Willey is a rural village and civil parish in the county of Warwickshire. The population in 2011 was 155. Administratively it forms part of the borough of Rugby, it is about 6 miles north of Rugby, just west of the Watling Street that marks the county boundary with Leicestershire.

The village church of St Leonards is a Grade II  listed building. The village pub in Willey is called the “Sarah Mansfield” it gained that name in the 1970`s, when the then licensee named it in memory of his grandmother.  The pub was previously called  “The Plough”.

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The parish is drained by the head waters of the Soar, which, rising in Monks Kirby just west of the Willey boundary, flows eastwards through the northern part of the parish near Willey Fields Farm, whose name recalls the preinclosure days. Along the southern boundary the height above sea level is over 400 ft., falling to 353 ft. where the Watling Street crosses the Soar. The small village is built along a by-road joining the Watling Street to the Hinckley road, a short distance to the east of which runs the Rugby-Leicester branch of the former L.M.S. Railway, which crosses the Watling Street by a level crossing, one of the very few on that highway. Just east of the railway there is a small plantation, the only woodland in the parish, though all along the southern boundary, on the Monks Kirby side of the road, is one of the long shelter-belts characteristic of the neighbourhood, bounding the Newnham Paddox Estate. A fire in 1656 destroyed 5 cottages, causing £213 damage; a general collection throughout the county was ordered, Knightlow and Kington Hundreds having produced only £11 13s. 10d.

For much more indepth information please see the Willey entry on London University's website British History Online

Other Online Resources

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