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Repair works begin on historic city gates and walls

Published Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Work has begun to help restore and repair some of the remains of Coventry’s historic city walls and gates within its city centre.

Upper Well Street
Pictured: Part of the wall found at Upper Well Street

The city wall dates back to the 1300s and was originally around eight feet thick, over 12 feet high and had 12 towers. It was reported to be one of the most impressive city walls in the country at the time.

The original wall was contained within what is now Coventry’s Ring Road, but was partially demolished on the order of King Charles II in 1662. Now, two gates remain and various sections of the wall still stand across the city centre.

Work to help repair and preserve the gates and walls will take place on the remaining sections of the city walls in Lady Herbert’s Garden, Upper Well Street and the footpath that runs from Gosford Street and Grove Street, as well as the two remaining Swanswell and Cook Street gates.

Councillor Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services, said: “Coventry is such a historic city, it’s wonderful to be able to work on preserving and maintaining our heritage.

“The work will involve removing weeds, cleaning and applying a capping to the walls to help prevent water damage. Any mortar which is damaged between the stones will also be repaired, which is called repointing.

“The walls would have originally had some sort of stone capping when it was first built, so the work will definitely help to preserve and protect the wall going forward. I’m really looking forward to seeing the difference this work makes!"

The work is being undertaken by Haystoun Construction, who began the project on Monday 11 May. It will take approximately seven to eight weeks, with workers using social distancing to ensure work can be carried out safely.

Funding for the project has been secured from Historic England in partnership with Coventry City Council.

Once the project is complete, ownership of the city gates will be transferred to the Historic Coventry Trust, which will be converting both gates to self-contained units for special occasion stays for local people and visitors.

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said: “The city gates are a precious part of Coventry’s history, and they’ll be best looked after by Historic Coventry Trust.

“They approve of our planned works and will be overseeing the walls and gates whilst any work is going on to make sure it’s protected and preserved properly.”

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