest point in the county, at 261 m (856 ft), is Ebrington Hill on the border with Gloucestershire, GR SP187426.
The largest towns in Warwickshire as of 2004 are: Nuneaton (pop. 77,500), Rugby (62,700), Leamington Spa (45,300), and Bedworth (32,500).
Historically much of western Warwickshire, including the area now forming part of Birmingham and the West Midlands, was covered by the ancient Forest of Arden (although most of this was cut down to provide fuel for industrialisation in the 17th to 19th centuries). For this reason, the names of a number of places in the northwestern part of Warwickshire end with the phrase "-in-Arden".
Areas traditionally part of Warwickshire include Coventry, Solihull, and most of Birmingham. These became part of the West Midlands metropolitan county following local government re-organisation in 1974.
Coventry is effectively in the centre of the Warwickshire area, and still has strong ties with the county. Coventry and Warwickshire are sometimes treated as a single area and share a single NHS trust and ambulance service as well as other institutions.
Coventry has been an administrative part of Warwickshire for only some of its history. In 1451 Coventry was separated from Warwickshire for some purposes and made a county corporate in its own right, called the County of the City of Coventry. In 1842 the county of Coventry was abolished and Coventry was re-merged with Warwickshire.
This is a list of the main settlements in Warwickshire, including towns, or villages with a population of over 5,000.
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 Waeinewiscscr named after Warwick (meaning "dwellings by the weir").
1974 boundary changes removed Birmingham and Coventry from Warwickshire, leaving the present day county with a rather odd shape, which looks like a large chunk has been bitten out of it.
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Warwickshire at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added4||Agriculture1||Industry2||Services3|
Note 1: includes hunting and forestry
Note 2: includes energy and construction
Note 3: includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
Note 4: Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
Like most English shire counties, Warwickshire has a two-tier structure of Local government. The county has a county council based in Warwick, and is also divided into five districts each with their own district councils. These districts are : North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Stratford, and Warwick.(see map). The county and district councils are responsible for providing different services.
In addition many small towns and villages have their own parish councils although these have only limited powers.
Several major motorways run through Warwickshire. these include:
Other major trunk routes in Warwickshire includes the A45 (Rugby-Coventry-Birmingham and east into Northamptonshire route). The A46 (connects the M40 to the M6 via Warwick, Kenilworth and Coventry) and the A452 (Leamington to Birmingham route).
Two major railway lines pass through Warwickshire.
Other railway lines in Warwickshire include the Birmingham-Nuneaton section of the Birmingham to Peterborough Line, which continues east of Nuneaton towards Leicester and Peterborough. Nuneaton has direct services to Birmingham and Leicester on this line, and there is one intermediate station at Water Orton near Coleshill in the extreme north-west of the county.
There is also a branch line from Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon. This line used to continue southwards to Cheltenham but is now a dead-end branch. There are several stations on this line at Henley-in-Arden and at several small villages. Stratford also has direct rail services to London via the branch line to Warwick (mentioned earlier).
The only major town in Warwickshire not to have a station is Kenilworth. Although the Leamington to Coventry line passes through the town, its station was closed in the 1960s as part of the Beeching Axe. There is a campaign to re-open the station, although currently there are no local services operating on the line, as it is used only by Virgin cross-country services.
Canals in Warwickshire, include
The River Avon is navigable from just north of Stratford. It has been proposed recently to extend the navigation to Warwick, but this was rejected by local residents.
|Districts of the West Midlands|
Birmingham | Bridgnorth | Bromsgrove | Cannock Chase | Coventry | Dudley | East Staffordshire | Herefordshire | Lichfield | Malvern Hills | Newcastle-under-Lyme | North Shropshire | North Warwickshire | Nuneaton and Bedworth | Oswestry | Redditch | Rugby | Sandwell | Shrewsbury and Atcham | Solihull | South Shropshire | South Staffordshire | Stafford | Staffordshire Moorlands | Stoke-on-Trent | Stratford-on-Avon | Tamworth | Telford and Wrekin | Walsall | Warwick | Wolverhampton | Worcester | Wychavon | Wyre Forest
|United Kingdom | England | Ceremonial counties of England|
Counties of the Lieutenancies Act 1997
Bedfordshire | Berkshire | City of Bristol | Buckinghamshire | Cambridgeshire | Cheshire | Cornwall | Cumbria | Derbyshire | Devon | Dorset | Durham | East Riding of Yorkshire | East Sussex | Essex | Gloucestershire | Greater London | Greater Manchester | Hampshire | Herefordshire | Hertfordshire | Isle of Wight | Kent | Lancashire | Leicestershire | Lincolnshire | City of London | Merseyside | Norfolk | Northamptonshire | Northumberland | North Yorkshire | Nottinghamshire | Oxfordshire | Rutland | Shropshire | Somerset | South Yorkshire | Staffordshire | Suffolk | Surrey | Tyne and Wear | Warwickshire | West Midlands | West Sussex | West Yorkshire | Wiltshire | Worcestershire
|United Kingdom | England | Traditional counties of England|
Counties that originate prior to 1889
Bedfordshire | Berkshire | Buckinghamshire | Cambridgeshire | Cheshire | Cornwall | Cumberland | Derbyshire | Devon | Dorset | Durham | Essex | Gloucestershire | Hampshire | Herefordshire | Hertfordshire | Huntingdonshire | Kent | Lancashire | Leicestershire | Lincolnshire | Middlesex | Norfolk | Northamptonshire | Northumberland | Nottinghamshire | Oxfordshire | Rutland | Shropshire | Somerset | Staffordshire | Suffolk | Surrey | Sussex | Warwickshire | Westmorland | Wiltshire | Worcestershire | Yorkshire
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