Stoneleigh is a small village in Warwickshire, England, on the River Sowe, about 5 miles (8 km) south of Coventry and 5 miles (8 km) north of Leamington Spa. The population taken at the 2011 census was 3,636. The village is about 600 yards (549 m) northeast of the confluence of the River Sowe and the River Avon. This large parish, formerly 6 miles in depth from north to south, with a breadth of 5 miles in the south and 2 miles in the north but much of it has been absorbed into Coventry in recent years. The northern portion of the parish was constituted the ecclesiastical parish of Westwood in 1846, with the church of St. John the Baptist, built of stone in the Early English style on a site given by Lord Leigh and largely at his expense. Westwood, with its hamlets of Fletchamstead, Canley, and Tile Hill, was included within the city boundary in 1927, and other parts of the parish were added under the Coventry Extension Act of 1931.

By the time of the Domesday survey in 1086, there were two priests in the parish, though nothing now remains of their church. The manor then possessed two mills and four miles of woodland. However, it was the arrival of Cistercian monks who founded Stoneleigh Abbey in the middle of the twelfth century which made the greatest mark on the character of the village in centuries to come.

The village's church (see gallery) is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Stoneleigh has no public house, however, the local historical society is keen to dispel the myth that all three were closed by Lord Leigh more than 100 years ago after his daughter was laughed at by drunks when she was going to church on a tricycle. However, it has a thriving Village Social Club, which meets in the evenings on Vicarage Road.

Stoneleigh was the site of the most destructive tornado of the record-breaking nationwide tornado outbreak of 23 November 1981. The second-strongest tornado of the outbreak, rated as an F2/T4 tornado, passed through Stoneleigh and surrounding areas at around 14:00 local time, causing severe damage including the complete destruction of a static caravan park and damage to residential buildings.

A small gallery of images from Stoneleigh

More images on Geograph.

Stoneleigh Abbey is to the southwest of the village. It was founded in 1154 by the Cistercians. From 1561 to 1990 it was the home of the Leigh family. In 1996, The Rt Hon. John, 5th Baron Leigh (1935-2003), transferred ownership of Stoneleigh Abbey and its 690-acre (279 ha) grounds to a charitable trust. Between 1996 and 2000 it was extensively renovated with the help of grants, including a large grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Within the grounds of the Abbey are two groups of houses built by Charles Church in 2002, named Grovehurst Park and The Cunnery. A row of old workers' cottages, Rectory Cottages (see gallery), was totally renovated in the same year.

Stoneleigh Park (previously known as the National Agricultural Centre) is to the southwest of the village. Stoneleigh Park is an exhibition and conference centre which used to host, amongst many other annual events, the Royal Show, a huge national agricultural event, and the Town and Country Festival. From 1991-2001 it hosted the Newfrontiers "Stoneleigh Bible Week", when up to 30,000 Christians from all over the world gathered for worship and teaching over a fortnight with alternating weeks.

Links to SWFHS Content about Stoneleigh

Thanks to Wikipedia and Stoneleigh Parish for the information. For more in-depth information please see the Stoneleigh entry on London University's website British History Online.

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