Page 11

What did Coventry lose?

All that remained of Christ Church after the April 1941 raid.
All that remained of Christ Church after a 1941 raid.

Although many of our city's buildings could be rebuilt, Coventry is a place with a very full history, and many of the buildings lost to the bombing were centuries old and absolutely irreplaceable. As I've lamented elsewhere in this website, many of our architectural gems disappeared long before the war. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the town planners of the day had no qualms in demolishing our proud city gates, when a simple re-routing of a street could have allowed them to be preserved. And only a few years before the war, Great and Little Butcher Row, Palmer Lane and parts of Cross Cheaping were demolished for the building of Trinity Street.


On the left is the empty shell of Christchurch in April 1941. For some time after the huge November raid of 1940 Coventry only suffered minor "nuisance" raids, but this relative lull came to an abrupt end with two very heavy attacks on the 8th and 10th April 1941. Although shorter in length, they were of similar magnitude to the raid of November the previous year. It was the first of these two raids that finally destroyed Christchurch, although Coventry's third spire remained standing.
451 more people were killed as a result of the April attacks, and these were buried at a third mass funeral alongside the previous victims at the London Road Cemetery.


However, there were still many buildings of merit remaining before the blitz, and to give the reader some idea of the damage done to our heritage, I'm going to include here the full list published on page 45 of "The City We Loved" in 1942.

Whitefriar's Gateway in Court Yard of London Road Institution Severe damage
St. John's Hospital (the Old Grammar School) Fairly extensive damage to roof
Coventry Priory (Coventry Catheral Ruins) Slight damage
St. Mary's Hall Severe damage to roof and structure
Portions of City Wall at or near:
Lamb Street
Well Street
Upper Well Street
Rood Lane
College Square
Chauntry Place
London Road
Brookville Terrace

Slight damage
Slight damage
Slight damage
Slight damage
Slight damage
Severe damage in centre of Lady Herbert's Garden
Severe damage to Whitefriar's Gate
Slight damage
Chapel of St. James, Spon End Severe damage at rear
The Cathedral Burnt out - Spire and walls remain
Christ Church (Greyfriar's Church) Burnt out - Spire and walls remain
Kirby House, Little Park Street Slight damage
Cheylesmore Manor House Slight damage
The Charterhouse, London Road Walls, roof and windows damaged
Bond's Hospital Slight damage
Old Bablake School Severe damage to one building, not extensive to remainder
St. John's Church, Bablake Damage to windows and roof
Holy Trinity Church Damage to windows and roof
Medieval Cellars, Jordan Well Buildings above destroyed - cellar damaged
Medieval Building, Much Park Street Parts of walls only remain
Ford's Hospital and Queen Anne House on adjoining site Part destroyed - severe damage
22 Bayley Lane No serious damage
Priory Row, No. 11, and others Burnt out - walls remain
Nos. 111, 112, 113 Gosford Street Top storey of No. 111 destroyed, extensive damage to remainder
Nos. 7 and 10 Much Park Street Slight damage to roof, etc.
Group of houses, Little Park Street, Nos. 84, 85, 86, 91 and Court 20 Severe damage
Fennell's Music Shop, Spon Street Slight damage
Palace Yard Completely destroyed


 
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What did Coventry lose?
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