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St John's Church, Fleet Street

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Baz
Coventry
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1 of 65  Thu 29th Nov 2012 9:24pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:341

Does anyone know about this great church. A lady had an etched drawing of it on her wall. She told me that during the civil war (Oliver Cromwell time) that it used to be or that's where the Coventry Prison was sited, and where the saying "sent to Coventry" came from. Bonds Hospital stands behind the church and also may have been part of the prison or site of. Does anyone else know or have heard of this before? Wave St. John's do have their own web page. The church was used to imprison Scottish Royalist soldiers after the Battle of Preston in 1648. Just read through it all.
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
dutchman
Spon End
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2 of 65  Fri 30th Nov 2012 2:55pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2994

I think I've mentioned this before but that story surfaced around the same time St John's launched their restoration appeal fund and so is highly suspect. It might be true but there are equally plausible theories as to the origin of the phrase.
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
anne
coventry
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3 of 65  Fri 30th Nov 2012 6:26pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:287

When did they launch their appeal fund, Dutchman? I heard about this link ages ago.
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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4 of 65  Fri 30th Nov 2012 8:09pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1415

On 29th Nov 2012 9:24pm, Baz said: ....where the saying "sent to Coventry" came from.
For what it's worth, my explanation on the history page might be useful. Like with many such phrases, there's often a hint of truth in them, but the real origin might never be known.
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
dutchman
Spon End
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5 of 65  Fri 30th Nov 2012 8:48pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2994

On 30th Nov 2012 6:26pm, anne said: When did they launch their appeal fund, Dutchman?
The 1980s Anne, and it was the first time I read of a specific link with St John's Church although the Civil War story had been around in one form or another for much longer than that. I do know that the site had some sort of religious significance long before a church was built there, possibly even dating back to pagan times. It was known as "The Bridewell".
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
tilly trotter
bedworth
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6 of 65  Tue 5th Feb 2013 4:16pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:60

I think the Bridewell faced the east side of the narrow thoroughfare round the Bablake churchyard and leading from Fleet Street to Hill Street. The building was located between the churchyard and Bablake school yard and a portion of the building in the quadrangle was on part of the site of it. I believe that one of the last prisoners held there was Mary Ann Higgins who poisoned her uncle William Higgins in 1831 and was condemned to death for his murder. Mary Ann was found guilty and hanged on 11 August 1831 on Whitley Common. Afterwards the body was taken back to the bridewell for dissection in accordance with the times.
C Arnold

Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
NeilsYard
Coventry
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7 of 65  Thu 9th Jan 2014 1:46pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2014

Heres an interesting shot I'd not seen before - 1900 - Hill Street looking towards Fleet Street.
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
Midland Red
Cherwell
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8 of 65  Thu 9th Jan 2014 2:27pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5259

Which view do your prefer, Neil? That one or this from 2004? Oh my
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
new26
Coventry
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9 of 65  Thu 9th Jan 2014 8:14pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2013  Total posts:12

If it weren't for Mercia House blighting the skyline I'd actually say the 2004 one Oh my The church tower looks lovely with the greenery of the trees in front of it.
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
flapdoodle
Coventry
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10 of 65  Sat 11th Jan 2014 12:31pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:885

I prefer the old photo, with the street built up and lined with buildings, the area is too haphazard at the moment. Oddly, I don't mind Mercia House.
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
heritage
11 of 65  Sat 11th Jan 2014 8:10pm  
Off-topic / chat  

NeilsYard
Coventry
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12 of 65  Mon 13th Jan 2014 9:21pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2014

I was more interested in the view of the distant buildings going up into Fleet Street.
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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13 of 65  Mon 22nd Jun 2015 1:08pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1421

Came across this lovely picture of St John's Church c1822 in a book about an exhibition in 1992 of Edward Rudge and other art in Coventry. Interesting view of the buildings round it.
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
Yanster
Wales
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14 of 65  Sat 13th Feb 2016 10:18pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2016  Total posts:21

St Valentine's Day at St John's Church
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street
Prof
Gloucester
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15 of 65  Mon 13th Aug 2018 10:47pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:982

Here's an aerial view:
Local History and Heritage - St John's Church, Fleet Street

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