Dating back to Roman times, Atherstone is situated on the A5, Watling Street. An important Roman settlement named Manduessedum was sited near the modern town. Countess Godiva is recorded as holding the town at the time of the Doomsday Book of 1086. Since it's founding in the 12th Century, St Mary's Chapel has had several revivals with the current design being by Thomas Henry Wyatt and David Brandon in 1849.
By Tudor times there was a thriving commercial weaving and cloth-making industry coming from the many agricultural advances made during the medieval age. This developed further with leather working, metal working and brewing. Shoe making became very important continuing until the 1970's. The hatting industry became a very large employer with 3000 people employed by 7 firms. The last factory for felt hats closed in 1998.
Today the High Street has many small shops and cafes which are busy with both locals and visitors. A favourite is a café called 'The Larder' based around food available during the Second World War.
As well as being situated on the A5, Atherstone is also on the West Coast Main Line and the Coventry Canal.