This peaceful midlands commuter town is situated on steep hill above the River Cole, spanned by a post-medieval red sandstone bridge. Originally a pack horse style bridge, is has been widened to facilitate modern traffic.
Coleshill Town Bridge © Travel About Britain
Coleshill Market Hall & Pillory © TAB
There have been dwellings recorded in this area since the iron age, located mainly to the north, in the rich pasture lands between the River Tame and the Cole. The settlement moved further south up the hill during the medieval period and was granted a market charter by King John in 1207.
The old town pillory, stocks and whipping post (circa 1708) can still be seen preserved outside the Market Hall, near the bottom of Church Hill. These crude punishment devices were common in many towns during the middle ages and were used to discipline drunken behaviour and other minor infractions. The pillory last used as such in 1863. The original market hall was constructed in 1760, in the middle of the market square but was demolished and rebuilt in its new location in 1865.
The 13th-c parish's Church of St Peter and St Paul is situated at the highest point in the town. Its 170 ft (52m) high steeple, dominates the countryside for miles around. Within the chancel are several interesting medieval tabletop tombs with effigies of nobles, including the brightly coloured Lady Abigail Digby. The green next to the church, known as the Croft, provides picturesque views across the Blythe Valley, which is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).
The Swan, Coleshill © TAB
Coleshill was once an important coaching town and a number of old inns can be found along the High Street; many of which have now been converted into shops and houses. One of the best is The Swan, a very fine Georgian structure with a smart white facade. A little further east is the timber and brick built Coleshill Hotel, which is much older.
The town is a very agreeable place to visit and its playing fields (the Memorial Park) provide host to regular cricket matches and other sporting events in the summer.
Part of the Circular Walk Via Maxstoke © TAB
Despite its close proximity to Birmingham, Coleshill is set in the heart of the rolling Warwickshire countryside. A number of pleasant walks can be found, leading out from the town.
An information board (near the green beside the church), lists three popular circular waymarked routes. One around the town and two leading further out, towards Maxstoke and Shustoke, respectively.Just to the north-east of the town is Shustoke Reservoir, another very pleasurable spot for a stroll or a picnic.
Located just to the east of Coleshill. Maxstoke Castle is an elegant, square, red sandstone fortress, with turreted towers and castellated walls. It is surrounded by a deep moat, crossed by a fine sandstone bridge. Built around 1345 by William de Clinton, Earl of Huntingdon, it has a long and chequered history. The great hall (circa 1345) contains many interesting treasures from the time of Richard III to the late Stuarts. The castle is privately owned and is only open to the public once a year in June. However, group tours can be made during the spring and summer by prior arrangement.
Anne Hathaway's Cottage | Arbury Hall | Baddesley Clinton | Charlecote Park | Edgehill | Escape Experience | Kenilworth Castle | Packwood House | Ragley Hall | Royal Shakespeare Theatre | Stoneleigh Abbey | Warwick Castle