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Excavations for the City Centre South project

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Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
1 of 18  Sat 13th Apr 2024 5:12pm  

I'm hoping that exciting times are ahead over the next few weeks. Cotswold Archaeology have began work excavating the Barracks car-park area, which covers much of the ground once occupied by our Napoleon Barracks (opened in 1793). This first photo shows the progress after just Day 1.... They cleverly managed to land straight onto some good archaeology, especially considering such a small trench. Smile Looking at the overlaid maps on the Scottish Library site, they seem to have found part of the wall of the Smithy, which can be seen in the bottom corner of the Barracks on the 1851 map snippet below.... This map shows the location (camera 1).
Local History and Heritage - Excavations for the City Centre South project
Helen F
Warrington
2 of 18  Sat 13th Apr 2024 6:33pm  

Local History and Heritage - Excavations for the City Centre South project
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
Thread starter
3 of 18  Sun 14th Apr 2024 9:46am  

Ahah.... I can see the Smithy! Appears to be the lower, flat-roofed building, so obviously they didn't have very tall horses! Lol Also looks like the old pathway around the perimeter had become rather overgrown. (Either that, or the place had previously played host to the Royal Warwickshire Horticultural Regiment !!!) I'm looking forward to the coming month or two when, in addition to this, they'll be digging in the Bull Yard and Shelton Square, in the hope of revealing some of our City Wall.
Local History and Heritage - Excavations for the City Centre South project
Annewiggy
Tamworth
4 of 18  Sun 14th Apr 2024 10:33am  

That picture from above must have been taken just as the Coventry City Council took over the Barracks for which they paid £35,000 in 1920. Information from BNA.
Local History and Heritage - Excavations for the City Centre South project
Helen F
Warrington
5 of 18  Sun 14th Apr 2024 1:13pm  

I think that might be my favourite aerial view. I await further updates on the dig with relish. Smile Looking at Neil/CliffB's photo below of the 1921 police inspection, it wasn't just the bushes that were getting out of hand. One of the things that happened before the war was that new buildings, especially factories often respected old boundaries and didn't just fit within the boundaries, they hugged them, no matter how zany the shape. Sometimes the modern buildings fitted into the same spaces and you can still see old boundaries, but mostly they hide the old layout. side by side maps
Local History and Heritage - Excavations for the City Centre South project
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
Thread starter
6 of 18  Sun 28th Apr 2024 11:31am  

Another walk around revealed the latest progress on the excavations yesterday. The first photo below was near the disabled parking area in the Barracks car-park, which corresponds to the north-east line of buildings around the old Barracks parade ground. To help folk get their bearings, the alleyway you can see in the top-left corner of the photo leads through to the Upper Precinct, near the fountains. Referring back to the 1851 map above, this long trench cuts through the stables, marked near the top-right of the map. The archaeologists have also kindly left a small pile of their findings for us all to see - looks like fragments of bone, pottery, and possibly some tools.... Here's a map of the location (camera 2).
Local History and Heritage - Excavations for the City Centre South project
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
Thread starter
7 of 18  Sun 28th Apr 2024 11:43am  

They are also making good progress in Shelton Square. We are near to the opening leading through to the circular market (to our right), and ahead, right hand side, is the entrance to the City Arcade, where the bird-cage used to stand. The line of red-bricks (possibly 17th/18th century) directly in front of us appears to have been laid on top of some sandstone blocks. This is all directly beneath where a line of red bricks were laid into the ground in more recent decades to mark the line of the city wall. After first doubting this, the revealing of sandstone now makes it possible that this is our old town wall after all. Here's a map of the location (camera 3). You can zoom in on an aerial view with the wall marked on it on my new City Wall on Google map page. Smile
Local History and Heritage - Excavations for the City Centre South project
Helen F
8 of 18  Sun 28th Apr 2024 11:45am  
Off-topic / chat  

Rob Orland
Thread starter
9 of 18  Sun 28th Apr 2024 11:46am  
Off-topic / chat  

argon
10 of 18  Sun 28th Apr 2024 1:51pm  
Off-topic / chat  

Helen F
11 of 18  Sun 28th Apr 2024 2:06pm  
Off-topic / chat  

PhiliPamInCoventry
12 of 18  Sun 28th Apr 2024 6:27pm  
Off-topic / chat  

Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
Thread starter
13 of 18  Mon 29th Apr 2024 8:03pm  

I forgot to upload this photo yesterday, showing the sandstone block from the other (south) side. A certain local historian has pointed out to me that for some strange reason our medieval ancestors decided to sculpt Jabba the Hutt for us to find centuries later!!! Lol I cannot now get that image out of my mind! Here's a map of the location (camera 4).
Local History and Heritage - Excavations for the City Centre South project
Helen F
Warrington
14 of 18  Mon 29th Apr 2024 8:33pm  

Lol An amazing likeness! Might it be worth marking on a map where you were and which way you were looking? At least while you remember. I struggle to picture where archaeological photos were taken, even when they're written up in books. Those stones look significant... face or no.
Local History and Heritage - Excavations for the City Centre South project
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
Thread starter
15 of 18  Tue 30th Apr 2024 10:18am  

Great idea, yes.... hopefully in the next day or two. Thumbs up
Local History and Heritage - Excavations for the City Centre South project

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