Secret Royal Leamington Spa by Graham Sutherland
Although Royal Leamington Spa has its origins several hundred years ago, then known as Leamington Priors, the town only came to prominence in the past 200 years. With the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars raging between 1792 and 1815, travel to foreign places was restricted, which led to a growth of holiday and medicinal venues in England. Leamington is one such venue, being afforded the pre x 'Royal' in 1838 by Queen Victoria, and still boasting a grand array of Regency buildings today. Until the 1940s, long after 'taking the waters' was a major attraction, Leamington remained a haven for retired people, particularly those who had held very senior positions during their previous careers. However, the growth of local industries such as the manufacturers Sidney Flavel & Co., who moved here in 1803, ultimately led to change. Today the emphasis is on a much younger multicultural population, many of whom are students. With tales of remarkable characters, unusual events and tucked-away or disappeared historical buildings and locations, Secret Royal Leamington Spa will appeal to all those with an interest in the history of this town in Warwickshire.