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Nuneaton Market Place, 6.19.jpg
Market Place, Nuneaton town centre
Nuneaton is located in Warwickshire
Population 91,334 (2020 estimate)
OS grid reference SP361918
  • Nuneaton and Bedworth
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NUNEATON
Postcode district CV10, CV11
Dialling code 024
Police Warwickshire
Fire Warwickshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament
  • Nuneaton
List of places
52°31′23″N 1°28′05″W / 52.523°N 1.468°W / 52.523; -1.468

Nuneaton ( nə-NEE-tən) is a market town in the Borough of Nuneaton and Bedworth in northern Warwickshire, England, close to the county border with Leicestershire and West Midlands County. The population in 2020 was estimated at 91,334, making it the largest town in Warwickshire.

The author George Eliot was born on a farm on the Arbury Estate just outside Nuneaton in 1819 and lived in the town for much of her early life. Her novel Scenes of Clerical Life (1858) depicts Nuneaton. There is a hospital named after her, The George Eliot Hospital. There is also a statue of George Eliot in the town centre.


Nuneaton is 9 miles (14 km) north of Coventry, 20 miles (32 km) east of Birmingham and 103 miles (166 km) northwest of London. The River Anker runs through the town.

Towns close to Nuneaton include Bedworth, Atherstone and Hinckley, with Tamworth and Lutterworth a little further afield. The town lies 3 miles from the Leicestershire border, 8 miles from Staffordshire and 12 miles from Derbyshire.


Nuneaton's name came from a 12th century Benedictine nunnery (parts of which still exist) around which much of the town grew. Prior to this it was a settlement known as 'Etone', which translates literally as 'water-town'. Nuneaton was listed in the Domesday Book as a small hamlet. A market was established in 1233, which is still held. The first recorded use of the modern name was in 1247 when a document recorded it as 'Nonne Eton'. The nunnery fell into disrepair after 1539, with Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. King Edward VI School was established by a royal charter in 1552. From 1944 it became a grammar school for boys and, although it was locally known as KEGS, it never included the word "grammar" in its name. In 1974 it became a sixth form college. The other grammar schools in Nuneaton in the 1944 to 1974 period were Nuneaton High School for Girls and Manor Park. Nicholas Chamberlaine School in Bedworth was an early comprehensive school that had a grammar school stream.

Nuneaton grew gradually from the 17th century onwards, due to its position at the centre of the Warwickshire coalfields. At the time of the first national census in 1801 Nuneaton was one of the largest towns in Warwickshire, with a population of 5,000. During the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, Nuneaton developed a large textile industry. Other industries which developed in the town included brick and tile making and brewing. By 1901 the population of Nuneaton had grown to 25,000.

Nuneaton parish included the settlements of Attleborough and Stockingford. The parish was joined with Chilvers Coton parish in 1894 to form an urban district. Nuneaton was upgraded to the status of a municipal borough in 1907 and the parish of Weddington was added.

Due largely to munitions factories being located in Nuneaton, the town suffered heavy bombing damage during the Second World War. The heaviest bombing raid on Nuneaton took place on 17 May 1941, when 100 people were killed, 380 houses were destroyed, and over 10,000 damaged; several smaller raids took place on the town, most notably on 25 June 1942. As a result of the bombing, much of the town centre was rebuilt in the post-war years.

On 6 June 1975, six people died and 38 were injured when a train crashed as it was approaching Nuneaton railway station. In 2015 on the 40th anniversary of the train crash, raised money and a plaque was unveiled to remember those who lost their lives and to also remember all volunteers and members of the emergency services who worked tirelessly throughout the rescue operation

Nuneaton Abbey

Nuneaton stmarychurch 3
Abbey Church of St Mary

An ancient abbey church founded at 'Eaton' in the 1150s was home to Benedictine nuns and gave the present town the name 'Nuneaton'.

Little remains of the original building. The cruciform church was sold after the Dissolution and converted into a mansion. Abandoned in the 17th century it was quarried away until all that remained by the 1860s were the foundations, some low walls and the battered crossing piers of the former central tower.

In 1876–77 four of the original seven bays of the nave were rebuilt on the old foundations in Neo-Romanesque style by the Gothic Revival architect C. C. Rolfe with the old crossing piers enclosed by a temporary brick structure for use as a chancel. The west wall was left in plain brick to allow for possible completion of the nave on the ancient footings further west at a later date, though this remains incomplete.

In 1904 the chancel was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style on the old foundations east of the crossing by architect Harold Brakspear, followed by the north transept in 1930. He planned to restore the south transept and central tower too, but never did so, leaving the south transept as a ruin sealed off by the 1877 'temporary' brick wall and leaving the church comprising half the nave, the chancel, north transept and base of the crossing.

Inside the ruined crossing piers remain from the original church, as well as part of a medieval tiled floor and the bases of what remained of the walls. Outside, the ruins of the nave and south transept remain, along with the base of what is thought to have been a chapter house.

The church (such as it stands) is used as the Parish Church of St. Mary and is known locally as the Abbey Church. The tradition of the church is Anglo-Catholic.

Despite this building's significance in Nuneaton's past and its recent history, it is a relatively unknown place, with little promotion or signage.


St Nicolas Parish Church

Nuneaton's name reflects the effect that Christianity has had upon the town's history. Although the Benedictine nunnery which gave the town its name was destroyed at the time of the Reformation, the remaining fragments were incorporated into the Anglican church building now known as the Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin in Manor Court Road. This is a Victorian construction.

Church of England

Near the town centre, but unusually not a part of it and outside the ring road, lies the mediaeval church of St. Nicolas- a grade I listed building. Chilvers Coton contains All Saints' Church, where Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) worshipped and Justin Welby, now Archbishop of Canterbury, served as a curate. This was badly damaged by bombing during the Second World War, and rebuilt largely by German prisoners of war. There are also Anglican churches in Weddington (St James's), Attleborough (Holy Trinity), Stockingford (St Paul's), Galley Common (St Peter's), Abbey Green (St Mary's), and more recently built(1954), in Camp Hill (St Mary's & St John's).

Roman Catholic Church

There are two parishes in the town serving the Catholic community in Nuneaton. Our Lady of the Angels on Coton Road, was opened in 1838 (originally as St Mary's). The building, designed by Jospeph Hansom, was extensively remodeled in 1936. The Parish of St Anne's, Chapel End, Nuneaton was created in 1949 out of the Parish of Our Lady of the Angels (which originally covered the whole town). The original church building was replaced with the existing church, which was opened in 2000.

Other Christian traditions

In the town, Baptist, Methodist, Wesleyan Reform Union, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Pentecostal, the Salvation Army and United Reformed churches serve their respective congregations.

A Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses is located in the Stockingford area.

Other world religions

In addition to Christianity, there are also followers of Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. There is a mosque on Frank Street, Chilvers Coton and two gurdwaras (Sikh temples): the Nuneaton Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Park Avenue, Attleborough, and the Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara in Marlborough Road, Chilvers Coton.

A number of Jewish families have settled in and around Nuneaton over the past two centuries as local industries have grown and ebbed. Historically, families would travel for important life events and holidays to worship at the mediaeval Spon Street Synagogue in Coventry, at the short lived Hinckley Synagogue in the early 20th century and most recently, in the modern Coventry Reform Synagogue. There has never been a formal, organised community in the area and most Jewish people are now elderly, with younger more observant people moving to larger communities in London and Manchester.

The Baha'i Faith was introduced to Nuneaton in the early 1970s and now has a community of over 30 members.


In the 2011 Census, 63.6% of the population of Nuneaton and Bedworth said they were Christian, 24.0% of no religion, 2.3% Muslim, 2.2% Sikh, 1.1% Hindu, and 0.7% Buddhist or of other religions. 6.1% did not state their religion.



The town is near the M6, the M42 and M69 motorways and the main A5 trunk road (Watling Street), which also acts as a border with Leicestershire and the neighbouring town of Hinckley. The A444 provides a high-speed dual-carriageway route into the town from the south and also acts as the often busy town centre ring road. The A47 links the town with neighbouring Hinckley and onwards to Leicester, and the A4254 – Eastern Relief Road – provides direct access from the east of Nuneaton to the south, avoiding the town centre.


Nuneaton station exterior (1), 6.19
Nuneaton railway station

The town has two railway stations: the main Nuneaton railway station near the town centre is an important railway junction, served by the West Coast Main Line running from London to the North West, the cross-country Birmingham to Peterborough Line and by a line to Coventry via Bedworth. A new railway station at Bermuda Park was opened south of the town centre in 2016 on the line towards Coventry, as part of the NUCKLE (Nuneaton, Coventry, Kenilworth, and Leamington) rail upgrade scheme.

Historically Nuneaton was also served by Chilvers Coton station, Abbey Street station, and Stockingford station: Chilvers Coton station was located on the Coventry line, a short distance north of the new Bermuda Park station, and was closed in 1965, Abbey Street station, and Stockingford station were on the line towards Birmingham and were both closed in 1968. In January 2017, there were proposals to open a new station at Stockingford, at a different location from the former one, which could open by 2023. Warwickshire County Council have also proposed a new Nuneaton Parkway station between Nuneaton and Hinckley which could open by 2034.


The principal operator around Nuneaton is Stagecoach in Warwickshire and the depot is located next to the fire station on Newtown Road, just west from the bus station. Arriva Midlands also operate a number of routes around Nuneaton with buses running to Tamworth, Hinckley, Barwell, Leicester. MIRA, and Coventry. Arriva Midlands also operate service 78 to Walsgrave Hospital, a service operated by Travel de Courcey until the company entered administration in 2020.

In January 2020 NX Coventry announced an extension to Nuneaton on their 20 route from Coventry to Bedworth.


The Coventry Canal passes through Nuneaton, while the Ashby Canal skirts the town's south-eastern outskirts.


Riversley Park Museum and Art Gallery, with Boer War memorial statue

Nuneaton has two non-league football teams: Nuneaton Town (nicknamed "the Boro") who play in the National League North and Nuneaton Griff who play in the Midland Football League Division One. Sunday League football is played in the town, with teams from Nuneaton, Bedworth and North Warwickshire competing in the Nuneaton & District Sunday Football League (NDSFL).

There are three rugby union clubs: Nuneaton R.F.C. (nicknamed "the Nuns"), who play in National 3 Midlands, Nuneaton Old Edwardians of Midlands 2 West (South) division and Manor Park of the Midlands 4 West (South) league.

The town is also the location of Nuneaton Bowling club, where flat green bowls is played.

There are three main leisure centres in the town owned by Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and managed by Everyone Active on the council's behalf (after a competitive tender process):

  • Pingles Leisure Centre – The Pingles is the main leisure centre in Nuneaton. It was rebuilt in 2004 to replace the original Pingles that was built in 1965. The new Pingles includes an indoor and outdoor swimming areas, a dance studio and gym. The Pingles also has an associated athletics stadium, the Pingles Stadium, which was built in 2004. The Pingles Stadium has a 250-seater stand, a running track and athletics facilities. The stadium also has a football pitch which is used by Nuneaton Griff for their home matches.
  • Jubilee Sports Centre – The Jubilee Sports Centre is a sports hall. The hall is used for various sports including badminton, five-a-side football/indoor football and basketball. The Jubilee also has a scoreboard, used for major basketball and indoor football matches. The hall can be hired out for uses such as karate lessons.
  • Etone Sports Centre – Etone Sports Centre is another sports hall. Etone sports hall also has astroturf football pitches which are used also for hockey. The centre is in the grounds of the school which bears the same name, Etone School, but 'Everyone Active' maintains the building.

Nuneaton has a museum and art gallery in the grounds of Riversley Park adjacent to the town centre.

The Abbey Theatre is Nuneaton's only theatre and hosts a wide variety of performances including visiting opera and ballet companies, touring shows, musicals, pantomime and drama.

Despite there having been many in the town historically, Nuneaton now has one theatre. Run solely by volunteers, the Abbey Theatre seats 250 plus space for wheelchair patrons.


Nuneaton annually enters the Britain in Bloom competition and in 2000, Nuneaton and Bedworth was a national finalist. It is the location of Nuneaton Carnival, the largest carnival in Warwickshire, which takes place every June.

Nuneaton was home to the smallest independent newspaper in Britain (the Heartland Evening News) until it was purchased in 2006 by life News & Media.

Nuneaton has a museum and art gallery within the grounds of Riversley Park. The museum includes a display on George Eliot. Eliot's family home Griff House is now a restaurant and hotel on the A444.

Public art in Nuneaton includes a statue of George Eliot on Newdegate Square, and the Gold Belt.

George Eliot's inspirations

Nuneaton georgeeliot statue
Statue of George Eliot on Newdegate Square

Many locations in George Eliot's works were based on places in or near her native Nuneaton, including:

  • Milby (town and parish church, based on Nuneaton and St Nicolas parish church);
  • Shepperton (based on Chilvers Coton);
  • Paddiford Common (based on Stockingford, which at the time had a large area of common land including its parish Church of St Paul's);
  • Knebley (based on Astley; Knebley Church is Astley Church, while Knebley Abbey is Astley Castle);
  • Red Deeps (based on Griff Hollows);
  • Cheverel Manor (based on Arbury Hall);
  • Dorlcote Mill (based on Griff House);
  • The Red Lion (based on the Bull Hotel, now the George Eliot Hotel in Bridge Street, Nuneaton);
  • Middlemarch (based on Coventry);
  • Treby Magna (also thought to be based on Coventry);
  • Little Treby (thought to be based on Stoneleigh);
  • Transome Court (thought to be based on Stoneleigh Abbey).

Twin towns

The borough of Nuneaton and Bedworth is twinned with the following towns:

Districts and suburbs of Nuneaton

Nueaton Hinkley 1961 OS
A 1961 1 inch = 1 mile series map. It covers the Hinckley-Nuneaton-Atherstone-Wolvey region. Hartshill quarry is attached to a railway and is actively operated. The coal mines near Griff Lodge Farm and Ansley Hall are in early decline. The mines are now shut and the quarry is (as far as I know) a rubbish-tip. Note the even by then removed railway by Higham Grange and Higham on the Hill.

Within the borough boundaries:

  • Abbey Green
  • Arbury
  • Attleborough (including Maple Park)
  • Bermuda
  • Caldwell
  • Camp Hill
  • Chapel End (including The Shires)
  • Chilvers Coton
  • Galley Common
  • Griff
  • Grove Farm
  • Hill Top
  • Horeston Grange
  • Robinson's End
  • St Nicolas Park
  • Stockingford (including Glendale, Sunnyside, Black-a-Tree, Church Farm)
  • Weddington
  • Whitestone (including Crowhill)
  • Whittleford (including Poplar Farm, Hawthorn Common)

Outside the borough boundaries but often considered to be part of the town:

  • Ansley
  • Ansley Common
  • Arley
  • Astley
  • Bramcote
  • Caldecote
  • Hartshill
  • Oldbury


Nuneaton ropewalk
Ropewalk Shopping Centre

Nuneaton's traditional industries like textiles, mining and manufacturing have declined significantly in the post-war years. Due to its transport links, Nuneaton is to some extent a commuter town for nearby Coventry and Birmingham. However a relatively large number of businesses involved in the automotive, aerospace and engineering supply chains industries are active in the area. MIRA Limited, formerly the Motor Industry Research Association, is based on a disused wartime airfield on the A5, to the north of the town.

One of the biggest developments in the town's history, the multimillion-pound Ropewalk Shopping Centre, opened in September 2005 in the hope that it will give the town extra income from the shopping, attract more visitors and retailers, and attract shoppers as an alternative to larger retail centres such as Birmingham, Coventry, Leicester and Solihull. An older shopping centre, the Abbeygate Shopping Centre in the town centre was first opened in the 1960s, and was formerly known as Heron Way.

The European headquarters of Holland & Barrett are based in the town, as is the UK head office of FedEx. While Bermuda Park, which is south of Nuneaton, is the location of the national distribution centres of Dairy Crest and RS Components. Nuneaton is also the location of several international online marketing companies.

In 2017 the Nuneaton and Bedworth borough was less prosperous than the rest of Warwickshire, reflecting the long established north–south divide in the county. The average annual workplace wage in Nuneaton and Bedworth was £21,981, the lowest in the county and below the Warwickshire average of £28,513 (and UK £28,296) although the productivity gap had narrowed with the rest of Warwickshire since 2009.


At the 2011 census there were 86,552 residents in Nuneaton in 37,317 households. The median age of Nuneaton residents was 39.

In terms of ethnicity:

  • 91.6% of Nuneaton residents were White (Comprising 89.3% White British, 1.8% Other White, 0.5% Irish and 0.1% Gypsy/Irish Traveller).
  • 6.2% were Asian (Comprising 4.4% Indian, 0.5% Pakistani, 0.2% Chinese and 1.1% from another Asian background)
  • 0.8% were Black (Comprising 0.4% African, 0.3% Caribbean and 0.1% other Black)
  • 1.1% were Mixed.
  • 0.1% were Arab and 0.2% were from another ethnic group.

In terms of religion, 63.5% of Nuneaton residents identified as Christian, 24.3% said they had no religion, 6.0% did not state any religion, 3.1% were Muslim, 1.2% were Hindu, 1.2% were Sikh, 0.4% were Buddhists, and 0.4% were from another religion.



  • Abbey CE Infant School (ages 4–7)
  • All Saints' CE Primary School (ages 4–11)
  • Camp Hill Primary School (ages 4–11)
  • Chetwynd Junior School (ages 7–11)
  • Chilvers Coton Community Infant School (ages 4–7)
  • Croft Junior School (ages 7–11)
  • Galley Common Infant School (ages 4–7)
  • Glendale Infant School (ages 4–7)
  • Lower Farm Academy (4–11)
  • Michael Drayton Junior School (ages 7–11)
  • Middlemarch Junior School (ages 7–11)
  • Milby Primary School (ages 4–11)
  • Milverton House School (independent; ages 0–11) – closed during the summer of 2019.
  • Nathaniel Newton Infant School (ages 4–7)
  • Nursery Hill Primary School (ages 4–11)
  • Oak Wood Primary School (special school; ages 4–11)
  • Our Lady & St Joseph Catholic Academy (ages 4–11)
  • Park Lane Primary School (ages 4–11)
  • Queen's CE Junior School (ages 7–11)
  • St Anne's Catholic Primary School (ages 4–11)
  • St Nicolas' CE Primary School (ages 4–11)
  • St Paul's CE Primary School (ages 4–11)
  • Stockingford Primary Academy (ages 4–11)
  • Weddington Primary School (ages 4–11)
  • Wembrook Primary School (ages 4–11)
  • Whitestone Infant School (ages 4–7)


  • Etone College (ages 11–18)
  • George Eliot Academy (ages 11–16)
  • Hartshill Academy (ages 11–16)
  • Higham Lane School, Business and Enterprise Academy (ages 11–18)
  • Nuneaton Academy, resulting from the merger of Alderman Smith School and Manor Park School (ages 11–18)
  • Oak Wood Secondary School (special school; ages 11–16)
  • St Thomas More Catholic School (ages 11–18)

Further education

  • King Edward VI College (ages 16–19)
  • North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College
  • St Thomas More R.C. Sixth Form College
  • Etone Sixth Form College
  • Higham Lane Sixth Form College

Notable people

George Eliot by Samuel Laurence
George Eliot, born in Nuneaton
Ken Loach
Ken Loach, film director


Science and technology

  • John Barber (1734–1793), inventor of the gas turbine in 1791
  • John Birch (1867–1945), motorcycle manufacturer and designer
  • Richard K. Guy (1916–2020), British mathematician and author

Media and the arts

  • Paul Bradley, (born 1955) actor (born in Nuneaton)
  • Ben Daniels, (born 1964) actor (born in Nuneaton)
  • Gareth Edwards, (born 1975) film director, Monsters, Godzilla and the 2016 Star Wars standalone film, Rogue One.
  • Chris Emmett, (born 1938) comedian, notably appearing on 3-2-1
  • Eyeless In Gaza, post-punk duo, formed 1980
  • Fresh Maggots, early 1970s folk/psychedelic rock group
  • Larry Grayson, (1923–1995) comedian, entertainer and television presenter, long-term resident of Nuneaton.
  • Alan and Graham "Kidder" Hammonds, musicians, Incredible Kidda Band (grew up in Nuneaton and went to Alderman Smith and Manor Park Grammar School respectively)
  • Jon Holmes, (born 1969) writer, comedian and broadcaster (grew up in Nuneaton)
  • Conrad Keely, (born 1972) musician, born in Nuneaton
  • Ken Loach, (born 1936) film and television director
  • Kate Quilton (born 1983) TV presenter (Food Unwrapped – Channel 4)
  • Justin Welch, (born 1972) drummer with Britpop band Elastica (1991–2001) and a drummer for Suede in their formative years
  • Mary Whitehouse, (1910–2001) TV campaigner (born in Nuneaton)


  • Ben Ackland, Irish cricketer (born in Nuneaton)
  • Julian Alsop, footballer
  • Stuart Attwell, Premier League referee
  • Laura Bassett, Member of the 2015 WWC Bronze medal-winning England Women's National Football team
  • Paul Best, retired cricketer
  • John Curtis, footballer
  • Matty Fryatt, footballer
  • Andy Goode, Wasps RFC & England International Rugby Union Player
  • Wally Holmes, England international rugby union player
  • Trevor Peake, footballer, 1987 FA Cup winner with Coventry City (born in Nuneaton)
  • Mick Price, snooker player
  • George Reader, football referee; officiated in the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup
  • Dean Richards, former England Rugby Union player and Rugby Union Coach (born in Nuneaton)
  • Nicki Shaw, a former member of the England Women's Cricket team (born in Nuneaton)
  • Andy Sullivan, golfer
  • Adam Whitehead, Olympic swimmer
  • Peter Whittingham, footballer (born in Whitestone, Nuneaton)
  • Nigel Winterburn, retired footballer
  • Jake Dennis, racing driver
  • Jacob Blyth, football forward for Gateshead (born in Nuneaton)


  • Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of Humanists UK.
  • Ian Corder, UK Military Representative to NATO and Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey.
  • William Dorsey (1813–1878), doctor and Australian pioneer
  • Richard Freeman, cryptozoologist (born in Nuneaton)
  • William Gadsby, (1773–1844) an English Baptist pastor born in Attleborough who wrote many hymns.
  • Jeffrey Green, historian
  • Cecil Leonard Knox, soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross (born in Nuneaton)

Images for kids

See also

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