Some time near the middle of the 11th century a Saxon noble called Alsi owned the hamlet of Estleia which later became known as Astley. The Domesday book briefly mentions Estleia saying "The count himself holds 1 hide in Estleia, and Godric [holds] of him. There is land for 2 ploughs."
The first mention of a church at Astley is in 1285 when Stephen Astley was appointed incumbent of the Parish Church by Edith Astley.
In 1338 Sir Thomas de Astley obtained permission to found a chantry in the Lady chapel of the parish church of Astley. That is to say, he provided funds for four secular priests , who should offer prayers and masses in the Lady Chapel of the then Parish Church, which was already at that time an old building. One of these priests was termed the warden. From the episcopal register of the time we learn that the authority of the Pope, as well as the consent of the chapters of Lichfield and Coventry, had been obtained for this foundation.
Two years later (in 1340) Sir Thomas Astley increased the number of these priests by three, making seven altogether, and also provided them with a clerk, providing the money for this by setting apart certain lands in the parishes of Withybrook, Hopsford, and Bedworth. Eventually, in 1343, having obtained the sanction of both King Edward III and the Bishop of Lichfield, Sir Thomas changed this chantry into a collegiate church, which he then built, pulling down most, if not all, of the old church in which was the original chantry, and erecting a new building.