Population: 1911, 296; 1921, 287; 1931, 266.
The parish is a rough triangle, of which the northern
point is formed by the junction of the Fosse Way, its
western, and the road from Warwick to Banbury, its
eastern boundary. The ground rises from about 250 ft.
in the north to rather over 400 ft. on the southern edge,
a distance of 2 miles. The church lies centrally, with
the village extending east of it with a small triangular
green at its east end, from which radiate five small
roads. Some seven or eight houses of local stone with
thatched roofs, and two showing timber-framing, are
of the 17th century. Church Farm, south-west of the
church, is a building of the first half of the 16th century.
The oldest masonry, of small coursed rubble, indicates
an original L-shaped plan extending approximately
south and west. An east wing, of large ashlar, added in
the 17th century to make its plan T-shaped, has a good
projecting chimney-stack on the north with quoins of
Hornton stone and three diagonal shafts of thin bricks.
The stack is mostly covered by a wing built askew to
the north towards the end of the 17th century. The
original south range is of one story and attic with a
central chimney-stack which formerly had a wide fireplace. This range retains some original roof-timbers,
including a very heavy cambered tie-beam against
the stack, and curved windbraces to the purlins.
The west wing has heavy ceiling beams and wide
There are many trees along the lanes and hedgerows,
and a few small copses and plantations. In 1252
Richard de Mundeville had a grant of free warren on
his demesnes here, (fn. 1) and in 1279 the Earl of Warwick
was said to have a park of 400 acres. (fn. 2) In 1366, however, in a complaint of poaching on the Warwick
estates, Lighthorne is definitely styled a warren and not
a park; (fn. 3) the same record refers to fish stews here, of
which one was no doubt the pond to the west of the
A windmill belonging to the manor is mentioned in
1316, (fn. 4) and in 1627 both a windmill and a water-mill
are referred to, (fn. 5) but there is no mill in the parish now.
In 1086 LIGHTHORNE was held in
chief by William Buenvasleth; before the
Conquest Earl Ralph (of Hereford) held it.
There were 5 hides beside 'inland', and there was a
grove 2 furlongs long by 20 perches broad, as well as
30 acres of meadow. (fn. 6) The manor seems to have come
into the hands of (? Rannulf) the father of Niel de
Mundeville, as the latter confirmed to the canons of St.
Sepulchre, Warwick, his father's grant of a virgate here. (fn. 7)
It then descended with Berkswell (q.v.), (fn. 8) being sold in
1277 to the Earl of Warwick and so passing with the
Warwick lands to the Crown in the reign of Henry VII.
Under Henry VIII Lighthorne was one of the Warwick
manors of which the stewardship was granted to a succession of courtiers. (fn. 9) In 1529 the site of the manor and
its demesne lands were leased to Roger Wigston for
21 years, (fn. 10) but this lease was surrendered and another
similar made in 1544 to Sir Thomas Pope, Treasurer
of the Court of Augmentations, (fn. 11) who in 1546 received
a grant of the manor and advowson. (fn. 12) It then descended with Shotteswell [q.v.] to Thomas (Pope), 3rd
Earl of Downe, younger son of Sir Thomas's nephew
William. (fn. 13) He, in 1662, made a conveyance of the
manor of Lighthorne to Thomas, Viscount Wenman
of Tuam, (fn. 14) but probably only for a settlement or mortgage as he was presenting to the church in 1666, (fn. 15) and
the manor and advowson seem to have remained continuously in the same hands. Sir John Mordaunt, bart.,
presented in 1707, (fn. 16) but there is nothing to show how
he acquired the right. The patronage had passed, probably by purchase, to Lord Willoughby de Broke by
1715, (fn. 17) and both manor and advowson have been held
since that date by his descendants. (fn. 18)
The lands in Lighthorne which belonged to the
Priory of St. Sepulchre in Warwick were granted to
Sir Thomas Pope in August 1546, (fn. 19) three months after
he had received the grant of the manor.
The parish church of ST. LAWRENCE stands in a valley west of the
village. It is built of stone in the late-13thcentury style and consists of a chancel (28 ft. by 20 ft.),
north chapel (17 ft. by 10 ft.), nave (45 ft. by 21 ft.),
north aisle (8½ ft. wide), south porch, and west tower
(12 ft. square). An arcade of four bays divides the nave
The west tower was rebuilt in 1771 and the remainder of the church in 1875–6.
The tower walls are of white, coarsely tooled ashlar
and it is of three diminishing stages with an embattled
parapet. It has no buttresses. The four-centred doorway is in the south wall and in the west is a quatrefoil
window. The second stage has a similar window, now
blocked, on the south side, and a west window of two
pointed lights and a plain spandrel in a two-centred
head. The bell-chamber has similar two-light windows.
The archway to the nave is modern.
The fittings are modern except for a 17th-century
plain chest in the tower, and there is some reset ancient
stained glass. In the south-west window of the chancel
is a 14th-century shield of Beauchamp of Warwick in
a white patterned roundel surrounded by a yellow ring.
A tiny rectangular pane with [HV] and the date 1413
appears to be quite modern. In the easternmost window of the north wall of the north aisle, reset from the
old east window, are two achievements of the Willoughby de Broke arms. That in the west light is an
early-16th-century cartouche with green-foliage edging
at the top and bottom, but the charges are later (probably 17th century) and have been partly restored
with modern glass. They are: quarterly 1. gules three
voided crosses moline or a chief vairy ermine and ermines
for Verney, 2 and 3. argent three scutcheons sable in
a border gules, 4. ermine a bend sable with three
scallops argent thereon. Supporters, two antelopes
spotted gules. Helmet with red and white mantling and
crest of a horn. That in the east light is of mid-17thcentury date and has a shield of six quarters, the first
and sixth being Verney with better tinctures than in
the other shield. It has two helmets, one with a crest of
a horn gules spotted or and the other with an antelope.
Above are two late-17th-century oval cartouches of
arms: one has Verney quartering a lion azure and
griffin sable face to face, impaling a charge of six
quarters of which the first and sixth are argent (?)
three pierced cinque-foils. The charges in the other
There are four bells; (fn. 20) the treble and second of 1890,
and the third by Henry Bagley 1679. The tenor,
inscribed Johannis prece dulce Sonet et Amene, has
a fleur-de-lis cross and king's and queen's head-stops;
it is of the 15th century by the Worcester foundry.
The only piece of early plate is the paten cover of a
lost Elizabethan cup. (fn. 21)
The advowson has remained attached to the manor throughout its
history. In 1291 the church was
valued at £17 6s. 8d., (fn. 22) and in 1535 at £14 17s. 3d. (fn. 23)
In 1361 John de Blockleye, the rector, obtained
licence to alienate in mortmain property to the value
of £6 for the support of a chaplain in Lighthorne
church. (fn. 24) Three years later he had leave to assign
lands and tenements in Harbury as 50s. of this sum, but
did nothing about it, (fn. 25) and the proposed chantry was
evidently not established.