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Percy Lewis pub mystery

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dutchman
Spon End
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1 of 18  Sat 20th Mar 2010 1:57pm  
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Link to original page This is pure speculation on my part as there is little evidence to support it. I'm thinking north-west Coventry, semi-rural, Keresley, Bell Inn before one of its many rebuildings? Pictures of Coventry You can see here how a new facade has been grafted onto the pub without any regard to its former appearance. A private house which still exists opposite the pub mirrors some of the unusual brick and stonework features from the original pic.
Percy Lewis pub mystery
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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2 of 18  Sun 21st Mar 2010 7:33pm  
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dutchman said: This is pure speculation on my part....
Well, you carry on speculating Dutchman - you're not usually far off the mark! My first instinct, going by the styling, was the Swanswell/Hillfields area, but I've not got any firm reasons for those thoughts. Was there any particular reason that led you to looking at the Keresley area?
Percy Lewis pub mystery
dutchman
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3 of 18  Sun 21st Mar 2010 8:55pm  
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Rob Orland said: Was there any particular reason that led you to looking at the Keresley area?
Bass houses closer to the city centre are pretty well documented and were usually built in the familiar Coventry "watchmaker" style. This one looks more like a colliery social club than a pub. (There is also what I presume to be a former colliery manager's house at the other end of Bennetts Road which shares some of the same features). That and the lack of a licensing record suggests we have to look a bit further out from the city than usual.
Percy Lewis pub mystery
dutchman
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4 of 18  Fri 9th Jul 2010 2:08am  
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Was searching for railway photographs and came across this page at Railways of Warwickshire: LINK What are the chances eh? Anyway further research shows it to be the "Olde Hall" in Lythall's Lane, later renamed the "Foleshill Olde Hall". From British History Online: "The oldest part of the present 'Foleshill Olde Hall' public house is the east or garden front which dates from c. 1700 and is of red brick with stone quoins and dressings. The central doorway has a contemporary stone surround and the windows were formerly of the mullioned and transomed type. A drawing of 1883 suggests that the west side of the building may have been considerably older. The house was later almost entirely rebuilt and internally its only ancient feature is an early-17th-century oak staircase which has been re-set. The present west front dates from 1915 when the building was converted into a public house. In 1887 Foleshill Hall Farm was still in existence on the north side of Lythall's (then Foleshill Hall) Lane, but the whole area must have been much altered in 1850 by the construction of the railway which runs within 50 yards of the old hall." Despite it's historical importance, the building was demolished in the 1990s.
Percy Lewis pub mystery
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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5 of 18  Fri 9th Jul 2010 8:13pm  
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Oh my word! What a brilliant way to solve that mystery - there's certainly no doubting the place from that photograph. I've just looked on Google maps to try and place it... would I right in guessing that it used to stand somewhere nearly opposite Bartlett Close? The proximity of the railway line makes that look a likely position for it. Many thanks for finding that dutchman, I will clearly credit you when I update that "mystery" page. Cheers, Rob
Percy Lewis pub mystery
dutchman
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6 of 18  Fri 9th Jul 2010 9:48pm  
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Rob Orland said: I've just looked on Google maps to try and place it... would I right in guessing that it used to stand somewhere nearly opposite Bartlett Close?
I think so Rob. Google Earth shows the site as still undeveloped. In fact there doesn't appear to be any good reason for the Hall to have been demolished in the first place. It may have something to do with the proximity now of Phoenix Way? I had a feeling from the outset that this mystery would be solved by a chance viewing of an unrelated photo. That building is very distinctive and is easily picked out from its surroundings.
Percy Lewis pub mystery
Mary C
Stoke on Trent
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7 of 18  Sun 11th Jul 2010 1:00pm  
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Dutchman, just wanted to thank you very much for your brilliant piece of detective work, hopefully I'm one step further to finding Uncle Percy!!
Percy Lewis pub mystery
dutchman
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8 of 18  Sun 11th Jul 2010 4:29pm  
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You're most welcome Mary. I love these photo mysteries. Good luck with finding your uncle.
Percy Lewis pub mystery
stevearcher
Coventry
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9 of 18  Mon 12th Jul 2010 11:27pm  
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I just picked up on this one and thought I'd take a look through the old planning applications on the coventry.gov site. I found a few items that may be of interest... The first one takes quite a while to load but on page 28, there is a map showing the location of 'Ye Olde... Hotel', which looks like it would correspond to what's been said above. Then I found this one that shows an application for billboards to be put there (dated 1991). Then this one from 1971 for the display of illuminated signs. And this one from someone proposing to build houses on the site in the late 80s. Clicking on the links at the bottom of the pages (under Images) lets you see the actual documents. The last one refers to the by-pass about to be built and at this time, the pub was already demolished. Hope these may be of some use! Steve
Percy Lewis pub mystery
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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10 of 18  Tue 13th Jul 2010 7:15pm  
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Many thanks for that Steve, it's good to have confirmation of the old building's site. A very handy resource too - could be useful for all sorts of things. Cheers, Rob
Percy Lewis pub mystery
dutchman
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11 of 18  Tue 3rd Aug 2010 11:59am  
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Found this engraving of the Old Hall before it became a pub at Pictures of Coventry: Foleshill Old Hall The distinctive doorway is about the only recognisable feature and the geometry of the drawing leaves a lot to be desired.
Percy Lewis pub mystery
Mary C
Stoke on Trent
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12 of 18  Tue 10th Aug 2010 7:49pm  
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Hello everybody, I just wanted to give you an update on my search for "Uncle Percy". I've found him! Not literally of course but the identification of the Old Hall Hotel at Lythalls Lane by dutchman was key to my search. This allowed me to contact Coventry archives again & to cut a very long story short led me to contact Percy's grandaughter, my second cousin, for the very first time yesterday! I'm visiting Coventry again tomorrow to collect a copy of a photograph of the hotel from the archives & also to visit Percy's grave. Many thanks again to dutchman & to Rob for posting my photos on the website.
Percy Lewis pub mystery
dutchman
Spon End
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13 of 18  Tue 10th Aug 2010 9:25pm  
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That's great news Mary. Am pleased to have helped and it was was great fun finding out for myself as well.
Percy Lewis pub mystery
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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14 of 18  Thu 7th Jul 2011 1:38pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4395

The info that comes from contributors onto this site is simply stunning. No matter what the subject. I am sure that half the unsolved crimes in our land could be solved with the such diligence. I am really hopeless at history but you on here make it all come alive. Thank you.
Percy Lewis pub mystery
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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15 of 18  Wed 5th Jun 2013 3:47am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:3576

Morning Dutchman, I notice there is a little sign the other side of the doorway on the right just out of the photo. It's a pity there was not the whole of the building shown. Don't suppose going into Bass brewery pubs would come up with anything. That's a rare one, no pub sign. Sorry nothing to do with photographers but it could turn something up. Wave
Percy Lewis pub mystery

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