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Hill Street to Spon (Bablake) Gate

Hill Street Gate

Hill Street Gate by David Hale Hill Street Gate by Coventry artist, David Hale. (This image must not be copied or reproduced in any way without permission from the artist.)

The David Hale illustration on the right is a northwards looking view of the "town" side of Hill Street Gate. The building on the left is Bond's Hospital, seen in the next photo.
Hill Street Gate would have stood in the position I was standing in to take the next photograph below on the right.


Wall at Bond's Hospital

Wall set into Bond's Hospital

As you cross over from Bond Street to the other side of Hill Street, you will arrive at Bond's Hospital. On the north side of the building (to your right) it appears that some stones from the old wall have been re-used in the structure of the almshouse. This is not the original line of the wall, however, as this northern wing of Bond's Hospital was not built until 1816.

Passing through the arched gateway adjacent to this old almshouse, you can cross the beautiful courtyard shared by Bond's and the old Bablake School, then reappear behind St. John's Church.

The next piece of wall is very close by and can be viewed from the junction of Fleet Street and Lower Holyhead Road through some railings. This is at the rear of Bond's Hospital and is pictured below.

Wall near Fleet Street

In September 2019 I was privileged to be allowed into the garden at Bond's Hospital to be able to photograph that part of our ancient City Wall from the inside.

Inside of the Wall at Bond's Hospital

Still clearly visible on one of the sandstone blocks is the mark left by a stone mason over 600 years ago, in the shape of a double-headed axe. It's the little details like this that bring those medieval workers closer to us.

Mason's mark inside the wall at Bond's Hospital
Wall in 190 Spon Street

Moving towards St. John's Church another piece of wall has been put to good use as part of the structure of number 190 Spon Street....
Unfortunately, this is the last piece of wall to be seen until you reach the south east side of the old town. The next mile or so of city wall and the five grand gates protecting the south side of Coventry have been completely destroyed and no trace left to see.

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Spon (Bablake) Gate

Spon Gate West Side

The piece of wall shown in the building above led directly into what was probably the grandest out of all the gates.... Spon Gate. (Originally known as Bablake Gate.)

This old engraving on the left depicts the complex structure which stood proudly alongside St. John's church at the end of Spon Street. The image was engraved by J. Greig from a drawing by J. Smith, and was published on the 1st July 1817. The view is of the outside of the gate from Spon Street looking in towards the town. St. John's church would be through the gate and on the left.

Spon Gate East Side

The lithograph on the right was made by Miss Eld and published by C. A. N. Rollason in 1840. It depicts the inside of Spon Gate and shows its close proximity to St. John's church, then known as Bablake church.

At the time the building of the wall was commenced, Spon Street was the name given to the whole length of road to the west of its junction with Hill Street and Smithford Street. However, sometime between 1411 and 1434, the short piece of road leading up to the 'inside' of the gate was renamed "Fleet Street".

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