History of Leamington

Royal Leamington Spa is a spa town in central Warwickshire, England. Formerly known as Leamington Priors, its expansion began following the popularisation of the medicinal qualities of its water. During the 19th century, the town experienced one of the most rapid expansions in England. In 1814, the Royal Pump Rooms were opened close to the River Leam. Leamington became a popular spa resort attracting the wealthy and famous, and construction began of numerous Georgian townhouses to accommodate visitors, and a town hall was built in 1830. With the spread of the town’s popularity, ‘Leamington Priors’ was renamed into ‘Royal Leamington Spa’ and granted with a ‘Royal’ prefix in 1838 by Queen Victoria, who visited the town as a Princess in 1830 and as Queen in 1858.

Nowadays Leamington Spa is renowned for its coffee shop culture, array of shops, restaurants and vibrant night life.

The town has several parks and gardens including the Jephson Gardens, close to the Royal Pump Rooms and next to the River Leam, other parks are the Mill Gardens on the opposite bank of the river to Jephson Gardens, Victoria Park, the Royal Pump Room Gardens, Newbold Comyn, The Dell and Welsh’s Meadow, a nature reserve.

Buildings in the town include a variety of Georgian and early Victorian architecture, and listed buildings such as the Grade II listed Lansdowne Crescent in neo-classical style, designed by William Thomas between 1835 and 1838.

There are a number of schools either located within Leamington, or which include Leamington in their priority (catchment) area. Those within Leamington include the state secondary schools of North Leamington School, Campion School, Trinity Catholic School, and the independent schools of Arnold Lodge School, a co-educational school for pupils aged 3 to 15, and Kingsley School, a school for girls. Myton School in Warwick, although located just outside of Leamington, includes parts of Leamington as being within its priority area.  As well as these schools, Leamington children can attend Stratford Grammar, a state run selective school, Warwick School, an independent school for boys, The King’s High School for Girls, Warwick’s twin school and Princethorpe College, an mixed independent school in the nearby village of Princethorpe. Leamington is the location of the first of Warwickshire College’s five campuses. The closest higher education institution is the University of Warwick, in southwestern Coventry.

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Leamington’s centre it is 3 miles (5 km) to the M40 motorway which links it to Birmingham and London. It is also served by the A46, which links it to Coventry and Stratford-upon-Avon. Leamington Spa railway station is served by the Chiltern Main Line, which links London (Marylebone) to Birmingham (Snow Hill). Fast train services on this route are operated by Chiltern Railways. London Midland operate local services to Birmingham and onwards to Worcester. A line connecting Leamington Spa to Coventry used by CrossCountry provides services to Reading, Oxford and Bournemouth to the south, and to Coventry, Birmingham (New Street), Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh to the north. The town also benefits from regular bus services to Kenilworth, the University of Warwick and Coventry are operated by Stagecoach in Warwickshire. Leamington’s nearest international airport is Birmingham Airport.

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