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Concerto Grosso
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at Pizza Express today on Hay Lane, in the Cathedral Quarter, and managed to get out and have look around 'Castle Yard'. Pizza Express itself is in a building that has plenty of medieval/Tudor timber structure inside it.

Castle Yard though, is a real gem, and a sadly unused part of the city centre - one of the buildings (A timber framed one) is a tattoo parlour, and the others just seem to be empty offices or back entrances to terrible pubs.

The real gem here is the medieval Guild Hall of Saint Mary's, one of the finest in the country, and one of the buildings in Coventry that was restored after the war (It was hit by a bomb).

I find it strange that this area is not utilised. I think most of the time it's shut off.

(A few years back I saw Caravan, Man, The Zombies and Ngyen Lee, a Vietnamese guitarist, perform in this square.)

Here's the view of the side of the guild hall. I think the area with the timber structure *might* be remains of 'Coventry Castle' (Or at least is rumoured to be.) The bins are, frankly, a disgrace.

IMG_4328.JPG by Bodgecity, on Flickr

The alleyway from Hay Lane to Castle Yard. To the right is Pizza Express. The building the right seems to contain some large stone walls and medieval timbers.

IMG_4331.JPG by Bodgecity, on Flickr

Moving further in, and looking back. The building on the right is a Tattoo Parlour, which is... typical of Coventry. The rest of it seems to be empty offices. Closer:

IMG_4322.jpg by Bodgecity, on Flickr

The side of Pizza Express. You can see the timbers in the gable end, and the building looks typical of the sort of stuff you got in the old 'courts' - there are similar buildings near Spon Street, but they are going to be demolished. I don't if these are original or reconstructions. I think the one on the far left is a newer addition. The wall in front of the building seems badly placed:

IMG_4343.JPG by Bodgecity, on Flickr

The corner showing the 'tower' at the back of the guild hall and the back of the council house. And bins. Very poor. Surely this could be improved?

IMG_4352.jpg by Bodgecity, on Flickr

The 'tattoo parlour'. Showing more stone and timbers:

IMG_4339.JPG by Bodgecity, on Flickr

This is the entrance from the lane by the side of the cathedral:

IMG_4350.jpg by Bodgecity, on Flickr

Inside Pizza Express: timbers and what looks like old wallpaper, protected behind glass. Interesting.

IMG_4286.JPG by Bodgecity, on Flickr

More of Pizza Express's internal timber frame. There were actually a lot of buildings like this in Coventry, as many of the older timber buildings were simply bricked up. Of course, most of it was swept away after the war during the 'reconstruction', but a few chunks remain.

IMG_4285.JPG by Bodgecity, on Flickr

I don't understand why this area isn't used more. Just leaving hidden away, used as service areas for bins seems strange. People complain about the post war precincts being dull, but I suspect few people know of this place. It's been done up very nicely (I think it was done about 20 years) but seems to a dead spot... I'll never really understand this city. I sometimes wonder if the council don't really want it to be nice.
 

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I live in Solihull and a couple of years ago I got up one Saturday morning and decided to go to Coventry for a look round.

I decided to hunt out some of the older buildings and was amazed at what I found in some of the back streets and hidden areas of the city centre.

I gather at one time Coventry had many fine buildings, which of course were heavily bombed during the second world war.

And of course after the war it was rather badly redeveloped, giving the city a poor reputation for architecture, similar to the poor reputation Birmingham has.

I liked one building in particular, hidden away almost forgotten in a side street, Ford's Hospital which is a stunning building and almost out of place with everything that surrounds it.

Here is a photo (not mine) of the court yard

 

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Concerto Grosso
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are some incredible buildings, but they are indeed hidden away or in poor locations. The post-war planners demolished them or hid them. Fords Hospital was actually bomb damaged quite badly and restored - Donald Gibson wanted to stick it in the middle of a roundabout! The is a similar almshouse on Bond Street.

There were some fine old medieval buildings with a lot of carvings and a lot of streets of medieval buildings - very little fine Victorian stuff, and some nice Edwardian schools and civic buildings. But mainly a lot of small streets and alleyways.

Luckily, the grandest stuff did survive the war/reconstruction, but the streets they were on, and the streets that linked everything up were destroyed.

This gem, the remains of a 'Greyfriar's Abbey', has been ruined by the ring road and is virtually inaccessible.

Untitled by Bodgecity, on Flickr

Untitled by Bodgecity, on Flickr

This was one part of the city's urban grid, but it's just stranded now.

Ford Hospital has been stuck at the end of this dismal alleyway:

2013-01-13 16.03.57 by Bodgecity, on Flickr

Behind the Burges, hints of timber framed structures in the buildings:

IMG_0570 by Bodgecity, on Flickr
 

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Concerto Grosso
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Unfortunately, the reconstruction left us with streets like this:

2012-08-05 13.49.51 by Bodgecity, on Flickr

Service areas along main road. The pathway continues up to 'hill top' and is flanked at the top by some interesting old buildings. To the right, after the service areas, are the remains of the undercrofts of the city's first (Of 3) Cathedrals. Fascinating, but - a bad job. This scene is what you see if you come out of the bus station.
 

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Thanks very much for posting those Newtroll, I am ashamed to admit I have never been down there before!

This was one part of the city's urban grid, but it's just stranded now.
That's an excellent description, "stranded" is exactly how parts of the city centre have become.

I love the idea of a 'Hidden Coventry' thread. Next time I'm in Coventry I will definitely take a few pictures too. At some point over the summer when I have some free time I would like to start a 'Pre-War Coventry City Centre thread' as well.
 

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Concerto Grosso
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I parked up opposite this fragment of 'old city' today. A couple of small blocks of what look to be Victorian or Edwardian villas. This area has a few of these amongst the newer office and apartment blocks.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.4...ata=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1slWsWy3Q3UH4GfGUkqRXaSQ!2e0

When I first came here, they were demolishing the old Victorian Barracks next to this. It was left as a car park for decades. What a shame. A lot of people were against the demolition. At the same time they demolished the old Gothic Library.
 
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