Visitor Information

 

Welcome to Polesworth                                                                  

A market town in North Warwickshire situated in attractive countryside between Tamworth and Atherstone. The Parish also includes the villages of Birchmoor and Warton.

Local History

Pooley Hall is a Manor House on the outskirts of Polesworth, said to include some of the oldest brickwork in the Country. It was built in 1509 by Sir Thomas Cockayne who was knighted at the Battle of Tournai by King Henry VII. The family split their time between Pooley Hall and their estate at Ashbourne Hall in Derbyshire. Sir Aston Cockayne, 1st Baronet Cockayne, lived quietly at Pooley Hall. During the English civil War he took the Royalist side and was made a Baronet in 1642. Sir Aston joined the future Charles II in exile for a time and chose to return to Pooley Hall to ‘lie low’. He was famous for his gambling and the family were forced to sell Pooley Hall after his death. In 1789 the Coventry Canal opened running through the Pooley Hall estate and in 1847 a coal mine was sunk on the  estate. It was completed in 1849 and coal extraction began in 1850. In 1897 the Pooley Hall Colliery was formed and a wharf constructed on the canal. A branch line was built to connect to the then Trent Valley Line (now West Coast Line). The colliery closed in 1965. Today 62.5 hectares of the estate and colliery site has been transformed into Pooley Country Park. Pooley Hall is again a private residence and the Pooley Hall Farm was once the home of the late Edwin Starr, American Soul and Motown singer.

Polesworth Abbey was founded in 827 by King Egbert and his daughter Editha was the Abbess. It prospered for 700 years until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.   In 1544 the lands of the Abbey were granted by the Crown, to Francis Goodere, who used the stones of the Abbey to build a manor house Polesworth Hall. Henry Goodere, son of Francis, was a patron of the Arts and Polesworth Hall was centre of culture during Elizabethan times. The poet Michael Drayton was in the service of the Goodere family around 1580 and his works contain references to Polesworth and the River Anker. It is thought that William Shakespeare also spent some time as a fellow page boy here, and they remained companions in adult life.  Polesworth Hall no longer exists.

King Egbert had one son who was a leper. In Ireland there was a Nun Modwen who healed all diseased people, so King Egbert sent his son to her to be cured. In gratitude the King invited Modwen to come to England, promising her he would found a monastery for her convent. The King also recommened his daughter Editha to her, to be instructed in the rule of St. Benet. He gave Modwen  a dwelling place in the forest of Arden, then called Trensale, where St. Editha, St. Lyne and St. Oisthe lived together in Holy Orders. Soon after he founded a Monastery for them on the banks of the River Anker at a place called Pollysworth. Pol meaning deepness of water and Worth meaning a dwelling or habitation. Editha became Abbess of this Monastery.

      Abbey website                  

Polesworth Poetry Trail – The Polesworth Poetry Trail celebrates the Poetic traditions in Polesworth that date back to the 16th century, with the Poets who met at Polesworth Hall forming the largest literary gathering outside of London. Four hundred years later Polesworth saw a new group of poets gathering to explore life through the Abbey, the church, literature, farming, mining and nature, expressed through poems that form The Trail from the Abbey to Pooley Country Park. You can find out more about the trail at the website.

 Pooley Country Park

This country park is on the site of the old Pooley Hall colliery.  The Tearoom contains mining memorabilia which tells the history of the colliery. There are walks and cycle routes around the park and to nearby Alvecote Priory and nature reserve. At Alvecote there is also a pub and large marina.

Country Park Website

    

Playing Fields –  There are childrens playgrounds in Birchmoor, Polesworth and Warton

Some pictures of Warton’s new playground.

Local Accommodation

Donative Farm Cottages, Nr. Polesworth      

Nunnery Gateway, Polesworth

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