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Strange Coventry Tales

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Baz
Coventry
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1 of 22  Wed 19th Sep 2012 8:03pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:341

I often hear from people living in Coventry, snippets of what they have heard about Coventry's past. Sometimes these are documented and you can find out more online. But there are a few that is not documented or the story passed down. Two of these are here for you to look into or remember yourself. First we have the case of the buried treasure and the Pirate. This story was from a lady living in Coventry for, let's say 70 yrs +. The story goes that a pirate was buried with his treasure in a churchyard in the Wyken area of Coventry. I know the name of the church, but don't want to give it out as I don't want people going there with spades, alike to find the loot. There is no record of this nor any reference to it on the net. Any takers? The second is of a scrap man hitting the jackpot. This story starts with an end of an era for Alvis on the Holyhead Road. The scrap metal person that won the contract to clear the site recovered a complete working tank, and under the floor in the pits, found a number of V12 engines. As well as all the scrap from the factory, made this man very rich. These may be stories, or fact. You decide. Thumbs up
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

Strange Coventry Tales
heritage
Bedworth
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2 of 22  Thu 20th Sep 2012 8:06am  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:374

Interesting topic. For those who worked at Rolls Royce, Parkside, many will remember stories of vintage aero engines being buried under the canteen floor. After the factory closed a working party was set up to investigate. Being the endoscopy man at Ansty I got involved one Friday afternoon. Lots of holes were drilled to enable me to look into, but nothing ever showed up. I don't think anything was found when the site was eventually demolished.
Strange Coventry Tales
walrus
cheshire
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3 of 22  Thu 20th Sep 2012 4:37pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:207

Baz, the pirate's grave is a very well known secret, I think. Certainly everyone at school knew of it. We often visited Mary Magdalene Church on our walk home from Caludon Castle school. The gravestone had the faint etching of a skull and crossbones dating from the 1800s I seem to remember. Even as a naive schoolkid I wondered how a pirate came to be buried just about as far from the sea as you could get in England. A skull and crossbones motif was not uncommon in centuries past. It is a particularly beautiful little church, 12th century mostly with a wonderful typically Norman doorway. We often went inside for a look round, in those days churches were left open, even when unattended. We are really lucky to have several lovely old churches in our city, as well as Mary Magdalene we have St. Lawrence's in Old Church Road and St. Giles in Exhall and I'm sure our members know some more. Maybe when the powers that be want to market our city they could include our other churches as culturally and architecturally significant as well as the cathedral.
Strange Coventry Tales
cazanne
north warwickshire
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4 of 22  Mon 1st Oct 2012 2:27pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2012  Total posts:1

I too used to go up to the church to see the 'pirate's grave' in the churchyard, however I remember a newspaper article that suggested that it was a grave for a plague victim, either way, to a 9 year old, it was scary, I don't remember when it got moved but it must be over 30/40 years ago!! The church was supposed to have a secret tunnel to Coombe Abbey, it would have been a mammoth task to construct!!!
Strange Coventry Tales
Baz
Coventry
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Thread starter
5 of 22  Mon 1st Oct 2012 9:38pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:341

At least 3-5 miles I would say. Maybe it was a priest's bolthole. These were a way out for the priests, and tended to be long enough to get them to safe ground in the days where the churches and the rulers of the country did not see eye to eye. Happy
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

Strange Coventry Tales
Baz
Coventry
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Thread starter
6 of 22  Thu 25th Oct 2012 9:11am  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:341

A very charming little church. I could not find the grave though. Thumbs up
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

Strange Coventry Tales
Babby25
Wyken
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7 of 22  Thu 25th Oct 2012 9:41am  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:20

My uncle was married at that church. Originally the church was on an island surrounded by water (obviously) and the monks from Coombe Abbey used to travel to the church by boat. Legend has it that if you ran around the grave 3 times that the "pirate" would return from the dead, then later the story changed that if you ran around the church 3 times and then throw a stone through the window the "pirate" would return from the dead. The vicar removed the headstone as he soon got fed up of replacing the broken windows. The only tunnel I have heard about from Coombe Abbey is to St. Bartholomew Church, Binley, which the benefactor of the church was Lord Craven of Coombe Abbey.
Strange Coventry Tales
Gumnut
Moruya NSW Australia
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8 of 22  Thu 25th May 2017 7:43am  
Member: Joined Jun 2014  Total posts:25

Not to cause a ruckus by giving wrong info here, and I will accept fault if I'm way of the mark! In some research I have done on the Knights Templar I remember a connection with the Skull and Cross-Bone icons, with it being used on some of their grave stones and building related to them. I have no info on the age of the gravestone so can't link them for sure. But maybe!!!!
Strange Coventry Tales
LesMac
Coventry
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9 of 22  Thu 25th May 2017 10:55am  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:294

Gumnut. What is the connection between the Tile Hill area and the Knights Templars? In Tile Hill there are several references to the Templars,Templar Ave for example. Also, I think there are murals in Jardine Crescent as well, not sure, long time since I was last there.
Strange Coventry Tales
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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10 of 22  Thu 25th May 2017 3:12pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1737

Baz, David Mcgrory disputes the pirate story, says it was a normal 17/18th century grave decorated with skull and cross bones as a symbol of mortality. He also says the slough was a favourite fishing pool, where catches of a hundredweight of tench were not unusual. Wyken meant the bend in the river (Sowe). Wyken Pippin was a famous apple, grown by Admiral Craven from Coombe Abbey. Henley Common was noted for its sheep. Long ago I posted on here somewhere I remembered a guy in Coventry, had only one leg, dressed as a pirate and scared the living daylights out of me, may have been in Butcher Row, I have no idea what or who he was, wondered if anyone else had heard about him, but no one answered so I took it that no one knew about him.
Strange Coventry Tales
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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11 of 22  Thu 25th May 2017 3:18pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1737

When I say he only had one leg, his knee was in a silver cup, with a single silver rod to the ground. There was also a Random Jim, known in Coventry that had some queer frightening tales about him.
Strange Coventry Tales
pixrobin
Canley
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12 of 22  Thu 25th May 2017 6:19pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:992

Hi LesMac When the Cistercian monks inhabited Stoneleigh Abbey their lands included Westwood and Canley (though not the enlarged Canley we know today). Much of what we now know as Canley and Tile Hill was Fletchamstead. Fletchamstead was overseen from the 13th? century by the Knights Templar of Temple Balsall. Originally settled at Fletchamstead Farm (just north of Queen Margarets Road) the Knights Templar wanted something a little more upmarket, so Fletchamstead Hall was built. That was situated on the line of the present Wolfe Road between Torrington Avenue and Tile Hill Lane. Another farm, Fletchamstead Park Farm (in the Bradney Green area) was a later development. In the immediate post-war era we got Templar Avenue and Templars Fields and, more recently, Knights Templar Way and Monks Field Drive.
Strange Coventry Tales
Gumnut
Moruya NSW Australia
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13 of 22  Fri 26th May 2017 12:10am  
Member: Joined Jun 2014  Total posts:25

I take the back seat on this one. Very good knowledge there pixrobin. There is of course the link between the Templars and Freemasonry. Could there be a connection with that, if the grave is from the 17/18th century. I still can't be convinced of a pirate being buried in Wyken.
Strange Coventry Tales
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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14 of 22  Fri 26th May 2017 2:13pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1737

Baz. Post the name of the damned graveyard, Coventry can have its own ''Fistful of dollars''
Strange Coventry Tales
LesMac
Coventry
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15 of 22  Fri 26th May 2017 2:14pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2011  Total posts:294

Thanks for replies. I have been following links between the Templars, Roseline Chapel, Chris. Columbus and Oak Island. Why? Because I am in my dotage and got little else to do.
Strange Coventry Tales

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