NOV 00] COUNTY HALL, COVENTRY NEWS
Coventry 'Had TWO Guildhalls'
Coventry historian has made a discovery that he says will
require the re-writing of the history books – the city had not
one but TWO guildhalls.
Russell has believed that the site of County Hall used to be the
home to a second guildhall.
has been trying to find proof of this to encourage an
archaeological dig to take place before the building is
converted into a pub.
yesterday the local historian, who calls himself Cov Kid,
uncovered the evidence he says he needs to show that there was
another guildhall in addition to St Mary’s.
researching the Sword and Mace riots of 1713, Mr Russell found
witness statements relating to a fight between a political group
and the Lord Mayor.
person, Alice Mitchell, makes reference to people coming out of
a guildhall and going along Bayley Lane, a few paces away from
Derby Lane – which is now a loading bay for Cathedral Lanes
one of the witnesses drew a map to explain where the riot was
taking place. On it he identifies a guildhall on the site where County
Hall now is.
Russell has cross-referenced the rest of this map with earlier
and later records, to make sure that the witness did not get the
streets in the wrong place. All the other roads are in the
map shows a guildhall on the left of Hay Lane, looking away from
the High Street. If the guildhall marked on the map had been St
Mary’s it would have been on the right of the diagram.
Russell said this discovery, in legal statements, showed there
was another guildhall in Coventry.
says if several people who lived in the area put the building in
the same place in important documents they would have had their
error pointed out if they had all got it wrong.
been working on this for three years. It was only when I
looked at the 18th century for some other research that I
found what I was looking for.
city’s history will have to be re-written. There are many
references to the guildhall, and everyone assumes it was St
Russell said that the foundations of County Hall are similar
to those used for St Michael's and Holy Trinity, indicating
that it was built on an older building.
has prepared a history of the County Hall site, and is looking
for a publisher to help him get a book out on the subject.
who can help should email him at email@example.com
[14 AUG 00] DIG FOR
HISTORY, URGES ENTHUSIAST