Wolston Village: Main Street and The Beeches

A 1900s trip down the River Avon revisited, part 15

This etching of Main Street in the centre of Wolston shows The Beeches and the Red Lion Inn. The Red Lion is no longer a pub, but the building has been carefully restored (going on behind the blue boards in the more recent photo).

Local pubs in the 1970s

The Red Lion was described by Tom Walton in the 1970s: he mentioned that the pub had a skittle alley and that two cottages had been pulled down to make a car park and garden.  The Rose and Crown (opposite the Red Lion) and the Half Moon still survive as pubs today.

The Wilcox family – lord of the manor

The Beeches is still there, though trees have grown up in front of it. It’s an attractive 18th century Grade II listed building that used to belong to the Wilcox estate. I have a vague memory that it was it the dower house – can anyone confirm this? The Wilcox manor house that stood next to the church was sold with its contents in 1927 and then demolished. A few fine trees in the garden along with gateposts, iron railings, and converted stables are all that survive. By the way, the Wilcox family ‘stole’ the river Avon in Wolston: the straighter millstream dug out for their mill is now the main river, whilst the old winding river has been reduced to a tiny stream. Proof of this is shown by the parish boundary, which runs along this winding stream.

A trip down the River Avon revisited

This is part of a series of ‘before and after’ photographs based on the Rev. E.N. Dew’s lantern slides for a talk about the Warwickshire Avon. The original photos date from around 1900 and the linked article explains the history of the photographs.

Tom Walton’s ‘A Wolston Walkabout’ can be consulted at the Warwickshire County Record Office reference PH 1213.

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