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Kings Head Hotel, Broadgate

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Coventry Rebuilt
Wales
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1 of 2  Mon 19th Feb 2018 9:46pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2016  Total posts:16

Kings Head Hotel As a hobby I’m putting together the history of Coventry in a computer model – I’m currently working on the Kings Head Hotel and hope you might be able to help with a mystery. You have probably seen or heard of the Kings Head Hotel of 1879 that stood in the corner of Broadgate with Peeping Tom at the top. When (this version of 1879) opened, it has some stunning stained glass in the ground floor bar. It soon became known as the Church on the Spree. Unfortunately, the stained glass was short lived. The ground floor was turned (for the most part) into shops and the majority of the glass removed by about 1909 (ish). With some trawling through the newspaper archives I’ve come across the flowing description and history of where the glass went - but where did it end up?? . . . . Saturday 20th December 1879. The Kings Head Luncheon Bar, Coventry – The Kings Head luncheon bar which was opened for business on Saturday, is without doubt the most gorgeous room of its kind in the city, its chief feature being the stained glass windows with which it is lighted. The first window on the west side of the room comprises a representation of Lady Godiva with the apt quotation from Tennyson "Then she rode forth; clothed on with chastity". The second window is illustration of the scene in which Earl Leofric grants the charter of freedom to the city. The fanlight of the door which opens into Smithford Street bears a delineation of the city arms, the west panel represents St George and the Dragon, and the east panel Edward the Black Prince. The first window in Smithford Street shows Edward III granting the Charter of Corporation to the city in 1344. The second window illustrates the scene of the trial by combat of Gosford Green between the Dukes of Hereford and Norfolk of 1397. The third window represents the arrest of Prince Henry of Monmouth, by Horny, Mayor of Coventry in 1411 and is one of the most effective windows of the series. The fanlight of the central door contains the sword and mace and three ostrich feathers arranged in their original form as worn by King of Bohemia. The door panels contain portraits of Henry VI and Queen Margaret, benefactors of Coventry, the portrait of the Queen is taken from the tapestry in St Mary’s Hall. The first window in Hertford Street represents the knighting of Robert Onley, Mayor of Coventry, by Henry VII after the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. The second window portrays Sir William Dugdale summoning the city to surrender at New Gate, Much Park Street in 1642. Each window bears the head of one of the kings connected with the story below and the unoccupied spaces are quarried with foliated emblems associated with the separate subjects and in the small room adjoining the grill bar is a window representing Prince Henry, afterwards Henry V and his companion. Below is the appropriate quotation from Shakespeare: "Get thee before to Coventry: fill me a bottle of sack". The fittings of the bar were supplied by Mr Samuel Mason of Birmingham who also fitted up the Queens Hotel. . . . Most of the glass was removed by 1909. 12th June 1914 – Dye Works, Meadow and Trafalgar Street, Coventry: Edgar Whittindale is instructed by Messrs. T Hawley and Co. (having sold the Freehold) To Sell by Auction on Thursday, June 18th 1914. The Contents of the Dye Works, Four Hydro Extractors, Two Centrifugal Steam Pumps, 31/2 h.p. Vertical Steam Engine 2 ½ and 1 ½ Steam engines….. also THE HANDSOME STAINED GLASS WINDOWS (Local Historical Subjects). Formerly in the KINGS HEAD HOTEL Coventry. Sale starts at eleven o’clock prompt. Catalogues of the Auction, 29 Hertford Street, Coventry. 19th June 1914 – Mr Edgard Whittindale, auctioneer, of Coventry, has held a sale during this week which is probably unique in the local records [Describes all but two windows that were in the Kings Head for sale – Godiva and Leofric windows were retained in the hotel] – The windows illustrated a good deal of the important history of Coventry, and if the series could have been kept intact, and could have become a public possession, it would have been a good thing. 20th June 1914 – Some interesting and beautiful stained glass windows, at one time in the Kings Head Hotel were offered for sale by action by Mr Edgard Whittindale on Thursday, when conducting a sale of stock-in-trade and plant from the Dye Works, Trafalgar Street. When the alterations were made to the Kings Head Hotel a few years ago the windows were removed to the Dye Works which were owned by the same people to whom the hotel belonged and this was the reason for offering them at the same time as the other property . . . [describes the windows]. It was anticipated that owing to the great local interest of the windows a representative of the corporation would have been present to see if he could purchase them for the city, but none was present. Mr Whittindale said he considered the windows could be used in the new Municipal Buildings or the Museum when we get one. There was no bidding for any of the window lots, which were all withdrawn. 26th February 1915 – [Talks about the plans for Council House stained glass] Quite possibly the architects and the council house committee may not care to look for inspiration to what was done in the way of embellishing the Kings Head Hotel with stained glass windows. The late Mr W.G. Fretton was entrusted with the selection of the subjects and no better agency could have been selected to carry out the task. Mr Fretton threw himself heart and soul into it, and did it as might be expected of a connoisseur, and when the arrangement was completed outside authorities who were consulted and asked to express an opinion declared that no building of the kind either in London or the provinces could show such complete and successful treatment. [Full Description] – All these subjects were very suitable for illustration. Some of them are traditional, others historic, and the whole are picturesque – just the kind in fact to lend themselves to artistic treatment. It will be a matter of more than just passing interest to be informed of the subjects for the Council House when a full choice has been made. 5th March 1915 – With reference to the stained glass windows of the formerly at the Kings Head Hotel . . .[Summary of inaccuracy in the heraldry and art work in the glass at the Kings Head that shouldn’t be repeated in the council stained glass] . . . no mention of the glass for a long time. April 1929 – A gift of stained glass was made to the city for St Mary's Hall?? [no indication where this came from] December 1932 – [Historic article on the glass describes the history and images ends with] Two of these windows [presumably Godiva and Leofric] occupy an obscure position in the dark covered-in yard at the rear of the hotel today. December 1936 – [Hotel refurbished – article notes two stained glass panels incorporated in the extensive alterations carried out in 1935] . . . . So, there is a possibility that the glass from the hotel is still in existence, either in the Council House / St Mary's Hall or somewhere else? Does anyone know? Does anyone know of any pictures/drawings of the stained glass?
http://www.coventryrebuilt.com/

Kings Head Hotel, Broadgate
Midland Red
Cherwell
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2 of 2  Tue 20th Feb 2018 8:16am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4895

Thanks for that, CR - it sounds a bit of a long shot but let's hope some information can be discovered about the stained glass Thumbs up
Kings Head Hotel, Broadgate

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