The Parishes of Old Milverton and Blackdown

Old Milverton and Blackdown are neighbouring parishes to the north of Leamington Spa.  They form the northern gateway to the historic, Regency town of Royal Leamington Spa and the southern gateway to Kenilworth famous for its castle with Elizabethan connections. The beautiful medieval castle of Warwick is just 3 miles away.

Importantly the parishes provide a “green lung” between the conurbations of Kenilworth and Leamington Spa where open country side is enjoyed by many walkers, horse riders, cyclist and joggers.

Joint parish boundary……………………………………………………………………….

Old Milverton

  • Old Milverton is mainly farm land which has been intensively cultivated since Stone Age times.
  • Probably, the landscape was very similar 1500 years ago.
  • Most building was completed by 1880 and the parish comprises a hamlet around the site of a medieval settlement, together with farms and a few large country houses.
  • Recent development has been based on existing farms, farm workers cottages and the country houses, some of which have been converted into apartments, a nursing home, a hospital and a conference centre.

Blackdown

  • Blackdown is also mainly green space.
  • The area comprises farms and large late Victorian and Edwardian country houses.  Many of these houses were built by Quaker families so there are no public houses in the parish.  Some of these houses have been extended and now accommodate local businesses.
  • A substantial proportion of the Parish is given over to sports playing fields and club house facilities.
  • Recent development has largely been based on farms, the county houses and linear, ribbon development along Stoneleigh Road in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Green Belt

  • The Parishes of Old Milverton and Blackdown are in the Green Belt.
  • This area of The Green Belt is particularly important because it has very effectively stopped creeping development and has prevented Leamington, Kenilworth and Coventry merging.
  • It also stops the communities of Old Milverton and Blackdown merging with Leamington.  Major development from Leamington stops at the Green Belt boundary.

Facilities and Employment

  • The Joint Parishes provide important facilities for Leamington, Kenilworth, Warwick and other nearby towns (e.g. Coventry) and similarly the neighbouring towns provide important facilities for the residents of the Joint Parishes.
  • There are no shops, public houses or restaurants.  The closest shops are in Leamington, the nearest public house and restaurant is the Saxon Mill on the western boarder of Old Milverton just in Leek Wootton Parish.
  • Old Milverton has a Parish Church and Parish Rooms
  • The Joint Parishes provide employment for local residents and residents of the neighbouring towns.  In total there are 20 business employing in excess of 1000 people.
    (Source: Survey by Old Milverton and Blackdown Joint Parish Council May 2013).
  • Blackdown has 2 sports clubs with associated playing fields.  Old Milverton has a private hospital, a private health clinic, a church, and a conference centre
    (Source: Survey by Old Milverton and Blackdown Joint Parish Council May 2013).
  • Warwick and Leamington have 4 sites for allotments, 2 of which are in Old Milverton Parish

Farming

  • There are approximately 500 acres in Old Milverton and slightly less in Blackdown that are given over to arable farming.  The land quality is mainly grade 2 and 3. Grade 1 land is found along the River Avon and the other water courses.
  • The Grade 2 and 3 land, which forms the majority of the agricultural land, is valuable as most crops can be grown in it.   All corn crops; oats, barley and wheat, much to a grade suitable for milling, together with oil seed rape, borage and linseed are regularly grown.  Beans and peas are grown occasionally.
  • The fields support abundant wild life; rabbits, rural fox and badgers.  The hedgerows are maintained in accordance with the Ministry recommendations to preserve them for the benefits of birds and insects etc. Bats are regularly seen at sunset.
  • About 20 years ago an old quarry, south east of the Avon Valley Viaduct was used for tipping building waste.  A wildlife survey identified Great Crested Newts and the tipping was stopped

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