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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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16 of 27  Sun 19th Mar 2017 9:54am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1586

Great photo MR. I still think they look majestic, and I bet they live longer than any high rise building of today. If I remember correctly around the first thirty years of the twentieth century you could buy packs of six or eight picture postcards of the spires, we used them often to send short messages to people.
Three Spires
Midland Red
Cherwell
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Thread starter
17 of 27  Sun 19th Mar 2017 10:38am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4202

Thank you Kaga Cheers As a bit of "light relief" on this topic Roll eyes I took this photo last week - I wonder if these are the "New Three Spires" of Coventry, with one of them the "Leaning Tower" Oh my Lol
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Roger Turner
Torksey
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18 of 27  Sun 19th Mar 2017 11:01am  
Member: Joined Aug 2014  Total posts:450

There was some discussion earlier as to whether "Three Spires" was famous. I think what was meant was this throughout the land and even abroad? I wonder if this is part of the "sayings" thread, for instance is there something in the gathering into "threes", I can think of another one - Dundee was "famous" locally, at least for a "three" Jute, Journalism and Jam I know it because I stayed there, but has it travelled? It certainly isn`t derogatory, affectionate even, and not in the category of infamy, like the town that hanged the monkey
Three Spires
AD
Allesley Park
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19 of 27  Sun 19th Mar 2017 1:56pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:389

I think that the Three Spires were nationally famous due to them being so dominant over the rest of the skyline for many centuries. However, I think in living memory due to redevelopment (certainly from post-war onwards) has made it less so to the point where I doubt anyone outside of the city is particularly aware of it and even anyone in the city under the age of 30 are aware of them. A bit like the actual Coventry Cross - incredibly famous in its day but almost disappeared from consciousness now and the smaller replica hidden behind CL often just leads to confused looks. While on the subject, views of the Three Spires are part of the CCAAP and I wondered what opinions were? It talks about preserving the views that exist (see page 27 of this). For me virtually all of these views are poor (I've actually been sad enough to walk around and look at them all, but you can usually get a decent impression from Google StreetView) with massively obstructed views and often you can only see a very small portion of one or two at the most. The council are restricting tall buildings within those view cones and this is a massive restriction on the development and potential of the city centre and they need to concentrate on quality not quantity. You can create a very good impression by only offering occasional glimpses and thus make the views more powerful - Capability Brown was a master of it. The other issues that have been talked about on here, like topography and the shortest spire being at the bottom of the hill etc, are completely ignored, so getting a decent view from the north of ALL THREE is nigh on impossible. As far as I'm concerned there are only really two or three places that it would be possible to get decent views of all three. One is from the Central Six/Spencer Park area, during winter when the trees are bare you can see all three from Manor House Drive and the other is from the train station entrance, which I think would be the best one because it would create an image of Coventry as soon as they arrive - first impressions and all that. In fact part of me thinks the train station was sited there for this very reason, because it just seems so good. The recent image shown from the new Friargate building shows roughly what it could be like, but for me the taller buildings would be better suited to the north of the city centre because their higher elevation would negate the effect of the hill and thus those building would be able to enjoy a view of all three spires that couldn't be got from street level. For me the three spires policy would be about CREATION of a few good views rather than the PRESERVATION of existing poor ones, using the following criteria: 1. Has to include ALL THREE spires 2. A decent proportion of every spire must be visible 3. On well-used public routes or routes that can be become such. Thoughts?
Three Spires
AD
Allesley Park
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20 of 27  Sun 19th Mar 2017 2:02pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:389

On 15th Mar 2017 7:38pm, Midland Red said:
On 14th Mar 2017 11:14am, NeilsYard said: Don't think you can from Allesley Old Road, Dream, but still a great view from the top of Winsford Avenue. I think that's the highest point in Coventry.
They seem very distant viewed from Winsford Avenue In fact there appear to be four spires as St Osburg's is visible Wink And Christ Church is still well hidden by 20th century buildings Oh my
I live around there and the view from Winsford around about Denham Avenue is good in comparison to pretty much everywhere else. The do look a bit distant but the larger buildings do negate the effect somewhat nowadays. I expect it will only be a matter of time before one of them is covered but such is life. I don't think people are going to visit so they can stand halfway up a hill in a residential area just for the view!
Three Spires
Midland Red
Cherwell
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Thread starter
21 of 27  Sun 19th Mar 2017 2:28pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4202

On 19th Mar 2017 1:56pm, AD said: As far as I'm concerned there are only really two or three places that it would be possible to get decent views of all three. One is from the Central Six/Spencer Park area, during winter when the trees are bare you can see all three from Manor House Drive and the other is from the train station entrance, which I think would be the best one because it would create an image of Coventry as soon as they arrive - first impressions and all that. In fact part of me thinks the train station was sited there for this very reason, because it just seems so good.
My photo in post #15 was taken from the Grosvenor Road bridge (Central Six/Spencer Park) and this one in 2010 from Manor House Drive Thumbs up
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Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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22 of 27  Fri 24th Mar 2017 9:30am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1586

Helen, good morning. What always surprised me, considering the old wall and gates of the city, the size of the city didn't warrant three churches of that size inside its walls. The Council House was a recent building yet styled in thirteenth century time.
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Helen F
Warrington
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23 of 27  Fri 24th Mar 2017 11:42am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:686

Hi Kaga. The number of churches was a reflection of the wealth of the city and it was a big place for that time. The wealth was in part due to the divided nature of the power structure. Most of you know that half the city was owned by the church and half by the lords of the manor (later Cheylesmore) as set up by Leofric and Godiva. Of what I understand, after 1066, Coventry had absentee land lords (Lords of Chester) who bartered land and civil rights for men and money. So the lord's people were able to profit from their own work and land. That's always been a route to prosperity. There was also rivalry with the prior's people and the church. Free enterprise and competition generated success. The church building was a part of the competition between the two factions. St Mary's and Grey Friars belonged to the church but St John's, Holy Trinity and St Michael's belonged to the Lord's people. The mayor and corporation were part of the freedoms given to the city by the lords and they became powerful and wanted to show it. They were able to raise taxes and make significant changes to the city. When the wall was built, it was the Lords half that was built first and the slow speed of the rest of the walling was partly the reluctance of the church to pay for it and partly the intermittent nature of warfare and the need for protection. The wall was as much a way to ensure people paid taxes as a way to defend the city. The wall may ultimately have stifled the city and the guilds also played their part in killing innovation and fresh talent. Initially people would have had no option but pass through Coventry and spend/trade but eventually taxes would have driven people away to cheaper markets. When Henry demolished the priories and the strongholds of the Catholic church, he offered the cathedrals and major churches to the people in exchange for a fee. Coventry refused. Maybe because they didn't have the money and maybe because they had the other churches. St Mary's was sold for scrap. Grey Friars and White Friars churches and priories were mostly demolished leaving the Grey Friars spire and the White Friars living quarters. By that time Coventry was already in decline. It had been hit badly by the plague and economic failure. That decline was reflected in the architecture. The city had relatively little Tudor building and most Georgian structures were modified medieval buildings, made to look new. The city continued to build in wood for longer than most of its contemporaries. The right of free men of the city, passed down from the era of the Lords of Chester, to winter graze on the surrounding fields became a strangle hold on the growth of the city and it was that, not the wall that prevented the city expanding. Gardens and agricultural land within the city were built on to create those infamous courts and household doorways became passages into them. Once generous houses were subdivided into smaller and smaller living quarters. There was no room for much more than cottage industries and the top shops were the result. This over crowding, poverty and location meant the City wasn't even a good tourist destination by the time the Victorians developed a fondness for old architecture. Which is why the city was quite special in architectural terms in 1850. It was one of the most complete medieval cities in the world. The rest as they say is history Sad
Three Spires
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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24 of 27  Fri 24th Mar 2017 1:26pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:1586

Helen, that is far the best text I have ever read on Coventry. As you know during the thirties Sunday school and church going was special and the couple of times I was taken inside the Cathedral was mind 'boggling' created an enormous impression. By the time I was twelve the bombing created more sensation about the Cathedral, five years later I was sent to the 'Holy Land' for two years, for a couple of months lived in a Crusader castle, seemed I just could not get away from these old religious buildings. But information was harder to come by back then, or I looked in the wrong places. So, thank you so much for your reply.
Three Spires
Helen F
Warrington
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25 of 27  Fri 24th Mar 2017 5:10pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:686

Very kind of you to say but my version of the history is an amateur's version of the facts. Like you I find it hard to get to grip with the history of the city. Most sources assume the reader knows more English history than I do. I have a particular blindness for dates. Oh my So when I read that New Street was built during the civil war, I thought there was only the one. I'd never heard of Stephen and Matilda. Blush When you realise how small town and cities were, all the cathedrals seem unlikely endeavours. In 1520 Coventry there were 6601 people in the town and about half of them paid tax but by 1523 there were only 5699 and 23% of the city's properties were vacant. When the churches were built the population was probably higher but not more than double. A lot of trade was needed to pay for all that building work. As a guide to how long it took. St Michael's took between 1250 and 1500 to look roughly as it does today with the oldest bit still visible being the porch on the south side. It wasn't a planned build but a series of add-ons. The tower was completed about 1390. The decoration and details inside and out changed on several occasions. Bits regularly fell off and needed rebuilding. Edited by member, 24th Mar 2017 5:13 pm
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PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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26 of 27  Fri 24th Mar 2017 5:43pm  
Off-topic / chat  

Helen F
Warrington
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27 of 27  Sat 25th Mar 2017 10:48am  
Off-topic / chat  


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