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Helen F
Warrington
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106 of 112  Thu 6th Feb 2020 6:37pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1834

Hi Wave Information and experiences trickle out on this site but not necessarily in a neat fashion. eg There are recollections about the east end of the Council House that was originally a police station and partly bombed during the war. Information might be spread across several topics - eg someone has posted information about policeman Albert Edward Wright and that spawned some discussion about the building. It might spark some memories if you ask about some events or sections of the buildings. Sometimes people don't know what they know until you ask the right question.
Council House
p fandango
Binley, Coventry
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107 of 112  Fri 7th Feb 2020 8:35am  
Member: Joined Jan 2019  Total posts:21

The jail cells are still in place in the Council House. The tour during Heritage Day last year included them for the first time. Was talk of moving the Police Museum from Little Park St into them.
Council House
pixrobin
Canley
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108 of 112  Fri 7th Feb 2020 5:34pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:1127

Someone recently was talking of the intricate embellishments to the face of the Council House. There are very many of them. Here's just a glimpse. I chose this view so others can find it easily with Godiva playing her niche part in the image
Council House
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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109 of 112  Sun 9th Feb 2020 10:36am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3326

I don't think this was the original police cells or station but someone will know. Yes, I also believe that a lot of broken glass was shovelled in the vaults and cellars, whether it was cleared long after the raid I have no idea.
Council House
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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110 of 112  Sun 9th Feb 2020 12:43pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1642

The actual courthouse and jail were at County Hall (now the Slug and Lettuce!). The cells under the Council House were for those awaiting trial. See the County Hall topic. Edited by member, 9th Feb 2020 12:44 pm
Council House
Helen F
Warrington
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111 of 112  Sun 9th Feb 2020 11:24pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1834

Kaga, I don't know about the cells in the photos above (or where they are located) but 'original cells or station' is another of those complicated answers, sorry Blush The part of the Council House that started as the police station predates the building on Earl Street but followed the section on Bayley Lane. It was marked as still under construction in July 1897. The picture below is from Bayley Lane with St Mary Street partially blocked by bollards (even back then traffic was a problem?). The buildings are slightly changed from their original construction but you can get the idea. Forum library image Roughly the same view on Google Street View. The police station started after the gabled section on St Mary Street (old picture) or the second drain pipe (on Google). The police station took up the middle section of St Mary Street. The cells are marked on the west side of the building in the Fire Insurance maps plus there is a very small Fire Engine House to the south of the main building. However, there is a Troughton sketch showing the street before that new police station was constructed and there was a police station already there. Albeit far less handsome and large. That image shows a barred cellar window - ie a gaol - looking out onto St Mary Street or Half Moon Lane as it was then. The police station was north of the Half Moon Tavern which was built in 1728 (?) spanning the road and may have been contemporary with the police station building as the area was developed after the demolition of the Great Drapery that ran from Bayley Lane to Earl Street. In addition to the police building there was the watch house in the market and (as Anne writes) a court house and proper gaol on Pepper Lane. That was rebuilt several times to suit the needs of the time. My theory was that the original might have been the castle tower. In earlier times there was also the Bridewell, a prison near to the Spon Gate and running alongside St John's Church. Parts of the bigger gates could also be used as temporary prisons. During the Civil War both St John's Church and the Leather Hall were used for prisoners of war. All in all Coventry was well supplied with places to lock people up and had guards in times before there were policemen. There were plenty of laws to be upheld, both national and local.
Council House
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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112 of 112  Mon 10th Feb 2020 4:00pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3326

I walk to a wall, lean over, and dream. 1950ish. The stout, high walls of the Coventry gaol, facing St Michael's and Holy Trinity churches, and surmounted by a line of revolving spikes, were a terror to most men. The walls were also of considerable strength. Here was brought Colonel Legge, ancestor of the Earl of Dartmouth. The gallant Colonel was taken prisoner during the battle of Worcester, wounded and carried to Coventry gaol, where he was condemned to be executed. His wife paid him a visit, he walked free wearing her clothes. Later the walls were pulled down to make way for the Free Library.
Council House

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