title="Shustoke Parish Council in Warwickshire">

A Brief History

Today the Parish of Shustoke includes the hamlets of Church End and Shustoke Green along with the adjoining township of Blythe. Situated on the B4114 Coleshill to Nuneaton Road, Shustoke still maintains its village character in a quite beautiful rural setting. Until recently, the detached township of Bentley was also included within the Shustoke parish as a dependent chapelry. The 2,094 acres of the present parish lie divided between the higher lands of the Arden to the east where Church End is situated, and the lower lands of the Thame/Blythe valley to the west containing Shustoke Green and Blythe. Shustoke has never been densely populated; in 1911there were 342 people living in Shustoke, 446 in 1921 and 391 in 1931. When the Doomsday Book was being prepared it was reported that Shustoke had great woodlands 1 league (about 2 miles) long and 1 league wide, now it has very little. All the land, save for that taken up by the reservoirs in the1870s, is arable, yet only a few hundred years ago, an area of waste or heath land survived, separating Blythe from Shustoke. Even as late as 1886, the triangle of land, through which the Hampton railway line passed, between the Whitacre Heath Road, the Shustoke Road and Watery Lane was still known as Cross Heath.

From the late 16th century, the effective squires of the village were the Croxall family, latterly from Shustoke House. They were the largest landowners, owning most of Shustoke and they played a leading part in village affairs and Captain Croxall donated the Parish Hall to Shustoke.  In the 1920s they sold their Shustoke estate to W S Dugdale and left the village. Their great house stood for another decade or so but was finally demolished in the late 1940s.
With the permission of Colin Hayfield this brief history is mainly an extract from an available publication entitled “Shustoke Remembered” which contains many photographs of life in Shustoke from as early as 1880 up to the 1960s.