Lighthorne, in Warwickshire, is located in the triangle formed by Warwick, Stratford-on-Avon and Banbury, being 8 miles south of Warwick and 10 miles east of Stratford.
Lighthorne History Society was formed in January 2006 by the late Peter Hinman and other residents. The aims of the society are to promote an interest in and record the pre-history and the history of the village and to make the records available to the general public.
The society is open to all on payment of an annual subscription and the officers of the society welcome enquiries and information about Lighthorne from the public.
The society has so far published 4 items:
a booklet “A Short History of Lighthorne”, by Peter Hinman (2006)
a booklet “Yes, we remember it well!”, edited by Keith Sheppard (2008), being the reminiscences of the 1940s of Lighthorne residents
a DVD “Lighthorne 1900 – 2000, A Century in Images”, by Colin Such (2010)
an 8-page colour brochure “Welcome to St. Laurence’s Church, Lighthorne”.
This website was created in 2012 and represents an ongoing project to record the research of members of the society. Many of the documents, articles, reports, photographs and maps in the society archive are not in digital form, but the complete index is on on the Archive page and they are available for members to consult, via our archivist. The society welcomes additions to its archive.
Additionally the society organises talks and visits which are open to anyone who is interested.
New Book Published about Lighthorne – New Reprint Available
“Joe’s Story, a Century of Change in the South Warwickshire Countryside” details the working life of Joe Gerring who worked in the parish of Lighthorne from 1923 to 1936, as a farm labourer and woodman. The book has been self-published by Peter Johnson after having worked with Joe at the Chesterton Estate Yard in the 1970s, where he was able to record Joe telling his own story in broad South Warwickshire dialect. The book is accompanied by a 90 minute CD of the recordings.
Joe initially lived-in at New Westfield Farm where he worked for Bert Watts. In 1930 he started work at Pratts Farm, Lighthorne working for Fred Robbins. He lodged with Louisa Day at 4 Church Cottages, then after marrying Sarah Moore the family moved to a farm cottage at the end of Old School Lane.
From 1936 to 1958 Joe worked as a woodman on the Willoughby de Broke Estate and during this time he lived in a tied cottage in Chesterton which he eventually bought. Most of the people he worked with lived in Lighthorne, and he gives a colourful account of their lives working on the estate.
The book is professionally printed and a pleasure to read. It contains 146 A4 pages (including sources and index) with more than 100 photographs, line drawings and maps including 34 pages in full colour.
Peter provides an explanatory commentary throughout, contained in text boxes, separating it from the text in Joe’s own words. This commentary has taken Peter 5 years to research and gives the reader a deeper insight into the vanished world Joe describes.
The book is a joy to read and provides the reader with a vivid impression of what life was like working as a farm labourer at a Lighthorne farm between the World Wars. The CD brings the story to life. Peter’s research also gives a clear impression of the decline in profitability of the large agricultural estates resulting in the sale of Compton Verney and the Willoughby de Broke estate in the late 1920s.
The 90 minute audio recording, which has been professionally restored, is divided into 8 tracks 8-12 minutes in length. It is easy to navigate to the different tracks using the forward//backward keys on a CD player.
From an initial print run of only 150 copies of the book and CD and Peter Johnson has kindly donated a copy of both to the archive of the Lighthorne History Society. These are available to members to borrow.
The Society has a limited number of the CDs for sale at £6 each. A reprint of 50 books was made in January 2024 and a few copies are available at £14 each. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to buy a copy of the book and/or CD. Fewer than 30 copies left.
Transcription of Parish Registers
The Lighthorne parish registers are stored at the Warwick County Record Office (WCRO) under reference DR0018/1 – DR1800/6. They start from 1538 and are written in secretary script, initially in Latin, then in the 17th century partly in a mixture of English and Latin, eventually totally in English. The currently available online transcriptions of these records vary in their accuracy and Colin Such has completed transcribing and indexing the entries of the first volume, DR0018/1, from 1538 to 1715. We are grateful to the Record Office for permission to publish this work. To view the 1538-1715 transcriptions please click on this link LH263(E). To view the 1538 – 1715 names index please click on this link LH264(E).
Transcription and indexing of the second volume (DR0018/2) has also been completed by Colin Such. This volume covers baptisms 1715 to 1735, marriages 1715 to 1733 and burials 1678 to 1735. To view the transcription and index click LH308(E).
Launch of Civil Wars Warwickshire ‘Loss Accounts’ Project
The ‘Loss Accounts’ itemise the financial and material losses sustained by local inhabitants through Parliamentary activity before and during the First English Civil War between 1642 and 1646. They give fascinating details about individuals and their experiences. The Warwickshire accounts have been transcribed by a team of volunteers, including 2 members of the Lighthorne History Society, directed by Dr Maureen Harris, in a project supported by a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant. The loss accounts, including those of Lighthorne and surrounding villages, can be viewed at https://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/civilwaraccounts. To view Ann Such’s article on the Lighthorne ‘Loss Accounts’ click this link. LH235(E)
We need your assistance in identifying some of the younger residents of Lighthorne prior to the First World War. Please click on the following link to see photographs taken of Lighthorne children in the years immediately preceding the war. Lighthorne School photographs
A partial tombstone has been found in Lighthorne with only a part inscription to William Webb. Can you help us to identify this person please? Click here for further details.
Warwickshire Local History Society
All members of the Lighthorne History Society are automatically members of the Warwickshire Local History Society and are able to attend its lectures free of charge. The current programme is varied and interesting. Click here for further details.