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Swanswell Pool, White Street

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Annewiggy
Tamworth
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61 of 78  Tue 9th Jun 2020 3:41pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1840

The cannons, relics of The Crimean War, arrived at Coventry station on 25th January 1858, wreathed in laurels, accompanied by the Mayor, corporation, most of the local citizens and contingents of the 15th Hussars. The cannons were mounted on carriages drawn by 6 horses each. They were taken to the Barracks Square where after everyone had taken cover they were charged with gunpowder and touched off. One was placed in Greyfriars Green and the other in the Swanswell Recreation Ground. The one at the Swanswell was scrapped in 1940 and the Greyfriars Green one which was damaged in the war was scrapped in about 1948. Edited by member, 9th Jun 2020 3:44 pm
Swanswell Pool, White Street
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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62 of 78  Tue 9th Jun 2020 4:10pm  
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Swanswell Pool, White Street
3Spires
SW Leicestershire
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63 of 78  Wed 10th Jun 2020 2:08pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:123

It seems odd that the 15th Hussars attended - as a regiment I don't think they served in the Crimean War, although one of their officers was the notorious Louis Nolan - the bearer of the order which led to the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Swanswell Pool, White Street
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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64 of 78  Wed 10th Jun 2020 3:32pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1840

3 Spires, looking through other newspaper articles it seems that the 15th Hussars just happened to be "lying in the Barracks" at the time. The article also says that the guns were delivered to the railway station and left there for a time. They were then moved in the procession on the occasion of the marriage of the Princess Royal.
Swanswell Pool, White Street
3Spires
SW Leicestershire
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65 of 78  Wed 10th Jun 2020 8:20pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:123

Thanks Annewiggy. That fits in with their having returned, in 1854, from 14 years service in India. The various "Hussar" regiments were rotated and deployed on a regular basis around the world, including UK duties. The 15th were also notorious for their role in the Peterloo Massacre (Manchester) in 1819.
Swanswell Pool, White Street
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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66 of 78  Sun 20th Dec 2020 11:04am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3791

The original course of the Coventry Canal was not meant to be at Bishop Street, it was meant to be in Stoke or Gosford Green - no one really knows. The Coventry Canal Co were running out of money and investors. The problems were mounting up, and Brindley did not answer their calls. But the greatest problem of all was the Swanswell Pool on the borders of the old town and the new town, as it was called for a long time, of Hillfields. At that time it was a wild, natural and romantic place, the pool full of fish of many kinds, wild fowl nesting, wild flowers everywhere, a paradise to one’s eyes. The path running across the field that bounded the the pool on one side led into Harnall Lane, which in olden times was the highway to Leicester - about a mile long, ended where Stoke begins with Swan Lane. It was a rugged but beautiful place at one time, and the furze and ferns were so abundant. Skylarks filled the air with their song, cruciform pale yellow, wild thyme with its scent of delicate fragrance. Across the the low ground immediately surrounding the pool was covered extensively with osier and reed beds, and several kind of water fowl and springs, and brooks running into it. It was so much an expensive job, the Coventry Water Co sacked Brindley, found it cheaper to re-run the canal back over the Stoney Stanton Road and the Foleshill Road and down to Bishop Street. Post copied from topic Canals around Coventry on 21st Dec 2020 11:59 am
Swanswell Pool, White Street
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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67 of 78  Mon 21st Dec 2020 10:31am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3791

Describing the original swamp land at Swanswell was really describing the 'slough' in the early thirties. Coventry to me for the first ten years of my life was still Victorian, the old weaving factories were still there, Cash’s, Caldicotts, Meteor - New Buildings, Butcher Row, Harnall Lane, the Hippodrome. Most groceries were still delivered by pony and trap, the streets used mostly by horses. But the Swanswell had been altered in the Victorian days, it had been changed to a lovely park, the water now contained in an enclosed pool,
Swanswell Pool, White Street
lindatee2002
Virginia USA
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68 of 78  Tue 22nd Dec 2020 12:19am  
Member: Joined Apr 2015  Total posts:36

I used to go to the Swanswell to use the swings and roundabout in the mid to late fifties. I used to take a net and a jar to fish for tiddlers which always died within a day or so. My grandma lived on Wellington Street and I loved the walk up Primrose Hill St. to her house. I spent my first year at school at St. Mary's while my mum worked at the BTH. We came by bus from Radford to my grandma's and then she went off to work. She'd pick me up and we'd go back home on the bus. What a long day she had and, of course I didn't know, she was pregnant with my sister at the time.
Swanswell Pool, White Street
Helen F
Warrington
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69 of 78  Tue 22nd Dec 2020 11:13am  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2615

Both the Swanswell Pool and Naul's Mill were very ancient ponds created or at least enhanced by the monasteries to grind corn but the Victorian parks looked quite unlike their mill origins. It's interesting to see the lumps and bumps of a managed but mostly natural landscape turn into heavily flattened man made areas.
Swanswell Pool, White Street
lindatee2002
Virginia USA
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70 of 78  Tue 22nd Dec 2020 2:06pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2015  Total posts:36

Naul's Mill was another park I'd go to with my little sister and some friends. I used to take her in a pushchair from up near Bablake School to the park. I am so impressed by the historians on the Coventry Forum as I learn about the many different areas of the city. Thank you for the information and photos. I live in Virginia now but we usually get back to Cov. once a year. Covid put paid to that this year but we'll be back when it's safe for everyone to travel. By the way, my number plate is COVKID and I once parked next to a car with a BRUMMY plate. I waited as long as I could but the owner was obviously busy.
Swanswell Pool, White Street
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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71 of 78  Thu 24th Dec 2020 9:27am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3791

Lindatee2002 In the early 1800s, it was said that the natural pool known as Swanswell Pool upon the borders of the old city and the newtown, as it was called for a long time Hill-fields. The highest part of Hill-fields was called Primrose Hill from which a path ran across two fields with into Swan Lane. The hill was was beautifully wooded with stately elms and pines. One part of the hill had been extensively quarried to a great depth for its valuable sandstone. The stone was used in the construction of the city walls and gates about 800 years ago. In the deep holes made by the excavations, forest trees grew. It well deserved its name for in 1800 it was a mass of primroses and narcissus, the lower, damper parts were yellow with flowers of the lesser pile-wort, a most romantic, wild and beautiful place. But about 1850 the pool was tamed, built as a water feature park and the water replaced in a stone enclosure. And so was Naul’s mill.
Swanswell Pool, White Street
Helen F
Warrington
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72 of 78  Thu 24th Dec 2020 6:20pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2615

Forum library image This roughly south facing view shows the southern end of Swanswell Pool before the Victorian makeover. I believe that the building was part mill and part house. The house would have had an outstanding view of the city. The track running in front of the wall was to become White Street and tops what must have been an earthen dam (enhanced or built by the priory) because the ground level on the other side of the building was at least a building storey lower. The slope to the south of the pool was bounded on the east by the outflow from the mill and a small track that eventually became Cox Street. The area was crossed by small ordered streams (irrigation?) and the outflow from the main sluices on the west of the pool. There area looks like orchards in the 1749 map. The buildings were demolished to build the City Mill, which was probably fuelled by coal. Almost all of the area is now covered by the National Express depot. Another world.
Swanswell Pool, White Street
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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73 of 78  Thu 24th Dec 2020 8:25pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1840

Would that have been Bastille Mill, Helen? If so, my ancestors lived there! Robert Yardley was miller.
Swanswell Pool, White Street
Helen F
Warrington
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74 of 78  Thu 24th Dec 2020 9:51pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2615

Sadly not Anne, it would have been a fantastic place to be connected to. The Bastille mill was just outside the gatehouse, whereas this was further north by about a quarter of a mile. They'd have been able to see each other.
Swanswell Pool, White Street
lindatee2002
Virginia USA
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75 of 78  Fri 25th Dec 2020 4:44pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2015  Total posts:36

Thank you Kaga (otherwise known as the Obi Wan Kenobi of Coventry) you and your forum mates have made my day sometimes. These are the real historians who jog our memories and make us laugh and, sometimes, cry. Occasionally, I pick a topic that I haven't looked at because I didn't think didn't think it would interest me and soon enough I'm hauled in by some side details that take me back. I was born in 1948 and left when I got married in '68 so my formative years were spent in the city. We try to get back every year and always enjoy our visit - even with many changes that have taken place. Thank you for the great memories and photos and a Hopeful New Year to all of the Forum members.
Swanswell Pool, White Street

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