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HISTORIC DEVELOPMENT

In 1086 there were three estates at Radway, the largest of which was held by Coventry Cathedral Priory. This passed in the mid-12th century to the monks of Stoneleigh Abbey (see description of this site elsewhere in the Register) and was administered from Edge Grange on the slopes of Edge Hill; a further grange was situated at Radway at the foot of the Hill (Victoria County History). At the Dissolution the monastic property was sold piecemeal, with Radway Grange being purchased by Francis Goodyere in 1545. In 1554 it was conveyed to Walter Lyght, whose daughter married Robert Washington of Sulgrave Manor, Northamptonshire (see description of this site elsewhere in the Register) in 1564. Radway passed to their third son, Walter, whose son in turn sold it to William Goodwyn in the early 17th century. In 1685 the estate formed part of a settlement on the marriage of Thomas Goodwyn and Elizabeth Wainwright. Thomas Goodwyn became bankrupt in 1691, and in 1715 Radway Grange, comprising 70 acres (about 29 hectares) of enclosed land and 240 acres (100 hectares) in the common fields, was sold by Private Act of Parliament to Sanderson Miller, a merchant from Banbury.

Sanderson Miller died in 1737, leaving the property to his surviving son, also Sanderson Miller (1716-80). The younger Miller was a noted amateur architect who advised on architectural and landscape work at estates including Hagley and Croome Court in Worcestershire and Wroxton Abbey, Oxfordshire. In Warwickshire, Miller advised on improvements at Alscot Park, Arbury Hall, Farnborough Hall, Honington Hall (there are descriptions of all seven sites in the Register) and other estates. From 1739 Miller undertook a programme of improvement on his own property at Radway which is partially recorded in his surviving diaries for 1749-50 and 1756, and in his correspondence (WCRO; J Garden Hist 1987; Garden Hist 1997). An Enclosure Act for Radway was obtained in 1757 enabling Miller to consolidate his property and extend the ornamental landscape around the house. Miller suffered a mental collapse in 1759, and despite a partial recovery, gave up most of his work. Miller entertained a wide circle of friends and associates at Radway in the mid-18th century, including William Pitt, William Shenstone and Bishop Pococke. Miller's achievements were commemorated by his neighbour, the poet Richard Jago in his poem Edge Hill (1767), and may have inspired his friend, Henry Fielding, in the description of Squire Allworthy's estate in Tom Jones (1748) (J Garden Hist 1987). After his death in 1780, Radway passed to his son, Fiennes Sanderson Miller (died 1818), and thence to his grandson, Lt Col F S Miller, who fought at the Battle of Waterloo. Radway remained the property of the Miller family until 1916; it then changed hands several times in the early 20th century. Henry Fenwick, who purchased the estate in 1922, employed the architect Percy Morley Horder, who worked at neighbouring Upton House (see description of this site elsewhere in the Register), to make alterations to the house and garden. The property was sold again in 1925 to Col Starkey, whose family owned the estate until 1975. Radway has changed hands several times in the late 20th century, and today (2000) remains in divided private ownership.
 

People associated with this site

Architect: Sanderson Miller (born 1716 died 23/04/1780)

Features

walk

Woodland walks.

tower

Creator: Sanderson Miller (born 1716 died 23/04/1780)

Gothic Tower on the summit of Edge Hill.