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Guide to Warwickshire’s sporting history, legendary author and Spaghetti Junction.

County  motto: Not without right

Best thing: William Shakespeare was, as Ben Jonson had it, the ‘soul of the age! The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage!’

Heroes: Lady Godiva; Tom Mann (trade unionist)

Local food: Fowlers, 13th-generation cheesemakers; Stratford-upon-Avon farmer’s market; Coventry Godcakes’ triangular shape represents the Trinity; Aubrey Allen’s Warwickshire Whizzer sausage; plum jerkum, a cider that ‘left the head clear while paralysing the legs’

Events: The Grand Wardmote of the Woodmen of Arden, longbow archers; Shakespeare procession on Shakespeare’s Birthday; Wroth Silver Ceremony, Knightlow Hill, when rights are paid to the Duke of Buccleuch, followed by a traditional hot rum and milk

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Inventions: Alexander Parkes unveiled Parkesine, the first manmade plastic, at the London International Exhibition in 1862

Battle: The Battle of Edgehill in 1642 was the first major conflict in the English Civil War as the Royalists under Charles I marched on London, but were held back by the Earl of Essex

Worst thing: Gravelly Hill Interchange, more infamously known as Spaghetti Junction, is a symbol of Britain’s motorway system and apparently looks best from the air

What they say: ‘The palace of princely pleasure; for so the travelling minstrels had termed Kenilworth’ (Walter Scott)

Artistic connections: William Shakespeare; George Eliot; Rupert Brooke; Dame Rose Macaulay; poet Michael Drayton; Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry

First: William Webb Ellis was the first to pick up the ball and run with it, creating rugby football when at Rugby School

Houses: Warwick Castle is brought to life with Tussaud’s wax figures; Kenilworth Castle; Arbury Hall is a feast of Gothic interiors; Ragley Hall; Charlecote Park