title="Eathorpe, Hunningham, Offchurch & Wappenbury Joint Parish Council in Warwickshire"> Site A-Z  


Welcome to Offchurch

Offchurch is a small and pretty village three miles east of Leamington Spa, full of history with a friendly community. Please feel free to read more below.

The History of Offchurch

Offchurch is a village parish three miles east of Leamington Spa.  On the north and west it is bounded by the river Leam, and on the south by a small stream running close to the Grand Union Canal and joining the Leam near Quintonhill; this was called the Queensbrok in 1411.  The Fosse Way crosses the parish diagonally from the south-west to north-east, and another ancient highway, the Welsh Road, crosses the Fosse Way more or less at right angles in the centre of the parish.

The area around Offchurch was associated with a monastery, which was dissolved by Henry VIII. The estate was purchased and remained in the Knightley family until the First World War. The estate was then purchased together with other estates through a company, based at York Racecourse, which was also associated with the development of Olympia in London. At this time some development took place in the building of a series of cottages for estate workers during the 1920s to similar designs. After the death of the head of the family following a hunting accident, interest in the area was reduced and the estate was sold to a local family who still own most of the estate and who live at Offchurch Bury, a manor house 1 mile (1.6 km) northwest of the village

Dugdale quotes a tradition that "this hath been a town of no small note in the Saxon times" and Offchurch is one of the few places in Warwickshire mentioned in the Saxon Chronicle.  In the nineteenth century, an Anglo Saxon burial ground was uncovered, and several weapons and ornaments, dated at about 650 A.D. are listed the Victoria County History as being found there - a shield boss, spearheads, a knife, two crucifixion brooches, some beads and a buckle.

According to Dugdale and Camden, the Saxon king of the Mercian's, Offa, had a palace here, on the site of the present Bury.  Indeed, the modern form of Bury derives from the Saxon word Burh, which means fortified place.  Today at Offchurch Bury, there are still traces of what may well be early defence works.  The whole site forms a strong position, well defended by the river.

Camden, in his book Britannia, further records that King Offa's son, Fremund, "a man of great renown" was murdered somewhere between Long Itchington and Harbury, and was buried at his father's palace.  The Saxon Chronicle records this account, and states that Offa founded a church here, in memory of his son.

In the time of Edward the Confessor, the church and village belonged to Leofric, the fifth Earl of Mercia, and husband of the legendary Lady Godiva.  Rights of possession were granted by him to the Benedictine Priory of St Mary in Coventry.

In the eleventh century the Normans conquered England, and it was under the Normans that much of the present church was built - between 1110 and 1120.  Offchurch remained in the possession of the monks of Coventry until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, when it was granted to one of the King's Commissioners - Sir Edmund Knightley, whose descendants were in possession of the Bury house and its surrounding lands until 1919.

To find out some more about Offchurch History, you might like to take a look at this book written by a resident of Offchurch.

The Village Hall

The Village Hall is located on School Hill approximately 90 yards down the hill from Village Street at the top of the road. The entrance, which is signposted, is opposite the bottom of the church graveyard. For sat nav use the post code CV33 9AL.

There is a small car park on the north side and a small public field on the south side with some children's play equipment.


The original building (constructed in 1878), started life as the village primary school.  This was extended around 1920 to accommodate extra classrooms.  By 1976 the number of children in the village had decreased and the school was forced to close.  The building was purchased by the community as a village hall, and since that time local people have put the hall to good use.  As other local services have dwindled, the village hall has become increasingly important as a focus for village life.

In 2005 the hall was extended and greatly improved with financial help from many organisations and individuals.  It now offers a modern and adaptable facility with 2 halls and a kitchen, suitable for Wedding receptions, Family celebrations, Birthday parties, Meetings, Charity events, Voluntary groups, Clubs & Societies and other social events.


The Main Hall

This is an area of some 4.3m (14ft) wide and 16m (52ft) long – a welcoming, flexible space suitable for a wide range of events and activities.  The lighting has been designed to give clear, bright light when required with independent uplighters on dimmer control for a more subtle effect.  A wall-mounted digital projector and screen may be hired at an added cost, if required.

Capacity: 70 Theatre Style, 54 Formal Dinner.  For party bookings, the maximum number must not exceed 50.

The Small Hall

This room measures 4.2m (13.5ft) wide and 6m (19.5ft) long.  Facing south and having windows to three sides, it catches the sun throughout the day.  This room presents a more intimate atmosphere – ideal for small gatherings or meetings.  As with the main hall, the lighting here is flexible to suit the mood.

Capacity: 21 Theatre Style, 16 Formal Dinner.  For party bookings, the maximum number must not exceed 20.

The halls are available for hire and suitable for:

Wedding receptions, Christening parties, Birthday parties, Meetings, Charity events, Voluntary groups, Clubs & Societies and other social events.

For ‘party’ bookings, the maximum number must not exceed 50 people in the Large Hall and 20 people in the Small Hall and requirements on responsible supervision and finishing times are applied.

To check availability and current prices or to make a booking please phone 07943 556133 or email:  offchurchvillagehall@gmail.com

You can also check availability here

Click to watch a virtual tour of the Village Hall


St. Gregory’s Church

The parish church of St. Gregory’s stands on the crest of the hill above the village.  It consists of chancel with north vestry, nave with south porch, and west tower, and is built of the local red sandstone.

The nave dates from the early part of the 12th century; owing to the failure of the foundations the chancel arch, of which the piers are badly out of the perpendicular, collapsed and had to be reconstructed, apparently in the 14th century, with the addition of buttresses on the south and, probably, north.

The chancel seems to have been partly rebuilt at the same time and perhaps lengthened, and a south porch erected.  In the 15th century the tower was erected. Late in the 16th century the roof of the nave was reconstructed at a lower pitch, and it may have been at this time that the clumsy and very massive buttress on the north side, overlapping the north door, was built.

In the 18th century, square-headed two-light windows were cut in the side walls of the nave, immediately under the eaves, probably to light galleries.  In 1866 the chancel was almost entirely rebuilt, in the course of which operation there were found in the wall parts of a stone coffin (now outside the north wall of the nave) and the heads of two small round-headed windows, which were set in the north and south walls when rebuilt.   A combined vestry and organ-chamber was built on the north of the chancel in 1898. (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/warks/vol6/pp194-198)

The Porch built around 1200 rests on a stone of even greater antiquity in which is carved an interesting figure of a serpent. 

The interior archway of the North Door, straight ahead of you as you enter the church, is characteristic of Saxon architecture, whilst the external arch (shown left) represents a remarkably well preserved example of Norman craftsmanship. 

The Tower, constructed with blue-grey Warwick stone, dates from the 15th century. It houses six bells which are used week by week (the two earliest date from 1450), and a working turret clock (1700). The external north wall of the tower is pitted with marks made by musket balls fired by Cromwellian troops during The Civil War. Above the marks, is a recently installed, faithfully reproduced, sundial. 

An intriguing pattern of grooves in the west wall of the porch was made by archers of Cromwell’s army sharpening their arrows.

The Nave has survived the effects of considerable subsidence over nine centuries, requiring the addition of eight external buttresses. The roof, dating from 1592, was a replacement for the original that was considered too heavy for the supporting walls. In the north-east corner of the nave can be seen pieces of a Saxon stone coffin which is claimed, by some, to be that of King Offa’s son, Fremund.

The Chancel was almost entirely rebuilt in 1866, although several 12th century features still remain: a priest’s door and “leper window” in the south wall, as well as two Saxon windows, one of which carries the carved image of a serpent. The Chancel Arch, which was rebuilt in the mid 14th century, remains in an alarmingly (but safe) non-vertical position. The Sanctuary houses a piscina (stone sink), an aumbry (alcove) and a sedile (priest’s seat). 

The East Window, portraying the resurrection of Christ, is a fine example of Victorian stained glass and, like most of the other windows, is a memorial to members of notable Offchurch families. The exception is the Millennium Window which was installed to mark the turn of the 21st century and has become one of the most admired features of our continually developing church.

No visit to St Gregory’s is complete without a walk around our prize-winning churchyard. Designated “A Sanctuary for Wildlife”, it is a haven for a host of native birds, small creatures and wild flowers.

Over 200 graves can be found in the graveyard, and the war memorial stands as a tribute to local people whose lives were taken in two World Wars.


There are two charities centered on the village, The Aylesford and Haddon Charity is an endowed charity, the income from which is distributed to selected people in the parish.

The Rufus’ Friends’ Fund is an active charity that provides support to families in the wider Warwickshire area with difficulties associated with a member with a serious debilitating illness or disability. The supporters of the charity run occasional events to raise money including the occasional stall at Boot Fairs for which the donation of saleable items is always welcome.

Offchurch News Archives

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