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City Wall Walk Part Two

Transcript of Coventry Evening Telegraph Urban Walk 7-Apr-2001

(Continued from Part One  )

Follow the route of the city wall once more

STARTING from last week's finishing point at Astleys, Gosford Street, our guide, retired teacher Joe Davies, crosses the street to the shops and follows the path on the edge of the slip road and through an underpass.

"The path takes us under one slip road and alongside another to a substantial section of the city wall originally by the river," Joe said.  "Up river from this point was the Earl's Mill and Millgate or Bastille Gate.

"Continue to Cox Street, originally Earl's Mill Lane, and cross to Fairfax Street; as we walk back towards the bus station we pass through Pool Meadow where the Prior had fishing rights on St Osburg's Pool.

"Walk through the bus station and cross at the intersection to the first of two surviving city gates, Swanswell Gate; it was bricked up and the road diverted in 1858.

CONTINUATION: Retracing the steps of the city wall takes
us past Swanswell Gate, picture how it would have
looked in mediaeval times.


"Notice how the remnants of the wall are attached to the corner of the building; this was the result of a diversion for the wall in 1480 when the Prior persuaded the Mayor to include his fishing pool within the city."

The walk continues alongside a well-preserved section of the wall through the garden created by Sir Alfred Herbert in memory of his first wife.

It was constructed in 1932 on land previously occupied by slums and the old Rope Walk.  We now reach Cook Street Gate, originally a portcullis gate.

"Look for the groove where wooden planks were fitted to close the gate and notice the height and width of the wall itself.


 "Look up inside the gate to the wooden roof boss depicting a Coventry elephant and castle with he Black Prince's Cat 'a mountain above - a version of the ancient oat of arms.

"Then proceed to Bishop street, one of the few places where the three spires can be viewed, and make for the footbridge to the Canal Basin.

"This was the site of Bishop Gate, so named because the bishop would pass this way on his journey to Lichfield, the other city in the diocese."

The path to the side of the Ring Road is our way.  We pass the remains of a square watchtower, and descend the steps to Lamb Street where centuries ago stood Well Street Gate.  Cross over to the footpath behind the Salvation Army Citadel.

"The city wall runs parallel to the back of the Evening Telegraph and there's a round watch tower here which would have provided a welcome refuge for men on watch," said Joe.

"Cross Upper Well Street and proceed along Bond Street noticing the Town Wall inn sign; ahead is the site plan of Hill Gate marked in the cobbles on the road.

"Pass through the quadrangle to Bonds Hospital and old Bablake School making for the diagonally opposite corner where a gate takes us out onto Fleet Street the starting point of last week's walk.

"But take a last peep at the city wall around the corner in Lower Holyhead Road; it's behind the tea shop and Bonds Hospital."


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