Warwickshire County Record Office

 The Warwickshire County Record Office collects, preserves and makes available records relating to the history of Warwickshire and its people dating from the early 12th to the 21st century.

Using the Record Office

Opening Hours

The Record Office is closed for the first full week in every month to enable staff to concentrate on collections development work. Please click on this link for more information to prepare for your visit and scroll down to access a calendar giving more detail on opening times. http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/warwickshire-county-record-office/visit/

Monday                        Closed
Tuesday-Thursday    9am - 5.30pm
Friday                           9am - 5pm
Saturday                      9am - 12.30pm

The Search Room

The Search Room is the public area of the Record Office.  It contains microfilm and microfiche readers and space for the consultation of original documents.  Free Internet access is provided, including a subscription to Ancestry.com.  The National Burial Index and the 1851 and 1881 census indexes are available on CD-ROM.

 The Search Room is freely accessible, but to maintain security visitors are asked to leave bags and coats in the lockers available for such use.   

The Duty Archivist is always on hand to answer questions and point searchers in the right direction. Volunteers are available to provide additional assistance on certain sources and equipment.


The County Archive Records Network (CARN) ticket

The Record Office is a member of CARN readers' ticket scheme. Anyone can use the Record Office, but you will need a CARN ticket if you regularly wish to make use of it.  You will need to bring proof of name, address and signature (e.g. driving licence or a combination of documents such as a passport and utility bill) if you do not already have a CARN ticket.

Using Documents

The documents held by the Record Office are unique and fragile.  Therefore it is necessary to follow these simple guidelines:

  • Handle all documents with extreme care.
  • Make sure hands are clean and grease-free.
  • Use cushions and foam-blocks to support books.
  • Protect maps and flat documents with the clear polyester sheets, which are available to use.
  • Use only pencils in the Search Room.
  • Never fold, crease or force documents.
  • Do not pile books or documents on top of each other.
  • Do not run fingers over text as this can affect the inks and cause flaking.
  • No eating or drinking is allowed in the search room. A tearoom is provided for public use.

Catalogues and Indices

On deposition collections are allocated a reference code and are eventually catalogued. Catalogues and indexes are available on open shelves for consultation.

Warwickshire Record Office also has an online searchable catalogue:(www.warwickshire.gov.uk/archivesunlocked)

A number of resources are available for researching local history at the Warwickshire County Record Office, including:


The Record Office holds back files of the main Warwick and Leamington Spa papers (the Warwick Advertiser from 1806, the Leamington Courier from 1832, and the Leamington Morning News from 1896). There are also incomplete series of back issues of Alcester, Atherstone, Bedworth, Nuneaton and Rugby newspapers.


The Record Office holds an extensive series of printed maps, including county maps from the 16th century and Ordnance Survey large-scale maps (1:10,000 and 1:2,500 scale) from the 1880s to the 1970s. There are also many manuscript maps, including Tithe Apportionment maps dating from the 1840s for about half the parishes in the county (Ref: CR 328 and CR 569), Inclosure maps, and maps of a large number of estates and farms dating from about 1600 (but mostly from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries).  Many of the apportionment schedules which accompany tithe maps have been transcribed and are available on a searchable database at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tithe.

Census Returns

Returns for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 for the historic County, excluding Birmingham and a small number of fringe parishes, are available at Warwickshire County Record Office. They also hold indexes to the 1851 census for Warwickshire, Devon and Norfolk and to the 1881 census for the whole country. There are also census returns for a few parishes covering 1801 to 1831.


 The Record Office has an extensive collection of prints of buildings and places within the county. It also has a large (over 200,000 items) and growing collection of photographs of Warwickshire places and people.  The collection is particularly strong on photographs of individual buildings and street scenes.  A small number of RAF 1940s aerial photographs are also available (Ref: MA 1947). 

Avin's Yard, Atherstone 1900-1909. Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office (ref PH (N) 213/3).  Click here for larger image

Prints and Views

 There is a collection of 4,500 engravings, lithographs, watercolours and drawings showing individual buildings or groups of buildings, dating mainly from 1750-1850.  The majority of these images have been photocopied and are available in bound volumes in the Search Room. There is also an index available for these volumes.

Pencil and watercolour sketch of Leamington Spa, 1842. Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office (ref PV Len Gen 9). Click here for larger image


A reference library is on open access to searchers.  There is a comprehensive card index to this collection available.

Collections of Family and Estate Papers

There are several collections of family and estate papers held by the Record Office which include:

  • Deeds
  • Maps and plans
  • Wills and inventories
  • Business and legal papers
  • Manorial records including court papers and rolls
  • Account and rent books
  • Family papers, such as letters, diaries, journals and notebooks
  • Photographs

These collections include papers from the Greville estate at Warwick Castle, the Seymour family of Ragley Hall, the Newdegate family of Arbury, the Feilding family of Newnham Paddox, the Throckmorton family of Coughton Court and many more.

Estate map of Atherstone Hill Farm 1738.
Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office
(ref CR1945)

Click here for larger image

Inventory of Edward Harbate yeoman, 1596. Bolsover.
Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office
(ref CR136/C135)

Click here for larger image

Business and Industrial Records

A variety of collections are held by the Record Office relating to particular industries and companies.  For instance:

  • Records for canals across the county.
  • Documents relating to the needle industry.
  • Records of engineering companies (e.g. Willans and Robinson of Rugby who manufactured engines, Automotive Products Ltd of Leamington Spa and Eagle Engineering).
  • Company records (e.g. Flavels of Leamington Spa who made cookers and Pottertons - boiler manufacturers).

Property Index

An index of documents relating to property available in the Search Room.  It is organised by place and includes a variety of documents:

  • Valuation Books
  • Deeds
  • Sale catalogues

Other potentially relevant archives and records:

  • Collections of antiquaries
  • Building regulation plans
  • Local government records
  • Parish registers and other parish records
  • Non-Conformist records
  • Wills and probate records
  • Courts of law, coroners, criminal and police records
  • School and education records
  • Business collections
  • Solicitors' archives, which can include wills
  • Hospitals and health records

Example of a documentary seal dating to before 1119. Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office (ref CR136/C135)

Click here for larger image

Entry from known thieves albumn. Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office (ref CR2212)

Click here for larger image

Brailes School Log, 1871.Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office (ref CR36/12)

Click here for larger image


An example of a building regulation plan dated to 1900. Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office (ref CR2487/Z2525)

Click here for larger image

An example of a building regulation plan dated to 1900. Copyright: Warwickshire County Record Office (ref CR2487/Z2525)

Click here for larger image

Copying and Publishing Documents

Copying of some documents is allowed.  Details of prices are available on request.  However some documents may be too fragile to copy or be subject to copyright restrictions. For instance Ordnance Survey maps have restricted copyright if they are less than 50 years old.

If documents are to be published then permission needs to be sought by filling in the relevant form at the Record Office. 

Additionally photography of some documents may also be allowed, providing it is without the use of a flash.

Contact the Record Office for further information regarding copying, photographing and publishing particular documents.

Contact Details


Warwickshire County Record Office
Priory Park
Cape Road
CV34 4JS

Telephone:     (01926) 738959
Fax:                  (01926) 738969
Email:             recordoffice@warwickshire.gov.uk

More help and information on the Warwickshire Record Office can be found on the record office website: (www.warwickshire.gov.uk/countyrecordoffice)