Powerflush nearby to Southam
Southam is a market town and civil parish in the Warwickshire district of Stratford-on-Avon. Southam is located on the River Stowe (also known as ‘The Brook’ by many locals), which flows from Napton-on-the-Hill and joins the River Itchen in Warwickshire at Stoneythorpe, just outside the town.
Southam’s population was estimated to be 7,327 in 2020.
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Southam was a Royal manor until AD 998, when it was granted to Earl Leofwine by Ethelred the Unready. Leofwine’s son Leofric, Earl of Mercia, granted Southam to Coventry Priory when it was founded in 1043. The manor is referred to as “Sucham” in the Domesday Book. The Priory, which became the first Coventry Cathedral in the 12th century, held Southam until the 16th century, when it surrendered all its estates to the Crown as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Southam grew up at the crossroads of three roads: the main road connecting Coventry and Oxford (now the A423), the main road connecting Warwick and Northampton via Daventry, and the ancient drovers’ road known as Welsh Road. Southam became a market town after the monks of Coventry Priory were granted a market charter for their manor in 1227. Southam was later granted charters to hold three yearly fairs: Medieval fairs were special markets held only a few times a year that drew buyers and sellers from greater distances than the regular weekly market.
Southam’s Holy Well, located in the picturesque Stowe river valley, is a Grade II listed and Scheduled Ancient Monument that was first documented in 998. The Well was used by local monks in mediaeval times and served as the town’s primary water supply for hundreds of years. Water from a natural mineral spring feeds the semi-circular Well and flows into the river through the mouths of carved stone gargoyles. The water from the Well was said to heal eye problems. Using a National Lottery grant, the Holy Well and paths were renovated between 2005 and 2007.
The current Manor House, which dates from the early 17th century, is Grade II * listed. The current St James parish church was built in the 14th century. The spire was added in the 15th century, and the chancel was rebuilt. The clerestory and current roof of the nave, as well as the current west door, were added in the 16th century. St James’ is a Grade I listed structure.
Because locals found regular English currency to be too expensive for daily use during the mediaeval era, the town minted its own local currency. King Charles I used Southam’s mint to create new coins to pay his troops during the English Civil War. The mint building was built in the early 16th century and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is now known as the Old Mint.
Charles I visited Southam shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War and was apparently not welcomed by the townspeople, who refused to ring the parish church bells. A skirmish was fought outside the town on August 23, 1642, the day after the King formally declared war on Parliament, between Parliamentary forces led by Lord Brooke and Royalist forces led by the Earl of Northampton. Locals claim that the Battle of Southam was the first battle of the English Civil Wars. Later that year, before the Battle of Edgehill on October 23, 1642, Charles stayed at the Manor House in Southam. Oliver Cromwell and 7,000 Parliamentary troops stayed in the town in 1645.
Southam became an important stop on the coach road between Coventry and Oxford during the stagecoach era. The town still has many old coaching inns. However, few buildings in Southam date before 1741, when the town was devastated by a large fire.
RAF Southam was a World War II airfield located about 0.6 mile (1 km) east of the town. It first opened its doors in 1940 and closed at the end of 1944. It served as both a training base and a relief landing zone.
Southam’s Cardall Collection commemorates the town’s history.
Southam is approximately 62 miles (10 kilometres) east-southeast of Leamington Spa, approximately 92 miles (15.3 kilometres) south-west of Rugby, approximately 92 miles (15.3 kilometres) west of Daventry, 13 miles (21 kilometres) south of Coventry, and 14 miles (23 kilometres) north of Banbury.