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City Wall and Gates

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Helen F
Warrington
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31 of 35  Fri 9th Feb 2018 11:09am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:871

From the same south prospect, the wall looks like it runs through the Cook Street gate and then off to the left. Actually the wall to the left of the gate is quite a bit further away than the wall on the right. It's the stretch of wall that runs round Pool Meadow and the round tower on the far left is the tower that joined up the two stretches of wall in the Cox Street car park MR photographed in post 18.
City Wall and Gates
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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32 of 35  Fri 9th Feb 2018 1:03pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1095

Helen, I don't know if this is any help. From "History of Coventry" by Taunton. 1869. there are also Taunton's pictures of the gates. I would think you have these but if not I will scan them for you. "From the granting of the first license to the monks, up to the time of the completion, comprised a period of nearly seventy years ; and the actual building, which commenced in 1355, occupied about forty years. The wall was three miles in circumference, and about three yards in thickness. It contained thirty-two towers, including twelve gates. There was a tower near Bishop-gate, also Lady-tower, and a round tower at White Friars Mill; a round tower near Lady-tower; a tower in the Pool Yard; one in Cheylesmore Close; and sixteen smaller towers. The gates were as follows: New-gate, Gosford Gate, Bastil-gate (Mill Lane), Priory gate , Cook Street Gate, Bishop gate, Well Street gate, Hill Street gate, Spon Gate, Grey Friars gate, Cheylesmore gate and Little Park Street gate. It appears, however, that a small portion of the wall as originally erected, was some years afterwards taken down and re-built on another site; for in the year 1461, Prior Shotswell represented to the mayor, William Pere, that the wall standing on various parts of his ground, was a serious injury to the priory, and he therefore entreated, that instead of its being built on the course of the river from the Priory Mill to Bastil Mill on the north, that it should enclose his stews ans St Osburg's Pool. This request was evidently complied with as is proved by the still-existing traces of the wall in a line forming the northern boundary of the Pool Meadow from Priory Gate."
City Wall and Gates
Helen F
Warrington
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33 of 35  Fri 9th Feb 2018 1:27pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:871

Thanks Anne, I haven't got that book but I've got ones that reference it. "he therefore entreated, that instead of its being built on the course of the river from the Priory Mill to Bastil Mill on the north, that it should enclose his stews ans St Osburg's Pool. This request was evidently complied with as is proved by the still-existing traces of the wall in a line forming the northern boundary of the Pool Meadow from Priory Gate." It's that bit of wall you can see to the left. Originally the wall ran in a rough line with the Cook Street and Swanswell gates to the river. Shelton dug up the remains.
City Wall and Gates
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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34 of 35  Fri 9th Feb 2018 6:31pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1177

Yes, and the fabulous Bradford survey map of 1749 once again shows us wonderfully, not only the final line of the wall, but the clues to its original path too, supporting what you've both said. If we look at the section where the word SHERBOURNE shows the river skirting the southern edge of what is now Pool Meadow, we can see the wall to the north of it defining a roughly rectangular piece of ground - the Prior's fishing pool, which he demanded be protected from outsiders. The short piece of wall running south-east from Priory Gate takes an unusual sudden turn eastwards - obviously not the way it would've been built if it had been planned to encompass the pool from the outset. But the map also clearly indicates a dotted line continuing south-east from that stub of wall, which makes me ninety-nine point ten (!) percent certain that this was the wall's initial location - something also supported by J. B. Shelton, as you mentioned, Helen. If I could ever have the opportunity to request an archaeological dig or two, it would be just under the north edge of the Old Fire Station, where we would hope to find the place where the wall "turns" - and just outside the entrance to the Swimming Baths in Fairfax Street, where the wall rejoins it's later line just south of the river. Incidentally, the modern day Priory Street crosses the culverted Sherbourne where the footbridge once crossed - which was almost certainly built upon the place where the wall bridged the river, which acted as its "moat".
City Wall and Gates
moriarty
allesley park coventry
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35 of 35  Fri 9th Feb 2018 10:16pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2017  Total posts:8

The mystery of Cook Street Gate. For many years people have been baffled by Hollar's beautiful depiction of the northern panorama of our city, because the principle gate (Cook Street) bears not the slightest resemblance to the actual gate. This somewhat impacts on the whole work downgrading it significantly. Wenceslaus Hollar was the most eminent engraver of the 17th century. He was recognised throughout the world, he was the first person to engrave a city panorama from one fixed viewpoint (his trademark). I refer you to the University of Toronto digital images. His view of London before and after the Great Fire is superb. He was capable of engineering standards - view his ground plan of old St Paul's. He used many novel techniques including a grid which was fixed to the ground, and he was meticulous in his work. But something has gone significantly wrong with his panorama of Coventry. The following is my interpretation of how, through trying to adhere to the above discipline, he transformed Cook Street gateway. Firstly he sketched the northern view (as many artists do) just to the right of Cook tower - note from this position he has accurately drawn the tower minus the entrance which would not be seen from this position. Now the eastern line of the wall onwards from Cook tower poses a problem - it follows the line of sight from this position so could not be drawn, however he must have been able to partly see Hales Street tower down the hill and he could see the archway and two windows in it, so in perspective he's added it to the sketch. This entails a half size Hales gate adjoined to the lefthand side of Cook gatehouse being the only position practicable. The interconnecting wall could not be represented. Now to complete the eastern wall you have to take another viewpoint (further left). This then means you have to revert back to multiple viewpoints with all its disadvantages. Mindful of his reputation of a single viewpoint he takes another sheet of "paper" and copies exactly in size and position a second identical Cook Street tower as a reference point (if you look at the two towers they are just too identical - this is one tower copied twice) still minus the entranceway as he intends to pass it off as one fixed view point! The Hales Street gate is not copied again because the interconnecting wall will now be visable from the new viewpoint. These are of course working sketches, he or an assistant completes the eastern section using the tower as a guide. It will be many months later, well away from Coventry, when the engraving starts, so when they align the sheets you see two towers with nogateway, and the halfsize Hales Street gate tacked on to one tower with the only archway. So combining the images and considering you have just previously engraved Spon etc I think this is how the towers were created, also engraving entails a mirror image to be made so identifying a view is difficult.
City Wall and Gates

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