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Whitefriars Monastery

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JayC
Coventry
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1 of 21  Sun 31st Jan 2010 6:59pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:15

Does anyone know when Whitefriars will be open for the public to look around or who to get in touch with to find out. It wasn't open during last years Heritage days. Thanks, Jason.
Whitefriars Monastery
BrotherJoybert
Coventry
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2 of 21  Sun 31st Jan 2010 10:16pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:118

Is it still owned by the Council or did they palm it off onto Coventry University? I'd love to have a look around it too - last time was a school visit decades ago.
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JayC
Coventry
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Thread starter
3 of 21  Mon 1st Feb 2010 1:28pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:15

One of my wifes relatives died there in the 1890's when it was a workhouse so it is of special interest. I'd also love to look through the Oriel window from where Queen Elizabeth I addressed the people of Coventry.
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Cov_kid

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4 of 21  Tue 2nd Feb 2010 7:54pm  
Total posts:2

Whitefriars is still owned by the Council and used as a storeroom by the Herbert Museum. Yes it would be great to return this back to the people and open it to the public, but like so many buildings [County Hall is another] WE may never see inside it agian even when it is WE who pay for it. I bet there is a long list of buildings that are like this across the country. John
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dutchman
Spon End
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5 of 21  Thu 11th Mar 2010 2:57pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3000

I'm not sure how many of you aware of this but most of the former Abbey is buried under the Ring Road. It's a long story but the present route of the Ring Road is not the original one. Work on the road was halted in 1960 while a new route was surveyed but not before all the buildings on either side of the north-south leg of Whitefriars Lane had been demolished. These included a jutted three-story timber building and a former entrance to the Abbey located in Gosford Street. See this picture at Pictures of Coventry: Former Black Lion Inn. You can just see the name of the lane above the entrance to the tunnel on the right which ran straight through the former inn. Local archaeologists were then given permission to excavate the site to find anything of historical interest. I remember their visit and indeed climbing into the pits they dug once they had left in the evening. A strict deadline for the conclusion of excavations was imposed before work resumed on an ammended Ring Road route. A woman who took part in the excavations has since told me the amount of co-operation they received from the council was a "joke" and that little could be found in the short time allowed.
Whitefriars Monastery
DiDav
Rugby
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6 of 21  Sat 5th Mar 2011 6:04pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2011  Total posts:4

I remember visiting it a few times as a teenager - so probably late 70's. It is an awful shame that such historic buildings are left to be used as storage & not appreciated as tourist sites for the public. My great grandfather was a loom maker in the workhouse there in 1909 before he was moved to Hatton, where he died in 1910.
Whitefriars Monastery
NeilsYard
Coventry
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7 of 21  Sat 26th Mar 2011 12:11am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1815

Agreed, it's absolutely criminal that Whitefriars is in the place and state that it is. Anywhere else it would be a focal point. Same with the Old Grammar School in Hales Street
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dutchman
Spon End
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8 of 21  Sat 26th Mar 2011 12:45am  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3000

DiDav said: My great grandfather was a loom maker in the workhouse there in 1909 before he was moved to Hatton, where he died in 1910.
I knew someone who was brought up in the workhouse in the 1930s. He used to tell us tales of the depravities he suffered there as a child. The elderly and the infirm were also required to do manual labour until they died of illness or old age. Such was the fear instilled by the place that even long after it closed many elderly people refused to go into 'hospital' for urgent treatment in the belief they would never be allowed out again.
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DBC
Nottinghamshire
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9 of 21  Sat 26th Mar 2011 8:56pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:169

My grandmother was born in the Coventry Workhouse in 1892. This was because her mother was unmarried. I have her birth certificate which shows her birth being reported by the "Workhouse Master" (how Dickensian is that?). It's ironic that towards the end of her life in the 1970's she spent some time in Gulson Road Hospital, the direct successor of that workhouse.
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dutchman
Spon End
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10 of 21  Sun 27th Mar 2011 9:25pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:3000

The children of the workhouse were rented out to local businesses as slave labour. Those forced to work in the watch-chain making industry went blind before the age of twelve due to the exacting nature of the work. The latter were eventually spared when machine-made watches from Switzerland undercut the cost of locally hand-made watches. In all the interviews I've seen and read with those in charge of the Workhouses, not once have they ever expressed any remorse at the cruelty they inflicted on inmates.
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NeilsYard
Coventry
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11 of 21  Wed 9th Nov 2016 4:26pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1815

I was actually quite suprised by this one. Whilst doing some 'detective' work on Britain from Above I picked up on this. We do go on - I'm as guilty as anyone(!) at bashing the Ring Road for harnessing the city and of clearing/strangling historic buildings of old. As such I was amazed by this shot from 1930 which shows just how much Whitefriars was build up around even by that early age, as marked by the blue tag with the Morris works/building in the background. Edited by member, 9th Nov 2016 4:27 pm
Whitefriars Monastery
Helen F
Warrington
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12 of 21  Sat 17th Feb 2018 11:52pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:1125

Comprehensive archaeology of Whitefriars for a very decent price Very detailed and usually costs a bomb.
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Prof
Gloucester
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13 of 21  Sat 23rd Jun 2018 11:42am  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:541

Thanks to Helen F, I have just received a new mint clean ex-library copy of this most interesting book of the archaeology and history. I had no idea the Whitefriars Carmelite Church was there "Our Lady of Mount Carmel", now mostly under the ring-road! Photos of the choir stalls that were taken to the Grammar School at the Dissolution, and other interesting drawings and loads of information. I paid only £3.35 plus postage, but be careful I had a shock when it appears at over £60 so had to check mine was the lesser price. Edited by member, 24th Jun 2018 4:17 pm
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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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14 of 21  Sun 24th Jun 2018 10:13am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2306

Non Coventry. Prof, never met her, but I do remember "Mount Carmel" very vividly. I spent several weeks in hospital, top of the hill, overlooking the Bay of Haifa - nearly lost my life in the bank at the foot of the hill when it was bombed in mistake for the shipping office. On the railway station platform for a whole week because of Bubonic plague, caused by the blowing up of the oil tanks at the side of the station, disturbed an army of rats, and much more that I can't reveal on here.
Whitefriars Monastery
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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15 of 21  Sun 24th Jun 2018 11:04am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2306

But what you all seem to forget, this history, your probing, no one was really interested until computers and the like came about - they had enough struggle just to live. The buildings were allowed to get in the state by the people that owned them, the council bought them, in most cases to clear them and rebuild for the good of the people. We should look more at the way people lived, the difference between your life style and your grandparents are miles wide. As for the buildings we are extremely lucky for what we still have, and what you may be able to save. We still have relatives who suffered terrible lives, do you think they stopped to think of saving old buildings? You are lucky you live in this generation and not your grandparents' generation.
Whitefriars Monastery

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