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Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)

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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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211 of 259  Mon 4th Dec 2017 6:13pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2204

Wasn't the ram bridge built for control of the water, the word 'ram' seemed to be used a lot in olden days, it was always associated with the velocity or volume of water, perhaps some one can explain it better than I?
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Helen F
Warrington
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212 of 259  Mon 4th Dec 2017 6:37pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1051

Spot on. Rob probably knows the details better than me but there was a mill excavated there. Possibly part of a smithy?
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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213 of 259  Mon 4th Dec 2017 9:20pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1326

I couldn't recall the reason for the name, but this entry from the Victoria County History vol. 8 has this to say.... "SMITHFORD STREET* (vicus de Smythesford Smythesfordestret, between 1290 and 1300) led to the ford through the River Sherbourne at Smythefford, between 1161 and 1175. In 1410-11 it stretched to Smythford Bridge. A bridge probably replaced the ford during the 13th century. There were buildings on the bridge when it was repaired in 1469. Still called Smithford Bridge in 1610, it was also known as Fleet Street Bridge in 1630, and Fleet Bridge in 1636-7. In 1748-9 and 1807 it was called Ram Bridge, probably after Ram House or Inn which was in existence in 1574 and 1650. The river itself at this point was called Ram Brook in 1700." Coincidentally, I recently purchased an original 1807 map of Coventry (yes, 210 years old!) for just £20 on eBay.... and of course, I've shared it with you good people.... 1807 map on Historic Coventry. Enjoy! Thumbs up
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
NeilsYard
Coventry
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Thread starter
214 of 259  Tue 5th Dec 2017 1:13pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1777

I've 'captured' that one here for posterity using the Forum server Thumbs up
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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215 of 259  Tue 5th Dec 2017 5:55pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2204

Hey, look, only my own opinion. But I look at these empty pictures and think Coventry's got bubonic plague or such, the people have all gone, there is no heart, no soul in the city, deserted, desolate, I need the people, I need life, I need the Coventry I once knew.
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Helen F
Warrington
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216 of 259  Tue 5th Dec 2017 6:33pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1051

LOL. Just very early on a summer's morning. The shutters are closed, the shadows are almost pointing south. There are plenty of clues to the age of the photo, including the building on the left, which was demolished to widen Hertford Street. At that point you weren't even a gleam in your father's eye. Your father might not have been a gleam in his father's eye.
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
NeilsYard
Coventry
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Thread starter
217 of 259  Tue 5th Dec 2017 6:53pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1777

Broadgate widened around 1820 I understand and that building on the left would be where the Coventry Arms came to be then Helen? That must be a very early Cov image - one of the earliest?
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Midland Red
Cherwell
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218 of 259  Tue 5th Dec 2017 6:58pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4954

Here's a similar view from the early years of the 20th century - sorry, Kaga, still before your time Thumbs up From the 1930s: And a post-WWII view:
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Helen F
Warrington
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219 of 259  Tue 5th Dec 2017 8:00pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1051

Neil I'm guessing that the image is from the 1860s. The photo below (Rob posted a few days ago) shows the building on the right in the background. The Coventry Arms was next door but one to the left (fancy Georgian windows and gabled roof). The building that would have originally stood where Hertford Street was built, looked very similar to the Coventry Arms. The widening of Broadgate in the 1830s saw a row of half timbered buildings demolished and the buildings remaining on the west (right side of Broadgate photo) side Georgianised. The east and south sides were already in that style, with a few stragglers. After the building was demolished.
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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220 of 259  Tue 5th Dec 2017 9:01pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1326

Yes, the "auction" photo that Neil kindly added above (post 219) was almost certainly taken by Joseph Wingrave in the 1860s - and probably from outside his own Chemist shop at number 4 High Street (see post 11 on this page, which is looking back in the opposite direction). Also, the new King's Head Hotel, seen in Midland Red's photos above, was built in 1879, so that puts a window of less than two decades for the auction photo. Wingrave was at his most active in the 1860s though, so that would be my guess. Also, check another photo of his in my image collection. Definitely that era, within a few years.
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Helen F
Warrington
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221 of 259  Tue 5th Dec 2017 11:36pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1051

I bet what happened, he took the first photos during the day. Developed them and was disappointed by the number of ghosts, where people moved during the shot. So he got up really early on a summer's day to catch the street with nobody in the shot. Only there's a drunk on the corner who hasn't even made his way to bed yet. Lol
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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222 of 259  Wed 6th Dec 2017 9:46am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2204

Yes on paper my post looked a bit harsh considering all the work and effort you all put in to produce the pictures. It just seems strange to me that a bridge was called ram bridge, when all I knew was that at the beginning of the twentieth century cottages had perhaps only one little luxury, which was one forlorn cold tap in the scullery, probably provided by a ram of uncertain temper whose working invariably went wrong. Yes I bow to your expert knowledge. Hey wait a minute, I have one over on you. I had drinks in the White Lion, it had no real street, no frontage, scarred all over, among rubble bits of wire and broken timber, really like no mans land. Cheers Cheers
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Helen F
Warrington
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223 of 259  Wed 6th Dec 2017 10:26am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1051

We know where you were coming from Kaga. I'm also fairly sure that the Ram bridge was connected to water management at that point. I just have to remember where I read the information.
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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224 of 259  Wed 6th Dec 2017 11:37am  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1225

Looking through the newspaper archives there were baths and a swimming pool at Ram Bridge mentioned in various years in the early 19th century. The adverts were usually to say that the baths were re-opened. Would they have been closed for cleaning or some other reason ? It says that the swimming pool was heated by steam. There is also mention in 1930 of “The Ram” at Ram Bridge, Moses Iorns was taken into custody at The Ram, Ram Bridge for being in posession of a stolen horse. I think I will go for a “Private ditto “ Edited by member, 6th Dec 2017 7:46 pm
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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225 of 259  Wed 6th Dec 2017 4:46pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2204

Annewiggy, it's absolutely brilliant what you people come up with, think I'll just stand in the corner for a while.
Smithford Street (inc. Ram Bridge)

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