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St John's Church, Fleet Street

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Annewiggy
Tamworth
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76 of 90  Sat 16th Nov 2019 3:55pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1746

I have found this picture of St John's Church on Flickr
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Helen F
Warrington
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77 of 90  Sat 16th Nov 2019 7:01pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2527

It's one of the oldest images of the church and that part of Fleet Street. There are a lot of differences with the present church.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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78 of 90  Sun 17th Nov 2019 10:50am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3411

The old watchmen (cops) that patrolled the streets at night used to fall asleep regularly on those church steps in Hill Street - they patrolled mainly to stop drunks from keeping the citizens awake, at the same time they called out the time every half-hour. If they met a drunk they ran him in till morning where he had to donate money to a flagon of beer.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Helen F
Warrington
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79 of 90  Sun 17th Nov 2019 12:46pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2527

A nice snippet of info Kaga, Thumbs up Next door to the church, further up Hill Street was the Bridewell, a type of prison - so a handy place to lock up the drunks. While the Spon Gate still existed, that too might have seen a few drunks.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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80 of 90  Fri 29th Nov 2019 9:12pm  
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Post copied from topic Holy Trinity Church on 30th Nov 2019 7:50 am
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Helen F
Warrington
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81 of 90  Sat 30th Nov 2019 11:01am  
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You're brilliant Anne Thumbs up The oldest pictures that I've got show a clock looking towards Spon Street and another towards Fleet Street. Like the clocks on Holy Trinity the location up the tower varied. I have a few images showing a clock on the Hill Street side but none of them are particularly old so originally those coming from Hill Street were denied the time. It makes sense that a clock looking towards Corporation Street didn't appear until the road was created.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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82 of 90  Sat 30th Nov 2019 1:17pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1746

Benjamin Poole/Taunton's book mention various payments on account of the clock in 1518 including a hand for the dial. In 1633 the clock was repaired. Then in 1681 chimes were put up in the church by order of the mayor, and two clock dials placed on the west and south sides of the tower. from this I assume there was just on clock face towards Hill Street until 1681. Unless I am reading it wrong. It is confusing as I think when they say the "clock" they are talking about the mechanics. Would they have had a dial inside the church perhaps ?
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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83 of 90  Sat 30th Nov 2019 1:23pm  
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This is what a 1682 "clock" would look like, this is in Alcester Church
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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84 of 90  Sat 30th Nov 2019 1:45pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3411

Well, they didn't have television so they liked to see the wheels go round.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Helen F
Warrington
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85 of 90  Sat 30th Nov 2019 3:03pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2527

Excellent references Anne. The south clock face would be the one looking towards Fleet Street (ish) and the west one was the Spon Street side.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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86 of 90  Wed 6th Jan 2021 9:05pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1478

On 6th Jan 2021 11:10am, NeilsYard said: Ooh ooh! A great collection of 'Coventry and its Environs in the 19th Century' has just turned up on Flickr here!!!!
Wow, that collection is absolutely amazing Neil ! The photo that astonishes me the most is this sad looking photo of St. John's church - and the most amazing thing is its possible age. St. John's underwent two major restorations, in the 1850s and the 1870s. When I first saw my own Wingrave image. I assumed it must be between the two projects (c1860s), with just over half already completed. But the photo on Flickr shows it in such a dilapidated state - could it be among the first ever photos in Coventry (or anywhere!) - before the 1850s restoration? Just fantastic! Post copied from topic Coventry photo collections on the Internet on 6th Jan 2021 10:07 pm
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Helen F
Warrington
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87 of 90  Wed 6th Jan 2021 9:58pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2527

Forum library image I think this is from the same era and yes, it may well be before the first part of the restoration. Some show the north end with finished crenulations but the south (left) still bald. The windows change, the door moves and the tower is repaired. I'm guessing that the south end was the second phase. At that point a new door is put in nearer Spon Street. Forum library image The watercolour (at Watercolour World) is dated no later than 1843 and that shows no doors on the Spon/Fleet Street side and no curved wall. Watercolour of St John's
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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88 of 90  Thu 7th Jan 2021 10:34am  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1478

Nice work Helen (as always!). I'd completely forgotten about that first picture, showing the church in such a state. I've just found that photograph in a lovely little book called Coventry in Camera, where it is described as being immediately before its 1858-61 restoration by George Gilbert Scott. It's amazing to think that Wingrave took that in the late 1850s - earlier than I'd previously realised. The lower photo, probably taken around the same time as the one in my collection, can be dated, therefore, to after 1859, when the water fountain was erected. That watercolour you linked to, Helen, is lovely, but it is very flattering considering the state we know the church was in! Also, if it is accurate, then the turrets on the tower were still there, albeit in a dilapidated state. This perhaps helps us to date the wonderful photo that Neil linked to on Flickr, indicating that the missing turret had been removed post-1859 for replacement - whereas I'd previously thought it had completely crumbled away before the photo was taken. All good stuff, eh!
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Helen F
Warrington
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89 of 90  Thu 7th Jan 2021 12:15pm  
Moderator: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2527

The Aylesford Collection images prior to 1800 of St John's don't seem to show crenulations, not even on the tower, just a wall with the same vertical decoration as the rest of the tower.. The turrets are there, but no taller than the rest of the wall and not very prominent. In later images you can see that the stairwell collapses, not just the turret, and it may be that early restorations caused already weak stonework to collapse? I've gone round and round in circles trying to work out the order of images and which might be artistic licence. Roll eyes
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Prof
Gloucester
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90 of 90  Mon 7th Jun 2021 10:40pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2014  Total posts:1525

Hopefully a clearer, larger image here than my previous one of the statue by the door to St John's. Lol
St John's Church, Fleet Street

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