Home Home


Search this site:
1: Arts School, Ford Street
2: Bishop Street, looking north
3: Bishop Street, looking south
4: Bishop Street Post Office
5: Blue Coat School & ruins
6: Broadgate from Hertford Street
7: Broadgate from Holy Trinity Church
8: Burges from Bishop Street
9: Burges from Cross Cheaping
10: Burton's in Blitzed Broadgate
11: Butcher Row, Great
12: Butcher Row, Little
13: Cheylesmore Manor House
14: Coat of Arms Bridge
15: Cook Street gate
16: Council House
17: Cox Street
18: Far Gosford Street
19: Fire Station, Hales Street
20: Fleet Street
21: Ford's Hospital
22: Golden Cross & Pepper Lane
23: Greyfriars Lane
24: The Grove
25: Guildhall & 22 Bayley Lane
26: Hales Street
27: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum
28: Hertford Street
29: Hertford Street from Broadgate
30: High Street from Broadgate
31: High Street from Earl Street
32: High Street aerial view
33: Hill Street, Bablake & Bond's
34: Hippodrome, new
35: Hippodrome, old
36: Humber Motor Works
37: Ironmonger Row
38: Jordan Well & Earl Street
39: Jordan Well & Gosford Street
40: Kenilworth Road
41: Leamington Road
42: Much Park Street
43: Naul's Mill Park
44: Old Rope Walk
45: Palace Yard
46: Pool Meadow
47: Precinct & Old Coventry aerial view
48: Precinct, upper
49: Precinct, west view
50: Priory Row
51: Priory Street, lower end
52: Priory Street, upper end
53: Queen Victoria Road flood of 1900
54: Railway Station, Eaton Road
55: Railway Station - the platform
56: Smithford Way
57: Spon End arches
58: Spon Street flood of 1900
59: St. John's Church, Fleet Street
60: St. Michael's Avenue
61: St. Michael's ruins
62: St. Michael's spire from Pepper Lane
63: Stoke Green & Pool
64: Swanswell Gate
65: Swanswell Pool
66: Swimming Baths, Priory Street
67: Trinity Church
68: Trinity Lane & the Free Library
69: Trinity Lane from Priory Row
70: Trinity Street aerial view
71: Trinity Street & Hales Street
72: Trinity Street from Broadgate
73: War Memorial Park
74: Warwick Row, Hertford St & Warwick Lane
75: Warwick Road
76: Well Street from Hales Street
77: West Orchard
78: Wheatley Street Schools
Page 11

Butcher Row, Great

Camera No. 11
The 1900 view above is a Library photo taken from Virginia Gilbert's book "Coventry as it was". Click on it to see how it looks in 2012.

to see the two images separately.

After years of planning for, and objections against, an improved street layout to cope with the new phenomena of the motor car, this street finally submitted to the bulldozer in 1936. Alderman C. Payne officiated at the closing ceremony on 1st January 1936, and despite many protests and alternative solutions being forwarded, Coventry City Council did what Coventry's Council had always done: - their own thing!

If only they had had the foresight to understand just how important these old streets would almost certainly have become to the rejuvination of the town in these days of tourism. Treated sympathetically, I'm sure the Butcher and Ironmonger Rows etc. would have attracted thousands of visitors anxious to revel in an historic past just as they do nowadays at the few remaining unaltered places.

Ironically, the stated reason for the required changes was traffic flow, which, with the advent of the Inner Ring Road two decades after the war, became a redundant idea, and further changes made in 2012 have prevented any traffic between Trinity Street and Broadgate altogether. As the New Cathedral's architect Sir Basil Spence has also lamented, once a relic of the past has been destroyed, that particular light is extinguished forever and cannot be re-lit.

The first photo, looking northwards, was taken in 1900, and also shows the Bull Ring which occupied the area at the bottom of the lane. Turning left at that end would have led into Ironmonger Row. Although still over three decades before the street's demise, the council were already starting to draw up plans for street widening which would spell the end for this central part of Coventry's medieval history. I can't imagine that anyone will ever speak of Trinity Street in the same affectionate terms that were used for Butcher Row.

This next scene comprises two postcards from the early 1900s. Taken from virtually the same spot, they merge together beautifully to illustrate how this area was laid out. The north facing picture to the left is similar to the view of Butcher Row above, but from further back. The right hand photo faces east towards Trinity church.
In the second photo, if you were to walk forward to the horse and carriage, and turn to your left, this view of Trinity Lane would greet you.

There's no mystery about who took these two photos (!).... but neither is there any mystery to the modern day scenes. I wonder if the Coventrians who lived around those old streets in centuries gone by saw the same charm in their surroundings that we imagine existed when we look at those old photos? Trinity 2005
Trinity St 2004

Of course, it's quite feasible that these fragile timber framed buildings may not have survived the intense incendiary attacks of the Luftwaffe in 1940/41 anyway, but many did, and in fact, this area - now the east side of Trinity Street - was relatively lightly affected by the raids, but now we will never know for ourselves, will we?
The photo below shows Butcher Row looking southwards in the early 1900s. Clicking your mouse on it will fade forward in time to that same scene in 2003 - now the top end of Trinity Street, of course.

if you wish to see the images separately.

Priory Row

In the above photo, just before the black and white cottage on the left of the street is a narrow gap which is the entrance to Priory Row. If you walked up there and looked through the gap, the photo on the left shows what you would see.
Try this link to see the opposing view of Priory Row
On the right, of course, can clearly be seen the street sign indicating Little Butcher Row, as seen further up this page.

These two views of Butcher Row can more easily be put into perspective by taking a look at the two views of Trinity Lane on another page.

This atmospheric view of Priory Row first appeared in the guide book "Coventry - its Mediaeval Interest" around 1930.

Previous page:
Burton's in Blitzed Broadgate
This page:
Butcher Row, Great
Next page:
Butcher Row, Little
Associated pages....
Home | How this site began | Bibliography | About me | My music | Admin | 1605 | Steve's website | Mandy's website | Orland family website
Top of the page
Counter by Rob Orland

This page last updated on 19th April 2017