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Potters Green Corridor


Moat House Park,Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre - Mar-2011


Moat House Park, New Seats and New Paths - Mar-2011


Potters Green Corridor - between Deedmore Road and Orion Crescent - one of the narrowest parts of the corridor - Dec-2001


Potters Green Corridor - St Patricks - Dec-2001


Potters Green Corridor - Moat House Park - Dec-2001


Potters Green Corridor - track of Potters Green Mineral Line, just north of Henley Road - Dec-2001


Potters Green Corridor - Woodway Grange Moat,
as viewed from Watcombe Road - Aug-2002

Potters Green Corridor is the  most complex of the five green "corridors".  (The others are "Canley Corridor", "Coventry Canal Corridor", "Eastern Green Corridor" and "Longford Corridor").  It varies in width from barely 10yds wide to nearly 1000yds wide, and meanders wildly.

Open short grass, high herbs, thick shrubs and mature parkland trees are all squeezed in between housing estates, industry and schools.

The southern end of the corridor is also a Coventry Nature Conservation Site.

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News : The Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre was completed by mid-2010, and the the path leading into Moat House Park 100 metres to the north of the old entrance opened.

By Mar-2011 all the major works in the upgrade of Moat House Park were completed.  These include:

  • 3 entrances now fitted with arches anouncing "Moat House Park" reflecting the design of the old main entrance.  These are marked on Map23.
  • Reconstruction and realignment of many of the old paths, plus building new hard paths in some places where only grass tracks existed before.
  • Adding a variety of seats of stone, concrete or sculptured tree trunks
  • Earthworks to slightly adjust the hills or add new ones
  • Planting of many new trees

All that remains to do is finishing the cleaning up and doing a bit more "gardening". By Summer 2011 it should all be looking smart.  For more photos see ExtMS SkyDrive Moat House Park, Coventry slide show.

The improvements were influenced by The Friends of Moat House Park (see ExtFriends of Moat House Park website) who aim is to preserve and protect the park both now and in the future.

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Paths seem to want to cross the corridor rather than go along it, and the green corridor is sometimes blocked for walkers by fenced in playing fields.  However, with the help of the map a variety of routes can be found!

 

Moat House Park is one of the interesting crossing routes worth exploring.  It includes Woodway Grange Moat, a Coventry Nature Conservation Site (CNCS).  Access to the moat is no longer possible, but it can be viewed from the footpath to the south or from Watcombe Road.

 

Notes on history

From the late sixteenth to the nineteenth century this area developed collieries in the midst of the earlier farmlands.  The Coventry walks maps mark the key former sites, and routes of some of the transport links which supported them. These collieries were:

  • Wyken Main Colliery:  Also known as "Main Colliery" - note that the 1887 map marks a "Main Pit Farm" just to the North.  Mining in the area developed from the late 16th century, using shallow mines.  Main Colliery was developed somewhere between 1789 and 1811.  The medium depth mine was opened in 1861.  See the British History Online reference below for some more detail.  In 1886 the mine employed a total of 401 workers.  Closed in 1910.
     
  • Craven Colliery:   Started possibly in the late 18th century when a shaft was sunk on Serjeant's Farm just east of the farm buildings and north of the River Sowe.  Main shaft opened in 1837 - by 1850 this was known as the Craven Colliery.  In 1886 the mine employed a total of 87 workers.  Flooded during the 1914-18 war, put back in service afterwards, but flooded again during the 1926 General Strike and then closed in 1927.  See Pictures of Coventry site for photo.
     
  • Wyken Alexandra Colliery:   Also known simply as Alexandra Colliery (or as Wyken Colliery by those who used Main colliery as the name for Wyken main colliery).  Developed in the second half of the nineteenth century, opened 1877.  Closed in 1936. 

A narrow gauge horse drawn line was built to transport coal mined at Craven Colliery and to connect with the Oxford canal at Sowe Common.  The line left the colliery, crossed Henley Road and went N then NE until it met and crossed Woodway Lane (this part of the route is clearly visible today) . It then turned left and continued along the right-hand side of the lane until opposite the 'Jolly Collier' Pub where it crossed the lane again and went NW to the old arm of the canal.  Until the widening of Woodway Lane in the 1970's the site of the railway was clear by the wide verge on the side of the lane, indeed this is still apparent today north of the lane's junction with Ringwood Highway where the wide verge still exists.  The coal was then loaded into barges moored on the arm of the canal which connected with the Oxford canal and where there was originally an iron bridge - which was dismantled in the 1980's and re-erected at Spon End. 

In the other direction the canal arm went on to the Alexander Colliery basin just west of Deedmore Road and where the 'Clod' banks were, before being leveled to provide ground for the present day Industrial Estate.  From here the canal arm doubled back on itself to be again crossed by a bridge in Deedmore Road to a further basin at Alexandra Colliery.  The canal also continued from the Alexandra Colliery basin to rejoin the Oxford canal just before the junction to the Wyken Arm (currently Wyken Basin).

There was another colliery tramway from Alexandra colliery that crossed Deedmore Road by a level crossing - the gates were still there until comparatively recently - which then headed off across the 'burning banks' towards Wyken Basin.  From here there was a L & N.W.R. branch line linking to the Coventry-Nuneaton railway.  This tramway was extended down to Craven colliery by the early 1920s.

For more information see:

  • 1887-1880 map (includes 162 KB PNG file) Image produced from the http://www.old-maps.co.uk service with permission of Landmark Information Group Ltd. and Ordnance Survey
     
  • "Changing perspectives in the Warwickshire coalfield" by EG Grant.  This is Chapter 14 from Field and Forest - an historical geography of Warwickshire and Worstershire : edited by TR Slater PJ Jarvis : ISBN 0 86094 099 3 published by Geo Books Norwich 1982.  Contains a good description of the development of the coalfield from Roman times to 1913, and includes a list and review of many other references. Copy available for study in Coventry and Warwick collection - ref: C&W 7824 AB 910 June 1983  911.4248
     
  • BRITISH HISTORY ONLINE : A History of the County of Warwick Volume VIII : The City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick.  The City of Coventry : The outlying parts of Coventry: Walsgrave-on-Sowe.  Hint: search that page for "coal" and read the paragraphs after that.
  • OS Map of Coventry from about 1936.  Copy available for study  in Coventry and Warwick collection.

These collieries and their transport links have a significant impact on the contours and footpaths in the area today, and for those interested in such history form plenty of scope for exploration on the walks.

 

Good for Dogs rating: 2 dogs

Plenty of scope for dogs and their owners to explore.

 

 


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