Kineton is a village and civil parish on the River Dene about ten miles (16 km) from the towns of Banbury to the south-east, Warwick and Leamington Spa to the north, and Stratford-upon-Avon to the west. The village is part of Stratford-on-Avon district, and in the 2001 census it had a population of 2,278.
Nearby is the village of Wellesbourne with its historic water mill (no longer open to the public), Compton Verney House art gallery, the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon, the Burton Dassett Hills country park and the battlefield of Edgehill.
Kineton district council ward covers Gaydon, Lighthorne, Lighthorne Heath, Compton Verney, Combrook, Little Kineton and Chadshunt, a population of 4,228 according to the 2001 census. The village has some areas of light industry but is largely agricultural; many residents commute to nearby towns and cities for employment.
The first recorded reference to Kineton was in 969, when Saxon King Edgar granted some land here to a trusted counsellor.
The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Kington. On the outskirts of the village, at the foot of Pittern Hill, are the remains of the earthworks of a motte-and-bailey castle, known as King John's Castle, so called because it is believed that King John held a court leet there. Kineton gave its name to the area of south-east Warwickshire known as Kineton Hundred.
Early in the 13th century, Stephen de Segrave had a Tuesday market in his manor of Kineton, and a fair on the eve and day of St Peter and St Paul. The market died out by 1840, when the market house was pulled down and a school built on its site, but the fair on 5 February continued until recently.
For a period of the English Civil War, Kineton was looted by Prince Rupert with part of the Royalist army. This was after he had defeated Sir James Ramsay, from the Parliamentarians, and by doing this he failed to aid the rest of his army, thus leading to a neutral ending to the Battle of Edgehill on 23 October 1642. A year later, in July 1643, King Charles met with Queen Henrietta Maria at Kineton.
It is believed that John Newton wrote the hymn Amazing Grace around Christmas 1772 in Kineton after converting to Christianity.
During World War II, Kineton served as a transit camp, with Polish and Czechoslovakian troops stationed there.
One of the UK's main military ammunition depots is located partially within Kineton parish, and is known as the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency (DSDA), Kineton. It extends to several hundred acres and is linked to the main Network Rail system by a branch line. The depot also stores spare railway carriages and trains on behalf of the various UK Train Operating companies.
Near the centre of the village stands St Peter's Church. Work on the current building, which replaced an earlier church on the same site, began in the thirteenth century. A completed church was consecrated in 1315. Of this new building only the fine tower remains.
The rest of the building has been rebuilt and remodelled over the centuries. In the eighteenth century Sanderson Miller enlarged the nave and added two transepts. A further remodelling campaign, which transformed the building into its current form, took place in the nineteenth century.
In 2008, three new bells were cast to augment the bells to eight, one replacing an existing bell. Taylors Eayre & Smith Ltd of Loughborough carried out the work. The eight bells were rung for the first time on 5 November 2008.
The village also has a 19th-century Methodist chapel and a 20th-century Roman Catholic church. Pittern Hill Mill, north-west of the village, is a stone windmill of the 18th century.
Village shops include a Londis store, a traditional butcher, a newsagent, a flower shop, an optician and a bookshop. There is a post office/convenience store and a branch of HSBC Bank. The village has a veterinary practice, a cafe, a fish and chip shop, two public houses, "The Swan", newly refurbished, and The Carpenters Arms (which has a Chinese take-away inside) and a restaurant, Shukur's Brasserie (which offers Bangladeshi and Indian cuisine).
The village and surrounding area are served by Kineton Church of England Primary School and Kineton High School, which takes students aged 11–19.
Kineton is close to the Fosse Way Roman Road and the M40 motorway which links it to Birmingham and London.
Regular bus services to Stratford upon Avon, Banbury and Leamington Spa are operated by Stagecoach and other independent companies.
The village was once served by the Stratford-upon-Avon and Midland Junction Railway between Stratford-upon-Avon and Towcester. Kineton railway station opened on 1 June 1871 and was situated on the Broom to Fenny Compton line. The station closed in 1963 due to the Beeching Axe and the line itself closed two years later.