Wootton Wawen

6th May 2014

Wotton Wawen a brief history

Wootton Wawen – a brief history …

The Forest of Arden has stretched across Warwickshire since the Middle Stone Age and the parish of Wootton Wawen lies on its south western edge.

The Chapelry of Ullenhall and the historic town of Henley-in-Arden once used to be a part of the parish but have long since become independent.

The weir at Wotton Wawen

The name …

The name is derived from ‘Wudutun’ or ‘Uuidutuun,’ meaning a village by a wood, and ‘Wagen,’ the thane who originally gave his name to the settlement.

In the Domesday Book of 1086 it is listed as ‘Wotone’ with Wagen’s name also present.

Being a bit of a misnomer, over the years the name has had a number of different spellings including, ‘Wagenes-Witone’ and ‘Wavens Wotton.’

However, the name Wootton Wawen is the one that has featured most prominently particularly in recent centuries.

An old picture of Wootton Hall

Points of interest …

The first church in the settlement was wooden and thought to be burnt by Viking invaders around.

The Domesday Book records, ‘in Wotton (Wawen)  7 hides. Land for 9 ploughs. 23 villagers with a priest and 22 smallholders who have 6 ploughs, 2 mills at 11s and 8 sticks of eels. Woodland 2 leagues long and one league wide. Value £4. Waga held it freely.’

Charles II passed through the village disguised as a man-servant while escaping from England after the Battle of Worcester.

During the Second World War the Russian composer Nikolai Medtner and his wife lived just outside the village and it was during this time that he wrote his Piano Concerto No. 3.

In the book, A Celtish Childhood, the author Bill Watkins records his childhood adventures in and around the village during the 1950’s.

To read a more detailed history click here.


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