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dougie
from Wigan
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1 of 18  Sun 7th Jun 2015 8:33am  
Member: Joined Dec 2010  Total posts:195

I've been reading through the history of Coventry on this link and was wondering why I've never seen any signs like this one on Holyhead Road or London Road in Coventry or have I missed them, I've seen them on other parts of the country on the old coaching road Smile it also says the road ran through the centre of your city Edited by member, 7th Jun 2015 8:36 am
Old coaching roads
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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2 of 18  Sun 7th Jun 2015 9:59am  
Member: Joined Oct 2014  Total posts:823

You have never seen them, dougie, because there aren't any. The only acknowledgement to coaching that I know is the Phantom Coach pub. It has a rather strange tale attached. I don't know who is responsible for erecting brown signs.
Just old and knackered

Old coaching roads
NeilsYard
Coventry
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3 of 18  Sun 7th Jun 2015 11:23am  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1764

I guess the Tollgate Pub is about as close as we can get in Cov.
Old coaching roads
dougie
from Wigan
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Thread starter
4 of 18  Sun 7th Jun 2015 2:21pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2010  Total posts:195

Coventry should also show the signs. Is it not a part of the history of the city if other places show them just for the road? As by the 12th century streets ran out of the town to the north, east, south-west and possibly south-east and all, except the southern exits, had their suburbs. This suggests that Coventry was already an important road centre, a supposition confirmed by the presence of bars at these exits in the 13th century before the building of the five most important gates there in the 14th century. Certainly by the middle of the 14th century it was the centre of a network of roads linking it with Worcester, Holyhead, Leicester, and London and by the 16th century at the latest the main coach road from London to Holyhead passed through the city.
Old coaching roads
morgana
the secret garden
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5 of 18  Sun 7th Jun 2015 5:14pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2228

Kaga, the main coach route from Bedworth into Coventry was Grange Rd, Longford. I am sure Grange Rd was prior named Green Lane, the old road went through Longford Park which it stated a bit of it is still there. I also recently read the coach roads were mainly led on the routes of the toll gates around Coventry. Edited by member, 7th Jun 2015 7:28 pm
Old coaching roads
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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6 of 18  Mon 8th Jun 2015 10:45am  
Member: Joined Oct 2014  Total posts:823

And then of course there is Toll Bar End. I have a gut feeling that somewhere I have seen an engraving of a toll gate at or near the London Rd end of St James Lane. "Toll Bar" - does this refer to a bar placed across the road, to be lifted when a traveller has paid the toll as the "pike" in turnpike?
Just old and knackered

Old coaching roads
morgana
the secret garden
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7 of 18  Mon 8th Jun 2015 1:20pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:2228

Another coaching road - Allesley Village.
Old coaching roads
Dillotford
Stafford
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8 of 18  Wed 10th Jun 2015 10:55pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2014  Total posts:29

There are some references to Coventry on the London to Dublin mail route: From 5 August 1817 the route was altered to go through Coventry, its route now being Highgate, Barnet, Dunstable, Hockcliffe, Towcester, Daventry, Coventry, B'ham and onto Shrewsbury, previously it went via Oxford. Works to the roads were required to ease the gradients and sharp bends etc. Major construction included two miles of new road to the east and west of Coventry - presumedly this is London and Holyhead Roads.
Old coaching roads
Midland Red
Cherwell
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9 of 18  Fri 27th Nov 2015 11:15am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4900

Norman - copied from History of Willenhall: There was no specific reference in the Middle Ages to London Road, which, by passing through the parish, has always formed its most important feature. The bridges - Willenhall Bridge and Ryton Bridge - by which the road crosses the Sowe and the Avon were mentioned in 1410-11, though not by those names, and there was a family called 'atte Brugge' in the 14th century. By Leland's time (1535-43) there was a stone bridge of five arches at Willenhall. A line of banks west of Dell Close suggests that the stretch of London Road called Weeping Lane ran up from Willenhall Bridge to the east of the present road, and was directly aligned with St. James Lane. The modern course of the road was probably laid out by the turnpike company in 1724. The upkeep of the roads and bridge was a continual problem in the 17th century, disputes arising between the inhabitants and the county concerning responsibility for repairs. The inhabitants of Willenhall were constantly in trouble for not repairing the main road; this road was given various names, including Willenhall Lane, London Road, and Daventry Road. In 1632 there were said to be two highways, that from Coventry to Southam (London Road), and another from Leicester to Warwick; the latter was presumably a route bypassing Coventry through Binley, Willenhall, and Baginton, using St. James Lane, but this is the only reference to it as a highway. There was a toll gate on London Road, after it was turnpiked, near the junction with Brandon Lane at what became known as Tollbar End. The road was considerably improved in 1836, and the gradient of the hill between Willenhall Bridge and Finford Bridge lowered.
Old coaching roads
Dillotford
Stafford
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10 of 18  Sat 5th Dec 2015 9:59pm  
Member: Joined Dec 2014  Total posts:29

I have found where the mail route improvements of early 19th cent were located for the London Road and Holyhead Road. London Road improvement was from Abbey Road to the Red Lion pub, the route before would have used Abbey Road, which was narrow and steep. Holyead Road improvement was from almost the city centre to the current roundabout with Allesley Old Road, which would been the original turnpike route. London Road entered the city via Much Park Street.
Old coaching roads
SJT
Brisbane, Australia
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11 of 18  Wed 16th May 2018 2:35am  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:12

Just wondering if anyone might know about stagecoach transport out of and into Coventry in the early 1830s or thereabouts? I'm writing a novel set in Coventry in that period (historical fiction around the 1831 Beck's Mill riot) and two of my characters need to get to and from London by coach. I have general details from a book on daily life in England around about that time and a few websites that provide information (including 1836 Stage Coach Routes) but nothing specific to Coventry. Things I'm interested in: Where did the London coach arrive / depart from in Coventry (which inn/street)? Was there another Coventry inn where the stage stopped on the road to Birmingham? How long did it take to/from London? Fare? From what I've read so far, on a heavy-coach or night-coach (ie. slower than the more expensive mail coaches) doing just on ten miles an hour at 3d per mile (travelling on the outside of the coach) the fare would have been 25s (assuming 100 miles to Cheapside's Swan With Two Necks Inn, noting that it was 109 miles to Birmingham according to the website above). This was probably 1 months pay for a weaver at the time - and it would have taken 10 hours. Any thoughts or additional information much appreciated.
Old coaching roads
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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12 of 18  Wed 16th May 2018 9:22am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2070

SJT. You need to find out all the stopping places for change of horses, how long they stopped for, blacksmiths for lost shoes, etc. Here in Brighton a thousand pound wager was struck between a coach driver and a coach firm around 1880 that a driver could not reach Piccadilly and return to the seafront in under eight hours, a round trip of 108 miles. Crowds urged him on, the upper decks of the horse buses were crowded with spectators, the police held up the traffic for him. The wager caught the imagination of the people. I too wrote a novel about it, the problems, the route, stopping places, times, etc. - at one place 57 seconds to change a team of four, was a record. He did it with ten minutes to spare and was handed the money. Brilliantly painted coaches, harness shone, silver-lace or gold plated horse cloths decorated with crowns and laurel sprigs embroidered in each corner. To me, difficult to find a more brilliant spectacle to write about.
Old coaching roads
Helen F
Warrington
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13 of 18  Wed 16th May 2018 10:02am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:981

There were different ways into the city depending on where you were going to and coming from. Coventry was probably somewhere people changed carriages and/or directions. There were many lodging houses and inns and most of them had stabling. My suggestion is to either pick a coaching house with a good description or pictures (eg the Cock Court at Spon End; the Castle in Broadgate or the Craven Arms on the High Street). Real Ale Rambles, a great resource for inns and pubs. Or find a book that describes the city at that time. There is a book by a female traveller on her grand tour describing how run down Spon Street is but I haven't worked out where those comments are from. There were antiquarians beginning to take an interest in Coventry at that time and artists were capturing the scenes. The road names give clues about some of the coach routes - eg Holyhead Road, London Road. Edited by member, 16th May 2018 10:06 am
Old coaching roads
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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14 of 18  Wed 16th May 2018 1:02pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3029

On 7th Jun 2015 11:23am, NeilsYard said: I guess the Tollgate Pub is about as close as we can get in Cov.
Sorry for such a negative approach to this one but one summer evening, must have been during the late 60's we were sitting outside the front of the Tollgate and got talking to an old timer and talking as to why it was called the Tollgate and he happened to mention that the Holyhead Road was a very busy coaching road and went straight through the town of Coventry. Not very helpful I know but wasn't a tollgate mentioned on the forum and where it stood?
Old coaching roads
mattash
Rugby
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15 of 18  Wed 16th May 2018 2:28pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:619

Dunchurch was a staging post for the London to Holyhead which ran up the A45. Part of the old coach track is still there. Also, Canley Ford was on the coach track from Birmingham to Cheltenham. Part of that track also exists going towards Evesham. There were also many different companies so they probably used different inns. There is a lot of info out there, just needs sifting through. Thumbs up Edited by member, 16th May 2018 2:35 pm
Old coaching roads

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