Brandon, Bretford & Wolston History Group
The village of Wolston in Warwickshire, is roughly half way between Coventry and Rugby. The river Avon runs through the village and is close to the Fosse Way. At the east of the village, you will find the Wolston Priory. In 1589 John Penry a religious reformer, reportedly printed some of his Marprelate tracts at the priory. The texts criticized the episcopacy of the Anglican church and called for religious reform. Penry was subsequently hanged for treason on 29th May 1593.
Next to Wolston, lies Brandon with the two villages separated by the River Avon and a railway viaduct which dates from 1837. The viaduct was part of the original London and Birmingham Railway. To the south of Brandon, there are the remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle. The castle dates back to the 12th Century and was founded by Geoffrey de Clinton, treasurer to King Henry I of England.
Bretford is a small hamlet close to Brandon. The name comes from the old ford crossing point over the River Avon, where a medieval stone bridge stands dating back to 1279. Bretford was originally a market town and also had a leper hospital.