Where is Lapworth? Lapworth is situated some 5 km north of Henley in Arden in Warwickshire near junction 16 of the M40 motorway. The settlement lies between the A3400 forming the western boundary and the Grand Union Canal to the east with the greatest concentration of population in Kingswood close to the railway and the station. Another canal, the Stratford Canal, cuts through Lapworth entering from the west on its way from Kings Norton. The location of Lapworth can be viewed here.

What’s in a name? We start our journey into the history of Lapworth by looking at the parish name. The name ‘Lapworth’ is generally considered to be of Anglo-Saxon origin making its first appearance in a very early medieval document dated to AD 816. Here the name appears as ‘HLAPPAWURTHIN’ and it also appears in the form ‘LAPPAWURTHIN’ at this time.

At the time of the Norman Domesday Survey of 1086 it is recorded in a different form as ‘LAPEFORDE’. This form is not repeated later on. One can only assume that the recorders were reflecting on their crossing of the brook which flows through the parish from the west and perhaps not recording with great comfort their fording of the brook flowing down the Tapster valley.

In the late 12C the name appears as ‘LAPPEWRTHE’ (and ‘LAPPEWURTHE’) in documents including the Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire dated to 1197. By the 13C the name begins to take on a more familiar form appearing as ‘LAPWURTH’ in 1236 in the Warwickshire Feet of Fines (1195-1284) and as ‘LAP(P)WRTH’ c. 1280 & 1281. From c. 1275, the more familiar ‘LAPWORTH’ was being used with variations of spelling very common throughout the 14C to 16C as in ‘LAPPEWORTH’ and ‘LAPWWRTH’ and as ‘LAPWORTHE’ in an Elizabethan document, dated to 1580.

Pronunciation of the name Pronunciation of the name ‘Lapworth’ today tends to sound both elements of the name with equal emphasis. In times past it was more frequently heard as “Lapputh”, a sounding of the word heard in the late 19C and still not unfamiliar to some today.

The place name ‘Lapworth’ has two elements ‘Lap’ and ‘worth’. The meaning of the two elements should be relatively straightforward but research shows that the overall interpretation of the name is open to debate with a number of options presenting an interesting challenge as to its interpretation.

The first element, ‘Lap’, originates from the Old English (OE) ‘Lappa’ (or ‘Laeppa’) which means ‘a lap, the skirt of a garment’. This is most frequently taken to mean ‘a border, boundary or edge’ – a topographical term. The caution – caveat – has to be made that the first element of a place name can also be a personal name and this will be returned to later.

 
If you would like to discover a more about the history of Lapworth, you can read the first part of Lapworth, The History of a Warwickshire village here.

Morris Electrical After more than 50 years service to Lapworth and the surounding area, Morris Electrical shop (or more correctly: D.A Morris) closed in 2012. You can read a history of the shop written by Peter Hill here.

Memories of Hugh Birkett? Peter Hill of the History society is planning to write a paper about Hugh Birkett, craftsman, furniture designer and former resident of Lapworth.
Peter would be really interested in tracking down memories people might have of him. Here is the article about it that Peter wrote for the Parish Magazine.

Recent Booklets and Leaflets available from the History Group:

    • Baddesley Clinton – The Baddesley Clinton Hatchments, Furnishings in metal and wood at St. Michael’s Church – Alan Knight: Designer Craftsman in Metal, Hugh Birkett: Designer Craftsman in Wood.
    • Lapworth – Eric Gill: The Florence Bradshaw Memorial 1928, A. John Poole: Madonna and Child Stature 2001, The Lapworth Missal 1398, Furnishings in wood at St. Mary the Virgin Church – Hugh Birkett: Furniture Designer-Maker and Book Binder, The Adie Wale Memorial WindowRead about the History Group in regular articles which appear in the Ferncumbe News, Lapworth Parish Magazine, Parish News for St. Giles Packwood and the Solihull edition of Your Call.

      Read the book about Lapworth by our President, Joy Woodall, who has researched the village and published an excellent book: Portrait of Lapworth which records the history, typography and people along with events and places in the area mainly relating to the 18th and 19th centuries The History of Lapworth. If you would like to discover a more about the history of Lapworth, you can read the first part of Lapworth, The History of a Warwickshire village here.

      Morris Electrical After more than 50 years service to Lapworth and the surounding area, Morris Electrical shop (or more correctly: D.A Morris) closed in 2012. You can read a history of the shop written by Peter Hill here.

      Memories of Hugh Birkett? Peter Hill of the History society is planning to write a paper about Hugh Birkett, craftsman, furniture designer and former resident of Lapworth.
      Peter would be really interested in tracking down memories people might have of him. Here is the article about it that Peter wrote for the Parish Magazine.

      Recent Booklets and Leaflets available from the History Group:

        • Baddesley Clinton – The Baddesley Clinton Hatchments, Furnishings in metal and wood at St. Michael’s Church – Alan Knight: Designer Craftsman in Metal, Hugh Birkett: Designer Craftsman  1923 by R J Stubington and Lest We Forget – a record of all the names on the War Memorial at Lapworth.
    • Church Inscriptions – ‘Inscriptions within the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Lapworth Warwickshire’ a record of all the inscriptions found within Lapworth parish church, (14C – 21C), often with extra background information for each inscription. There is a chapter on ‘Lost Inscriptions’, those originally seen in the church and for which some record still exists. A copy of this research paper has been archived at the Warwickshire County Record Office and can be viewed there.
    • The Canals of Rowington and Lapworth – The Story of how the canals were built through Rowington and Lapworth in the C18th and the fascinating tale of the battle over a lock full of water at Kingswood Basin.
    • William Bolton – From Warwick to Madeira – The story of a C17th merchant from Warwick who set up an import/export business in Madeira.
    • Rowington at War – the booklet from the 2014 Rowington Records Exhibition with research on the men of the village who went to war as well as interesting insights into life in the village during WW1.
    • The Lost Railway – The story of the 50 year struggle to build the Branch Line that plied between Kingswood station (now Lapworth Station) and Henley-in-Arden for just 21 years between 1894 and 1915.
    • Propaganda in Film 1914-1918 – how the new medium of film was used for propaganda purposes during WW1. Illustrated with stills from WW1 films and newsreels.
Nick Holmes nick.holmes9@gmail.com Tel: 01564 783784