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St John's Church, Fleet Street

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Baz
Coventry
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1 of 90  Thu 29th Nov 2012 9:24pm  
Member: Joined May 2012  Total posts:302

Does anyone know about this great church. A lady had an etched drawing of it on her wall. She told me that during the civil war (Oliver Cromwell time) that it used to be or that's where the Coventry Prison was sited, and where the saying "sent to Coventry" came from. Bonds Hospital stands behind the church and also may have been part of the prison or site of. Does anyone else know or have heard of this before? Wave St. John's do have their own web page. The church was used to imprison Scottish Royalist soldiers after the Battle of Preston in 1648. Just read through it all.
Always looking forward to looking at the past.

St John's Church, Fleet Street
dutchman
Spon End
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2 of 90  Fri 30th Nov 2012 2:55pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2688

I think I've mentioned this before but that story surfaced around the same time St John's launched their restoration appeal fund and so is highly suspect. It might be true but there are equally plausible theories as to the origin of the phrase.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
anne
coventry
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3 of 90  Fri 30th Nov 2012 6:26pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:210

When did they launch their appeal fund, Dutchman? I heard about this link ages ago.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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4 of 90  Fri 30th Nov 2012 8:09pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1478

On 29th Nov 2012 9:24pm, Baz said: ....where the saying "sent to Coventry" came from.
For what it's worth, my explanation on the history page might be useful. Like with many such phrases, there's often a hint of truth in them, but the real origin might never be known.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
dutchman
Spon End
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5 of 90  Fri 30th Nov 2012 8:48pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2010  Total posts:2688

On 30th Nov 2012 6:26pm, anne said: When did they launch their appeal fund, Dutchman?
The 1980s Anne, and it was the first time I read of a specific link with St John's Church although the Civil War story had been around in one form or another for much longer than that. I do know that the site had some sort of religious significance long before a church was built there, possibly even dating back to pagan times. It was known as "The Bridewell".
St John's Church, Fleet Street
tilly trotter
bedworth
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6 of 90  Tue 5th Feb 2013 4:16pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:53

I think the Bridewell faced the east side of the narrow thoroughfare round the Bablake churchyard and leading from Fleet Street to Hill Street. The building was located between the churchyard and Bablake school yard and a portion of the building in the quadrangle was on part of the site of it. I believe that one of the last prisoners held there was Mary Ann Higgins who poisoned her uncle William Higgins in 1831 and was condemned to death for his murder. Mary Ann was found guilty and hanged on 11 August 1831 on Whitley Common. Afterwards the body was taken back to the bridewell for dissection in accordance with the times.
C Arnold

St John's Church, Fleet Street
NeilsYard
Coventry
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7 of 90  Thu 9th Jan 2014 1:46pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2775

Heres an interesting shot I'd not seen before - 1900 - Hill Street looking towards Fleet Street.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Midland Red
Cherwell
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8 of 90  Thu 9th Jan 2014 2:27pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4821

Which view do your prefer, Neil? That one or this from 2004? Oh my
St John's Church, Fleet Street
new26
Coventry
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9 of 90  Thu 9th Jan 2014 8:14pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2013  Total posts:9

If it weren't for Mercia House blighting the skyline I'd actually say the 2004 one Oh my The church tower looks lovely with the greenery of the trees in front of it.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
flapdoodle
Coventry
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10 of 90  Sat 11th Jan 2014 12:31pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:808

I prefer the old photo, with the street built up and lined with buildings, the area is too haphazard at the moment. Oddly, I don't mind Mercia House.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
heritage
11 of 90  Sat 11th Jan 2014 8:10pm  
Off-topic / chat  

NeilsYard
Coventry
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12 of 90  Mon 13th Jan 2014 9:21pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:2775

I was more interested in the view of the distant buildings going up into Fleet Street.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Midland Red
Cherwell
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13 of 90  Wed 22nd Oct 2014 6:21pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4821

Very saddened to read this - many of my ancestors were baptised and married here in the 18th and 19th centuries Sad
St John's Church, Fleet Street
pixrobin
Canley
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14 of 90  Wed 22nd Oct 2014 7:16pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2014  Total posts:774

I'm saddened to. My Mum's first marriage took place there in 1922.
St John's Church, Fleet Street
Old Lincolnian
Coventry
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15 of 90  Mon 27th Oct 2014 4:00pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:401

Yes, it's a lovely building and very sad. I was married there in the late 70s. The one thing I do really remember about it is how cold it was because of its size. Mind you, it was the end of October
St John's Church, Fleet Street

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