About Radford Semele
The history of the village is well documented in the book titled “A short History of the Parish” published in 1974, written by a former vicar, the Rev. Laurie Parsons. His book was updated in 2002 in the publication “A History of Radford Semele” prepared by Don Simpson. Although neither book is now available for purchase, the 2002 publication is available in Leamington Library and in Warwick Records Office.
A short extract follows from a record of the village published in 1951 in ‘Parishes: Radford Semele’, A History of the County of Warwick Volume 6: Knightlow hundred (1951), pp. 200-202.
The Radford Semele parish boundary on the north side is the River Leam, a tributary of which bounds it on the west, meeting at the southernmost angle the Fosse Way, which is its eastern boundary for a distance of just over a mile. Close to its northern edge the parish is crossed by the Warwick and Napton Canal and by the Rugby and Leamington branch of the L.M.S. Railway (closed in 1960’s). The road from Leamington enters the parish at its north-west angle and leads to Radford Church and Hall, but most of the village lies farther to the south-east along a branch road running south past the Baptist Chapel to end at Pounce Hill Farm. Most of the land lies between 200 ft. and 250 ft., but the Leamington road on its way towards Southam reaches 300 ft. on Radford Hill. The parish area is 2123 acres (3.3 square miles).
The village retains a number of picturesque cottages, mostly timber-framed with brick nogging and thatched roofs, dating probably from the early part of the 17th century. Radford Hall, west of the church, is a red brick house with stone dressings and mullioned windows; it dates from the early 17th century. In the surrounding wall is a 17th-century stone doorway with cornice and pediment. The Manor House is mainly modern but contains a 16th-century timber framed nucleus.
As stated above, a section of the Fosse Way and the former Warwick and Napton Canal, pass through parts of the parish. Both are evidence of former times. The River Leam, together with its small tributaries, forming sections of the parish boundary pass near to the A425 Southam Road. Periodically the river makes it presence felt in times of flooding.
Today, on or nearby the Southam Road, are St Nicholas Church, now fully restored after the disastrous fire in March 2008, several pre-Victorian properties, including Radford Hall, Manor House, White Lion and several nearby thatched cottages. There are also a number of Victorian properties, these also extend into Lewis Road and include the Baptist Church. There is a small residential development, separate from the main village, accessing the Fosse Way at Cedar Tree Farm. Most properties in the village were built in various phases over the years since 1920. The village can fairly claim to have an outstanding display of daffodils on Southam Road in early spring, followed by spring blossoms and beautiful autumn colours.
The population had grown to 2442 in the 2011 census. Earlier censuses record:- 1911, 556- 1921, 578- 1931, 532. Employment opportunities lie mainly outside of the village. The village has two churches, junior school, post office, village stores, sports and social club, playing field and a community hall. People within the village support numerous activities involving adults, youth and children’s groups, all of which meet regularly.
The developed area of the village forms only a small part of the total parish area. The extensive land acreage is highly developed in arable farming and includes the Canal-side Community Farm which specialises in organic cultivation. The parish resides in an attractive setting of rolling rural countryside. It has been the policy of successive Parish Councils, supported by our District Councillor, to retain the village as a separate entity, with arable land surrounding it, to avoid it being subsumed into its large neighbour, Royal Leamington Spa.
This website provides a source of information on the matters coming before Radford Semele Parish Council. Included are minutes of meetings, council responses to local issues, including proposed housing, gypsy and traveller sites, and to local planning applications. This website also provides information on the various groups that meet in the village together with contact names. In order to broaden public interest, a number of direct links to other websites have been included. These links provide a source of information on village history, village properties for sale, village organisations and businesses also details of some services provided by Warwick District Council. The overall aim is to create a website useful to residents.
If groups of people or individuals wish to add subjects, or have other ideas on making improvements, then please make them known to the Parish Clerk.