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24 September 2014
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March around the middle of George Eliot country

George Eliot statue
The George Eliot statue in Nuneaton
George Eliot referred to Nuneaton as a place called Milby in her early works and many of the places referenced can still be visited with our walking tour.

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Follow our guide around George Eliot Country to see the sites in Nuneaton associated with the great author.

All the sites are free and are within walking distance of one another, to make visiting really easy.

 George Eliot Hospital
The George Eliot Hospital
George Eliot referred to Nuneaton as a place called Milby in her early works and many of the places referenced can still be visited. It’s fascinating to compare the life and scenes of the town today with those in her writings.

In Scenes of Clerical Life, The Mill on the Floss and Adam Bede, Nuneaton landmarks are identifiable, while Middlemarch refers to many developments in nearby Coventry.

Follow the mini-guide described below to soak up the sights of George Eliot in Nuneaton.

 
MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY
 
 Nuneaton Art Gallery
Nuneaton Art Gallery
Coton Road, Nuneaton
Open Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am – 4.30pm
Sundays 2pm – 4.30pm
Closed Mondays

Free admission

See George Eliot’s belongings

The art gallery has some fascinating artefacts from George Eliot’s life. In a recreated drawing room, they display her grand piano and writing desk. You can also glimpse the writer’s sense of taste by viewing some of her clothes, photographs and belongings.

 
MEMORIAL GARDEN AND OBELISK
 
 The George Eliot obelisk
The George Eliot obelisk
Open all year

Relax with a book

At the garden’s centre is an obelisk commemorating George Eliot. It was originally in Ardbury Park and was moved when the garden was created in 1952.

The George Eliot Fellowship holds a wreath-laying ceremony on the site every June to celebrate the author.

 
THE GEORGE ELIOT HOTEL
 
 The George Eliot Hotel
he Georeg Eliot pub
Bridge Street

Drink in the atmosphere

The street has changed since George Eliot walked here but the pub on the right is mentioned in one of her books. In Janet’s Repentance it is The Red Lion, where characters plot against Reverend Tryan. It was re-named the George Eliot around 20 years ago.

 
NEWDIGATE SQUARE
 
 George Eliot statue
The George Eliot statue
Reflect on a legend

Right in the centre of Nuneaton is a statue of George Eliot, where she sits amongst shoppers the busy pedestrianised streets.

The statue was made by John Letts in 1986, on a commission by the George Eliot Fellowship.

 
NUNEATON LIBRARY
 
 The George Eliot collection poster
The George Eliot Collection poster
The library is open every day, call 024 7638 4027 for details.

Read all about it

The library has the largest public collection of George Eliot material in the country.

Visitors have the chance to read the novels, of course, but you can also see early editions of novels, essays and more.

 
CHURCH STREET
 
 St Nicolas Church
St Nicolas Church
By the car park

Following footsteps

Looking down the street with your back to the church, you can see the road called Orchard Street in George Eliot’s Milby. Some of the houses in the street described by the authorwere bombed in World War Two. Now the George Eliot Memorial Garden is in their place.

If you look down Victoria Street from here you see the old grammar school and the vicarage, also placed in Milby. The Elms, George Eliot’s school when she was eight, was near here too, but has since been replaced by the Magistrates Court.

 
PARISH CHURCH OF ST NICOLAS
 
 The Buchanan family tomb
The Buchanan tomb
Church Street

Meet the characters

This church appeared in Janet’s Repentance and was the scene of many plots.

Two of the characters in the book were based on real people, Mr Crew was Reverend Hugh Hughes and Lawyer Dempster was based on James Buchanan. The Buchanan family tomb can still be seen in the churchyard.

 
Journey’s end
 
Here, appropriately, your journey ends. Follow the links on the left to find out more and to visit some of the George Eliot sites in Nuneaton’s surrounding areas.

Tour leaflet

For a leaflet outlining this tour, with a useful map and photographs, call Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council on 024 7637 6490 follow the council links on the left.


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