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Coventry photo puzzles to solve

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Helen F
Warrington
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1 of 15  Tue 3rd Mar 2015 10:18pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:826

This is a series of three photos of the same place I'll post over the next few days. This first one is a close up of the 'modern' brick building. Only the archway into the cellar survived. The next will be a sketch of the original building from the Pictures of Coventry and the third is a view from the air. Where was * this and what was the name of the pub the cellar belonged to? * the building has now been demolished. Edited by member, 3rd Mar 2015 10:20 pm

Question

Coventry photo puzzles to solve
dutchman
Spon End
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2 of 15  Tue 3rd Mar 2015 10:42pm  
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Pilgrim's Rest, corner of Ironmonger Row and Palmer Lane?
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
Helen F
Warrington
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3 of 15  Tue 3rd Mar 2015 10:53pm  
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Good guess but you're too far north, although the Pilgrim's Rest had a similar cellar.
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
Helen F
Warrington
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4 of 15  Wed 4th Mar 2015 1:00pm  
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Picture number 2. Some of you may know the name of the alley depicted in this early sketch and I'm guessing that one of the buildings in the back was the pub the alley was named after. I'm assuming it was the one with the cellar but I might be wrong. [I am wrong, reading more I determine that the pub is the one to the right at the back]. I'll tell you the name of the pub tonight. Edited by member, 4th Mar 2015 2:24 pm
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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5 of 15  Wed 4th Mar 2015 1:43pm  
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The Vaults?
Just old and knackered

Coventry photo puzzles to solve
Helen F
Warrington
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6 of 15  Wed 4th Mar 2015 7:54pm  
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Sorry Norman, the place is the Pope's Head Inn. This interesting fragment of medieval Coventry formerly a thoroughfare known as " Pope's Head Alley," from an ancient inn called the Pope’s Head," a portion of which is shown at the right of the drawing but it has been discontinued as a public-house for many years. The back of the house here illustrated is one of those interesting specimens of timber-framed structures, for which Coventry is so noted, though their number is rapidly growing less. Like many of its class, it is erected on a stone basement, the under croft forming a stone crypt having a groined roof, the doorway of which is shown in the foreground, but walled up. It would be an improvement to re-open this entrance and place a door there with an iron grating in the head, allowing access to light and air. The age of the lower portion and of most of the timber framing appears to be of the early part of the l6th Century, or late 15th. The upper portion of the house is additionally interesting as having been used in the first decade of the present century as a Jewish Synagogue, and it is believed to be the first house in Coventry in later times where a regular congregation of the Hebrew persuasion met for worship, Since the original drawing was made over four years ago, several alterations have been made on the left, and in the lower windows, but the main frame work is still untouched. The spaces between the timbers are filled in with thin bricks. The Jews now possess a recently built Synagogue at the west end of the city. So that's the name, but where was it? Last picture tomorrow should give it away. Edited by member, 4th Mar 2015 7:55 pm
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
dutchman
Spon End
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7 of 15  Wed 4th Mar 2015 11:13pm  
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Isn't there some dispute Helen whether it was in Derby Lane, Bayley Lane or Butcher Row?
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
Helen F
Warrington
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8 of 15  Wed 4th Mar 2015 11:59pm  
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It could to be one of those Wink The sketch is dated 1883 and specifically called Pope's Head Alley. The description is from the same lithograph as the one on the Pictures of Coventry copy. It would be an odd name if the pub wasn't somewhere along its length. It could explain why it seems to be listed in more than one place. I've certainly pinpointed exactly where the picture was drawn from. I missed out the part of the description that describes the route of the alley but I'd worked out the location of the building before I'd read it. The more familiar building (probably the pub) is the one on the right and is the subject of several other images including photos but none of them seem to be labelled Pope's Head Inn.
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
Helen F
Warrington
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9 of 15  Thu 5th Mar 2015 5:21pm  
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Ok, the final picture. This is a quite distinctive survivor of the bombing and probably owed its durability to it being rebuilt sometime after 1920 but before the war. The very earliest pictures on Britain From Above faintly shows the medieval version though it's hard to tell that there had been a change in the later images. For a while I thought the building might be original but the picture of the archaeological dig clearly shows a newer building upon the old foundations. In the photo you can see the square hole to the right of the drain pipe, the steps and a very faint impression of the arch (highlighted by the small arrow). The building to the right in the sketch is much more iconic and I'll put up a familiar picture after I confirm where the building stood.
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
dutchman
Spon End
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10 of 15  Thu 5th Mar 2015 11:37pm  
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Always wondered what that building was Helen, had previously assumed it was something to do with the library: Edited by member, 16th Nov 2015 1:31 am
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
Helen F
Warrington
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11 of 15  Fri 6th Mar 2015 12:28am  
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I knew you'd get it Dutchman Thumbs up This interesting fragment of medieval Coventry is situated in a court behind Derby Lane, formerly a thoroughfare known as "Pope's Head Alley" from an ancient inn called the Pope’s Head, a portion of which is shown at the right of the drawing but it has been discontinued as a public-house for many years. The alley communicated at its north end with what was anciently called the "Spycerstoke" an opening near the west end of Trinity Church, and at the top of the Great Butchery, From here its course was along a court to the south, turning eastwards by the “Pope's Head" (the point from whence the drawing has been taken), thence south again by the east end of the inn for a few yards, and then eastwards through a narrow passage into Derby Lane I only found this on Tuesday so The Pope's Head seems to be the fraction of a building to the very right of the sketch above, which is why it was listed as in two different locations. It's not on Derby Lane or Butcher Row but in the middle of the block. There's a picture of the Butcher Row end of the alley if anyone's interested. The front of the building in the aerial photo is the right hand of this last image, seen from Derby Lane. It looks like it's a brick building but I think it was just a brick skin. Medieval passages tended to be arched, like the one on the left of the picture. So maybe that was the original exit of Pope's Head Alley? Edited by member, 6th Mar 2015 12:42 am
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
Helen F
Warrington
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12 of 15  Fri 6th Mar 2015 8:36am  
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This 1888 map is later and shows a brick and timber building in the right place for the pub. The map above would have the alley come out right next to the old house whereas this map shows it where the arched entrance is although a modern building has cut the passage in two. The Board of Health Map seems to show a passage as per your map but it's only half way through the building and I wondered if it was the cellar? Originally the alley might have wiggled between buildings all the way to Gaol/Pepper Lane which might explain why it's referenced in three places at once?
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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13 of 15  Fri 6th Mar 2015 12:58pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1079

Hope this does not confuse matters further Helen. There is an iten in "Coventry Collections" which says "Notes regarding the Toby's Head public house, Pepper Lane, formerly the Pope's Head. Dated 1756 - 1840
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
Helen F
Warrington
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14 of 15  Fri 6th Mar 2015 1:20pm  
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It's entirely possible Anne, though in 1750 at least part of the Toby's Head plot was a road through to the High Street. The pubs moved about. I suspect that the Spread Eagle on West Orchard moved from it's position at the west end, temporarily to the entrance to the market on the same street and then back again to the original location but in a newer building. Until I accepted that it had moved, I couldn't rationalise the pictures with the maps.
Coventry photo puzzles to solve
mcsporran
Coventry & Cebu
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15 of 15  Fri 6th Mar 2015 6:56pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2013  Total posts:345

There's an index of Coventry street names and their various changes through the ages on this page at the British History Online. Unforunately no mention of Pope's Head Lane but might be of interest for other such puzzles.
Coventry photo puzzles to solve

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