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Thread: Leamington, Warwickshire, England - Broadband recommended

  1. #1

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    Leamington, Warwickshire, England - Broadband recommended

    Leamington, or Royal Leamington Spa to use its full name, is one of my favourite English towns, and is often overlooked by visitors travelling to nearby Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon.





    Royal Leamington Spa is a spa town built mainly during the 19th century. The town was visited by Queen Victoria in 1838, and was given the "Royal" status. Leamington's main architectural characterisitic is it's wide main streets, with elegant Georgian, Regency and Victorian buildings, many lined with trees.







    The town, originally known as Leamington Priors was a tiny village until about 1800. The value of the mineral springs was known in the middle ages, but it was not until 1784 that the small village began rediscovering its saline springs and started building baths around some of them.



    In July 1814 'The Royal Pump Room and Baths', designed and built by C.S. Smith of Warwick at a cost of £30,000 were officially opened. The Spa treatment was claimed to cure, or relieve a huge number of disorders, examples being 'stiffness of tendons', 'rigidity of the joints', 'the effects of gout and rheumatism and various paralytic conditions'.

    The Pump Rooms are now used as an Art Gallery, Museum and Library, along with a Tourist Information Centre and Café.





    The Pump Rooms gardens were originally laid out and enclosed for the exclusive use of the patrons of the Pump Room 'to afford them pleasant promenades'. A bandstand was erected and military bands played in the evening during the summer for the gratification of the subscribers. It was not until 1875 that the Royal Pump Room Gardens became public.

    The Jephson Gardens are the centre-piece of a sequence of 19th century parks beside the River Leam in Regency and Victorian Leamington Spa. The whole group is accorded a Grade II in the English Heritage Register of Historic Gardens. The Gardens themselves have long been famous for their floral displays, beautiful and unusual trees, fountains and quiet riverbanks. Among their admirers was the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, who described them in 'Our Old Home'.



    The Town Hall and War Memorial





    Examples of old and new shopping arcades; The Regency Arcade



    And the new modern shopping centre;






    (apologies for the quality of some of the photos - I couldn't find my camera so had to use my phone)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    The white stucco...

    ...works particulary well here in Britain to releive the dingy weather (and splendid in sunshine).

    I wonder if there is a durable and attractive but cheaper modern finish that acheives a similar effect?
    Life and death of great pattern languages

  3. #3
    Y'know - it's embarrassing that some one got round to doing the town I live in before I did

    There's some 'back road' scenes I'd like to add - but it'll have to wait until the weekend. <makes mental note to go and take pictures>.
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Nice pictures. I believe I went through Leamington once on a coach, though I didn't stop.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally posted by Journeymouse
    Y'know - it's embarrassing that some one got round to doing the town I live in before I did

    There's some 'back road' scenes I'd like to add - but it'll have to wait until the weekend. <makes mental note to go and take pictures>.
    You learn something new every day. Was there for a few days with work a couple of weeks ago. Any town with a 'Fopp' shop has got to be alright with me

  6. #6
    Well, to start off with the basics, this is my house in Sydenham. Sydenham is an ex-coucil estate and has a reputation for being a bit rough (probably related to my living there), which is ridiculous as it's one of the politest, friendliest and quietest housing estates I've ever been on.


    I live a few minutes walk from the Great Western Canal, which is one of my two preferred walking routes into Leamington Spa:
    [IMG]http://www.cyburbia.org/gallery/data/500/657CanaltoLeamington.JPG[/IMG
    The canal has quite few streets that back up onto it, and this street is typical (aside from the brightly decorated pub):

    It also has some new housing development and old industrial development by the side - as far as I know, the industrial stuff is mainly derelict:

    And for the "Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!" factor, here are some typical canal users:


    If you remember noj's photo of the town hall and the war memorial, they're at the end of Brandom Parade, which is another nice little back water that has a nice sample of typical Leamington Spa buildings:


    It also has streets off of it that are not much used, though still in the 'commercial' zone. It may be hard to grasp from these photos, but Leamington Spa town centre is very grid-like having been built by the practical Victorians. The result these days is some well travelled commercial and residential arteries with some very quiet streets linking the two.


    This is also where you tend to find the new buildings that aren't just stucco! Some of them are bad, some are good. Here are two that I like:



    And finally, my other preferred walking route is through Newbold Comyn, a Park that includes a leisure centre, a pub, a golf course and a nature reserve. It runs along the river and ends at the Jephson Gardens that noj showed us. As all that green is hard to photo, I took a picture of the street that runs into/borders it. The houses are only on the North side and the street is called Newbold Terrace (East). It's a continuation of the Newbold Terrace that runs along the North of Jephson Gardens.

    BTW, "Comyn" is not a typo. It is used as a common these days, but "Comyn" is the name of the family that used to own the area years ago - to distinguish it from Newbold on Avon, Newbold Pacey and Newbold on Stour, which are all in the area.
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

  7. #7

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    Thanks Journeymouse.

    You really ought to close your door when you go out, though.

  8. #8
    Quiet, I'm wanting make an insurance claim
    Glorious Technicolor, Breath-Taking CinemaScope and Stereophonic Sound!

  9. #9

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    I love British suburbs/small towns. "Richard.....Richard, the Vicar is coming over to Tea!" (Keeping Up Appearances-Hyacinth and Ownslow rock!)

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