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Grendon History

The parish of Grendon lies near to the geographical centre of England mainly close to the Roman Watling Street (now the A5 trunk road).

Comprising 2415 acres in size, the original centre was close to Grendon Hall and All Saints church near the B5000, the shortest route from Atherstone to Tamworth. Various spellings including Grinden and Grendin can be seen in records, but the Gren means green and dependant on the source consulted it would appear that Grendon means small, green valley and being on the flood plain of the River Anker (which was the River Floss in George Eliot’s Mill on the Floss) this would make sense.

There is little known of Grendon before the Norman Conquest, but at the height of the power of the Kingdom of Mercia under King Offa, Tamworth was generally accepted as the capital of England, and until the 20th century Tamworth was part of Warwickshire.

Prior to 1066, Grendon was held by the Saxon, Siward Barn, but was passed to Henry de Ferrers by William the First. There is a record of a mill on the Anker in the Doomsday Book of 1084. The de Ferrers family became overlords of Grendon whilst possessing other lands in the Duchy of Lancaster. Grendon was held for them by various families including the Camviles but in 1242 Roger de Grendon appears holding both Grendon and Whittington. In 1253 the rector of All Saints is shown as Henry de Grendon. The de Grendon family held the tenancy of the lands until the mid-1300’s when various marriages saw the tenancy pass to the de Chetwynds. The land seems to have been split and tenanted by others at various points but the records are complex and don’t seem to exist after about 1600. Five generations of Chetwynds held Grendon until Grendon Hall was pulled down in 1933 and the last baronet, Sir Victor, died in 1935.

As an agricultural area Grendon was never highly populated rising from 350 in 1801 to 1256 in 1931. In 1811 there were 74 inhabited houses compared with around 750 today.

Several surnames persist in the parish down the generations, one of the interesting ones being a large family named Kysse, who probably gave their name to the barn and ultimately 'Kisses Barn Lane'.

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