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Swanswell (Priory) Gate

Swanswell Gate - 1840 Engraving

Of the original twelve city gates, only two remain.... Cook Street Gate and Swanswell Gate, also known in times gone by as Priory gate; pictured left in an 1840 engraving. A large portion of wall still extends from this gate, finishing its run just short of Cook Street gate one hundred yards north. Its earlier reference as Priory gate was because it gave entrance to the prior's own land and fishing pool.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the two surviving gates are only minor ones of relatively basic design. Some of the other main entrances to the town, such as Gosford, Greyfriars and Spon gates, were quite elaborate and more like small castles!

To see how this gate looked before the First World War, try the Now and Then section.

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The gate as it stands today

Swanswell Gate from the west

The view of Swanswell gate on the left shows the gate from the "inside" of Coventry's wall. It is looking north-eastwards from the end of Lady Herbert's Garden, opposite to the old Fire Station in Hales Street.
Gargoyle on Swanswell gate

Not quite visible in these images is a stone carving of a gargoyle sticking out from the brickwork near to the top of the gate shown above. On the right here is a close-up of the lovely looking chappy.... he even smiled for the camera!!

The next photo shows Swanswell gate fom the east side in its attractive situation at the entrance to Lady Herbert's Garden. (See the next page.) The quite substantial remains of the original Town Wall can be clearly seen reaching out to the right, with a small gateway cut into it.

East side of Swanswell gate in 2003

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