Some notes on the history of the Dell
(A more detailed account by local historian and Friend of the Dell, Robin Stott, can be found here.)
The earliest reference we have found for the Dell is in the New Guide to Leamington, 1816: "This delightful walk [to Warwick via the village of Emscote] ...... descends into a little woody dell, then crosses a small stream beyond which the ground suddenly rises and the path is pleasingly conducted along the edge of a steep bank shaded with trees and hung with clustering shrubs."
The Dell was originally the course of the Bins (or Milverton)
We are grateful to "Windows on Warwickshire" for the use of the two black and white photographs above
The Dell as seen from Westbrook House in 1966. By now the "Mosque" has gone.
Photo courtesy of Margaret Marshall.
The Story of the Mowers
Fifteen men - and women - went to mow back in May 1971. Members of Save
Leamington Action Movement (SLAM)
brought their own old rotary mowers to protest at the poor maintenance of the
Dell. The beauty spot had been changed
into a children's play area 18 months earlier and protesters were concerned it
was being neglected as the then borough council prepared a proposal to build a
road on it (see below). But news of the
demonstration leaked out and the council mowed the area before the protesters could arrive. The protesters went ahead regardless, claiming the grass had not been
cut properly. SLAM had formed a month
earlier at a public meeting and dedicated itself to preserving the old houses
and trees of Leamington and improving the