Things to Do in Berkswell, Warwickshire

things to do in Berkswell

Discover 20 hidden gems in Berkswell. Get tips & recommendations on things to do, including must-see scenic spots and local hangouts.

A charming village oozing with the pleasant atmosphere of English country life. It features leafy lanes lined with historic timber-frame and stylish modern homes, an ancient church, a picturesque village green and quaint stocks.

Visit the Village Museum

A delightful cottage museum, housed in the 16th-century almshouses at the back of the church, displays memorabilia relating to the parish. The collection includes the name of Maud Wilson (first women’s singles champion at Wimbledon), Bob Wyatt, England cricket captain and Jeremy Brett, actor, both of whom lived in Berkswell village.

The 12th-century church has a magnificent crypt in which there is some Saxon stonework, possibly a shrine for sacred relics. There is also a 17th-century oak font and woodcarvings by Robert Thompson, whose hallmark was carved church mice; there are 17 of them in the church.

The village is also home to a fine red-roofed, white-timbered farmhouse called Berkswell Hall, which was once the manor of the Earls of Warwick; it has since been added to and rebuilt and is now converted into country apartments. The Heart of England Way runs through the village, which is very popular with walkers. The village also has stocks and a five-holed gunpowder pit.

Walk around the Village Green

The village centre is dominated by the green, with a church, shop, tea rooms and almshouse on the edge of it. The Bear and Ragged Staff Inn, a 16th century building, has a curious artefact from the Crimean War – a Russian cannon, which was last fired in 1897 for the Diamond Jubilee, when it shattered several windows in the village.

The stocks are another popular village attraction and lie on the south side of Church Lane. The oak stocks pre-date the Doomsday Book and Lettice Floyd, a local suffragette, is buried here, having been a founding member of the Berkswell Women’s Institute in 1920.

St John’s, a Grade 1 Listed Building, features one of the finest Norman crypts in England. Inside is a splendid organ, and in the North aisle are misericords (seats with ledges) carved by Robert Thompson of Kilburn, known as ‘Mouseman of Kilburn’ due to his signature mice. He carved them between 1926 and 1946.

Visit Berkswell Hall

Berkswell is a charming village in the heart of Warwickshire. The village lies close to Solihull and Coventry, both of which offer shops and a wide variety of activities. The village is also well located for those wanting to explore the nearby countryside. It is surrounded by lush green fields and ancient churches.

Its church has a crypt and Saxon stonework, and is known for its carved mice (there are 17 in total). The village stocks have curious five holes; it was thought they were to accommodate a perserse pensioner with a wodden leg and his two boon companions.

There is a reading room, which was opened in 1900 and now is used as a village hall. Its initials, JHW, stand for the Lord of the Manor at the time, Joshua Hirst Wheatley. This building also houses the village museum. The village has a fine set of stocks on the village green and a lovely pub, the Bear and Ragged Staff. It has a pretty garden for a summer’s day and serves traditional food at lunchtime and in the evening (last orders 7 pm).

Visit Blind Hall Farmhouse

Berkswell is one of those perfect English villages that oozes with the pleasant atmosphere of days gone by. The village has leafy lanes lined with historic timber-frame and modern houses, an ancient church, quaint stocks on the village green and a quaint bow-fronted village shop.

The village’s name probably derives from ‘Berculswell’, an Anglian personal name, and ‘well’, from the 16-ft square, stone-walled fresh water well that stands near the church. This was used for baptisms by immersion.

The village has an air of gentility, reflected in the imposing house at Blind Hall, formerly the home of Sir Frederick Walker (1795-1862), a wealthy landowner and public figure who was a member of parliament for twenty years, and Governor of Van Diemen’s Land (1837-46). He is commemorated by a statue on the church grounds. The house is now a museum. It is a short walk from the Bear and Ragged Staff Inn. This 16th century pub has a curious addition, a Crimean War cannon.

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