Say what? A blog post that has nothing at all to do with electrics? What gives??


Although the wife was born and bread in Whitnash, I've only been a resident here since 2002 after starting off in Coventry and then slowly making my way down through Kenilworth and Warwick before coming to rest in a '70's semi detached on Morris Drive.


I do find it quite fascinating to look back on the history of a place however, and Whitnash, whose name derives from White or Splended Ash, is no exception. Some of the buildings on our doorstep date back to the 1600's doncha know?!


Back in the 1800's, our village neighbour of Leamington Priors saw a population explosion when its spa waters suddenly became popular, however our expansion has been somewhat slower, at least until more recent times, but the way things are going you'll soon be hard pushed to see a green field anywhere near these once rural parts. From a population of 11 villagers in the 1086 Domesday Survey, we're somewhere around the 9000 mark now.


For those of an historical bent, I recommend Jean Field's 2005 book published by Tempus and which, at the time of writing, is just about still available from Amazon here, ISBN 0-7524-3512-4.


Book


After looking at some of the old pictures and recognising many of the buildings that have survived the centuries right up to today, I decided that for fun on a wet Sunday afternoon I'd do a little 'then and now' comparision by trawling Google Street View (hey, it's raining so I won't go out with my camera).


This is going to be a fairly image hungry page, but should be interesting for the locals. Now, I must say that I haven't sought permission from anyone to reproduce these pictures or to take snaps from Google's StreetView service, so if anybody objects out of copyright infringement then let me know and I'd be happy to act. All the old photographs have been taken from the above book, and the image credits have been listed at the end of the article as shown in the book. If you want to see more, pick up a copy of the above, if it's still available, as there is plenty I haven't reproduced here.


Sitting comfortably? Well, off we go...

 


We start the tour with Green Farm near the village green, once the abode of Bill Masters for those of you who live in Masters Road and wonder why it is named so. This photo is from the early 1950's and has the house sporting a rather natty beard unlike today's clean shaven appearance.

21o
21n

 

Quite the change around Landor's Cottage, (later named Watts Cottage) going by this 1930's snap.

22o
22n

 

Whitnash Post Office as shown in Edwardian times before it went through a couple of moves and ended up near Acre Close where you'll find it today (with inadequate parking).

23o
23n

 

Home Farm near Palmer Road dates back to 1652, one of several farmhouses serving the fields before housing swallowed everything up as the population expanded from the 1950's onwards.

24o
24n

 

You'll have to look carefully on this one, as these days if you stood outside the shops of Home Farm Crescent you'd have no idea that it was once a hayfield. Osborne's Cottage in the background of this 1930's picture gives away the location today.

29o
29n

 

Looking from what is today the entrance to Palmer Road, in this 1938 picture you can see Glamis Cottage in the distance which still stands today, and Elderfield, formally The Homestead, in the foreground. The barn on the right is long gone and the land now occupied by maisonettes.

33o
33n

 

The bend in the road at The Plough and Harrow in the 1930's and today. The Plough still stands of course, but Cotterills' Cottage next door was demolished in the 1960's.

36o
36n

 

The Heathcote inn in 1947, still stands as the more recently renamed Bear in the Spa, and a mighty fine Guinness they serve there too.

40ao
40an

 

Another piccie of Green Farm c. 1960 as seen from the village green.

40bo
40bn

 

Green Farm again, this time from the road c. 1955. Today trees obscure the church, and the ancient elm behind the memorial which is rumoured to have been in place for 1000 years is long gone having been removed in 1960 despite local opposition and press attention.

48o
48n

 

 Homestead farmhouse, home to Farmer Palmer (no kidding) around 1959. These days the house is called Elderfield, and the entrance to moden day Palmer Road sits opposite.

50o
50n

 

Lupin Cottage on Whitnash Road c. 1960 and today.

51ao
51an

 

The Doglands in around 1959, looking good then and now.

51bo
51bn

 

The Acre Close shops around 1961 and today. There's little difference, especially with the number of parking spaces provided, but there were fewer cars and no double-yellow lines back then!

52o
52n

 

Anyone besides my wife remember the Women's Institute hut by the Plough car park? It was there from 1936 to around 1983. The modern day houses behind now form The Seekings which was built on Seekings Nursery who closed their doors in 1985.

53o
53n

 

Home farm again, this time c. 1961 as seen from Whitnash Road.

57ao
57an

 

Adjacent to Home Farm and built on the former site of one of its barns are these bungalows as pictured c. 1961. The original wall is still there but the greenery is taking over.

57bo
57bn

 

One last snap, the village school c. 1907. Originally built in 1860 by Henry Eyres Landor. These days it's part of St. Margarets Church Centre.

60o
60n

 


All quite interesting as I'm sure you'll agree, but there's a lot more to see in the book. Please notify me if you hold the copyright to any of the above and you're not happy for it to be reproduced here. Sadly, Jean Field, local historian and author is no longer with us.

 

Image credits:

Green Farm: Jean Field and contributors
Landor's Cottage: Jean Field and contributors
Whitnash Post Office: Jean Field and contributors
Home Farm: Jean Field and contributors
Haymaking near Osborne's Cottage: Warwickshire Museum (PH689/16)
View towards Glamis Cottage: Jean Field and contributors
The Plough and Harrow: Jean Field and contributors
The Heathcote Inn: Jean Field and contributors
Green Farm in winter: Jean Field and contributors
Village green: Jean Field and contributors
Homestead farmhouse: Jean Field and contributors
Lupin Cottage: Warwickshire Museum (PH1035/B4091)
The Doglands: Jean Field and contributors
Acre Close Shops: Jean Field and contributors
Women's Institute: Jean Field and contributors
Home Farm: Jean Field and contributors
Whitnash Road: Jean Field and contributors
Whitnash School: Warwickshire Museum (PH689/18)
All new images are the copyright of Google StreetView.