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Coventry Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Red Ditch

In the civil parish of Coventry.
In the historic county of Warwickshire.
Modern Authority of Coventry.
1974 county of West Midlands.
Medieval County of Warwickshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP33597895
Latitude 52.40726° Longitude -1.50703°

Coventry Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are no visible remains.


Site of Coventry Castle. A castle existed in Coventry by the mid 12th century, and possibly earlier. In 1147, when Ranulf, 2nd Earl of Chester besieged the town, the King's men withdrew to the castle, and following the lifting of the siege, it is said that King Stephen destroyed the castle. However, it must have been repairable since it is mentioned, as a viable fortification, in 1182, 1200 and 1208. It is possible that the Red Ditch, a previously unexplained earthwork, may be the southern and western defence perimeter of the bailey. Excavations discovered late 12th century pottery in the primary fill of the ditch, but there is no conclusive proof that it was part of the bailey. (PastScape)

The builders of St Mary's Hall, utilised stone from the castle, and indeed Caesar's Tower at St Mary's Hall may be built directly on the foundations of former castle buildings. Earl Street, first mentioned in the late C12, later ran right through the site on an E-W axis. Houses soon appeared on the street, and sometime after 1250, the Earls of Chester moved their residence from the castle to Cheylesmore Manor allowing the castle to decay and let out as tenements. (PastScape–ref. VCH)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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