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8: Burges from Bishop Street
9: Burges from Cross Cheaping
10: Burton's in Blitzed Broadgate
11: Butcher Row, Great
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13: Cheylesmore Manor House
14: Coat of Arms Bridge
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16: Council House
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18: Far Gosford Street
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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 47

Precinct & Old Coventry aerial view

Camera No. 1

As you may have already noticed, hovering the mouse cursor over the photograph below will substitute a view of 1930 Coventry with a modern day photo of the precinct area taken from the same place - the tower of St. Michael's. I have managed to match the scale of the two images so that they perfectly overlay.

Coventry Aerial view
If the overlaid photographs do not show correctly, or if you wish to see them separately, please

You might note two of the only recognisable features common to both views - the tower of St. John's church just to the right of centre, near the top edge of the photo..... and the distant spire of St. Osburg's church in the top right corner. (Both show more vividly in the older black and white picture.) Quickly alternating the two views will clearly show the relative positions of the buildings.
With the exception of the two above mentioned buildings, there appears to be nothing left of pre-war Coventry centre on the west side of Broadgate which before 1940 was simply a wide road but now is recognised as an enlarged rectangular area encompassing the Cathedral Lanes shopping centre.
In the 1930 shot, the line of Smithford Street can just be made out running from half way up the left side of the photo towards St. John's church. Symmetrically to this on the right hand side of the photo can be seen the line of buildings forming West Orchard which until WW2 was of course, a street. Now it is represented by another shopping complex constructed in the late 1980s.
In the top left corner, the huge factory dominating the view in 1930 was the Rudge Motorcycle works. After the war, GEC became the new owners but despite the factory becoming a listed building on account of it being the first steel framed construction of its size in the country, it was demolished in the early 1990s to make way for the SkyDome which can be seen in the modern view.
Just to the right of the picture's centre is the 100 foot tall Market Clock Tower with Market Place leading up to it. Remarkably, the tower survived the wartime blitz but was left neglected and later demolished - the excuse being that it didn't fit in with the "modern" plans for the pedestrianised precinct. The famously accurate clock movement in the tower was saved however and is now installed in the Godiva Clock in Broadgate.

To see a stage-by-stage view of how the original town centre changed from pre-war - to post-blitz ruin - to new precinct and Broadgate - to 21st century, select a year below:

Coventry Aerial view

1930 - 1941 - 1974 - 2003

If the overlaid photographs do not show correctly, or if you wish to see them separately, please

Colin Barnes has kindly sent me a lovely view of Broadgate Garden Island from around 1982. To see this photo and indulge in a spot of nostalgia, try this Broadgate Special page.

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Pool Meadow
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Precinct & Old Coventry aerial view
Next page:
Precinct, upper
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Counter by Rob Orland

This page last updated on 19th April 2017