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The Square lies at the south corner of the familiar triangular road network around Knowle that has existed for centuries.  Standing guardian over the scene are the early 15th century Church and Guild House, which are still at the heart of the village after 600 years.  When the church was consecrated in 1403 it is believed to have been on the edge of the village, as the early settlement was in Kenilworth Road.

The Guild House was the headquarters of the Guild of St. Anne.  Before the Guild was dissolved in 1547 there were a number of priests attached to it and to the College of Knowle.  (Knowle was the last church in Warwickshire to become collegiate).  One theory is that the Square - not a square in the normal sense - was left as an open space for people to congregate and listen to sermons.

Many of the buildings in the Square are timber-framed.  The Guild House originally included both St. Anne’s Cottage next to it and the office building beyond, which used to be called Monastery House.  The Red Lion dates from the 17th century or earlier.  Less obvious are the pharmacy and Lyons’ butcher’s shop.  The beautiful timbered White Swan, which belonged to the College and stood where the NatWest Bank is today, was demolished in 1939 - Knowle’s greatest loss.


The Square c. 1900, showing the Red Lion on the extreme left; the pharmacy with the end of the Guild House extreme right.

Looking across the Square from Kenilworth Road; the Red Lion left  and the White Swan beyond with the butcher’s shop between