Astley is four miles west of Nuneaton and is part of the Arbury Hall Estate. Local place names are Sole End and Nuthurst Heath.
CHURCHES & RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS
St Mary the Virgin - click here to see an article about the church and the newly restored wall paintings (2010)
The hamlet of Astley is thought to derive its name from Alsi, a Saxon nobleman. It was called Estleia in the Domesday Book of 1086 which states that the land was owned by the Count of Meulan.
The village grew around Astley Castle which was built by Philip de Astley in the 13th century. The castle was the family seat of the Grey family and Lady Jane Grey, the uncrowned nine-day queen, lived here. The estate was possessed by the Newdigate family in 1654. The castle was greatly destroyed by fire on 3rd April 1978 and is now in ruins. The Landmark Trust has finished its development of the ruins and the castle is now open for stays. For more information click here to visit their website.
The church of St. Mary the Virgin has choir stalls that date from the early fifteenth century and a Saxon dial probably taken from an earlier church.
George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) based one of the Dodson sisters in The Mill on the Floss on an aunt, Mrs Ann Garner, who lived here. Her books refer to Astley as Knebley.
Church of England parish registers and bishop’s transcipts: See NNWFHS publication Baptism, Marriage & Burial Records: What is where for the North Warwickshire Church of England Parishes The pdf version of this booklet is available free online to registered NNWFHS members on the Research Resources - Information page via the Members Pages section (registration required). Otherwise, to purchase, please visit our Bookshop
International Genealogical Index: The IGI is online via www.familysearch.org Details of parishes covered by the IGI can be found on Hugh Wallis' Batch Numbers Most libraries have microform copies of the IGI. If you find a relevant item indexed, you are strongly advised to view the original register entry for full or additional details; we have identified many instances of marriages recorded on the IGI which are indeed only publication of Banns, and no marriage did in fact take place.
Civil Registration: Astley was in Nuneaton district and sub-district from 1837-1932, Meriden district and sub-district from 1932 to 1974 and North Warwickshire district Atherstone sub-district from 1974. Atherstone registers are now held at Nuneaton Register Office where some of the registers have been indexed and made available to search online in order to facilitate the purchasing of certificates. Some entries from the GRO indexes have also been made available for online search at FreeBMD
Census returns: There are no known existing household lists prior to 1841. 1841 to 1911 census are available online on various subscription or pay-to-view websites. Several census years for Warwickshire, along with other data provided by volunteers, are freely available online at Pickard’s Pink Pages. The 1881 census for whole of British Isles is freely available online via www.familysearch.org. North Warwickshire Libraries have online access to the census records, and some local libraries hold facsimile hard copies for their immediate area.
Monumental inscriptions: Those for St Mary the Virgin Cof E parish church are available on microfiche which can be purchased from BMSGH.
for more pictures of Astley please visit our Photos & Pictures Gallery
EXTERNAL LINKS (to open in a new tab/ window use 'ctrl click')
Astley, St Mary the Virgin parish church and history
Landmark Trust appeal
Victoria County History from British History Online
Pickard’s Pink Pages.
Hugh Wallis' Batch Numbers
Warwickshire Registration Services
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