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Quick Stop Balti 024 7663 2578
80 Far Gosford Street, Coventry, CV1 5DZ
Habibi 024 7622 0669
142 Far Gosford Street, Coventry, CV1 5DY
San Marco - 024 76634776 -
"This Is one of our Fav Coventry Restaurant. Italian Food and qwerky Italian Waiters Give you a real Italian experience oh, and the food is great!"
FAR GOSFORD STREET (that part of Gosford Street which formerly lay beyond Gosford Gate and thus outside the City wall) was the medieval route eastwards out of the city, and one of Coventry's early suburbs, along with Spon, Harnall, and Saint Nicholas (Bishop Gate).
It would be fair to say that Far Gosford Street today, with its amalgam of buildings from different periods, forms a microcosm of Coventry's development between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries which is not paralleled elsewhere. Buildings from most architectural periods between those dates are represented there.
The Conservation Area was declared on 21st October 1992.
Bridge over River Sherbourne
General Historical Background and Topographical Context
Far Gosford Street's modern extent was formerly bounded, at the city end, by Gosford Bridges (over the Sherbourne and a parallel stream course), Gosford Gate and the Chapel of Saint George (on the Bridge and linked to the Gate), and at the eastern end by Gosford Green and Saint Margaret's Chapel. The building of the Gate and city wall physically separated the two parts of the street into 'Gosford' and 'Far Gosford', but even before this the distinction had already been made, first by the 'goose ford' across the river and brook, and then by the bridges built across them. Thus we have references in the 12th century to 'extra' or 'ultra' Gosford, in the late 13th to 'ultra pontes (bridges) de Gosforde', and in 1410-11 of 'vicus de Gosforde extra portam' (Gosford Street beyond the Gate).
There were already houses fronting the street as early as the 13th century. There is a possibility that the medieval suburb was laid out in a planned manner, at least on the north side. Speed's plan of 1610 shows both sides heavily built up, but by Bradford's time (1748) there is open land beyond the Bridges for a short distance. Orders were given in August 1643, during the Civil War, to clear such buildings as may be thought necessary to create a clear field of fire around the walls; and it is possible that this accounts for the change.
Astley's building in 1921
The gap between the buildings close to the city and those further out remained until well into the 19th century (nos. 8-25 were built in the 1880s). By 1837, roads and houses were being built north of the street: Harnall Street (later Harnall Row), Harnall Place (later West Street), South Street, East Street, All Saints' Lane, Primrose Street (later Paynes Lane). Lower Ford Street was opened in 1855 on the line of a former private cart roadway leading into the Spitalmoors Fields, and widened to 40 feet to be made a public carriage road. Raglan Street, a continuation of East Street westwards, was begun in 1856. By 1900, development had begun on the south side, on the former Boston estate. In 1902, the General Municipal Charities granted a building lease on land over 8 acres, for not less than £9,800 expenditure on building, plus the formation of new roads, including continuing Brick Kiln Lane (later Gulson Road) to Gosford Green. This block of land comprised, on the street frontage, the Hare and Hounds Inn, nos. 135-139 (consecutive) and the eight tenements in court 12. By 1905, Bramble Street had been laid out, soon followed by Vecqueray Street (named after Revd. G. C. Vecqueray, vicar of All Saints' Church until c. 1904) and Grafton Street.
By the 1930s the whole of the surrounding area was fully built up. The street escaped serious damage in the World War Two air raids and was far enough away from the City Centre to avoid large-scale redevelopment. Much of Gosford Street was redeveloped in the 1960s and '70s, and although the city end of Far Gosford Street (1-7 and Court no. 1) was lost to roadworks in the early '70s, with further losses (8-17) for the construction of Sky Blue Way in 1986, the street has managed to retain much of its character and separate identity.
Listed Buildings on the DOE and Local List
28-41 Far Gosford Street - Jan-2002
Far Gosford Street has fourteen statutory listed buildings, and a number of locally listed and other buildings of historic interest, whose group value contributes significantly to the make-up of the Conservation Area.
Buildings which have been statutorily listed by the Department of the Environment as being of special architectural and/or historic interest are accorded certain safeguards. Any alterations, extensions or demolition require 'listed building consent', which is separate from any planning permission or building regulation approval required. In addition, the City Council keeps a 'local list' of other buildings which it considers worthy of preservation for their architectural or historic significance or value, which have not been included on the DOE's necessarily selective list. Although such buildings do not benefit from the statutory controls and safeguards, every effort is made to encourage their retention and sympathetic treatment. The full brochure gives information on the buildings in each list, with brief descriptions, illustrations and details of past occupants and the trades they practised in these buildings.
Buildings on the Department of the Environment's statutory list are:
Nos. 32, 33
38, 39, 40
122, 123, 124
All Grade II - 'buildings with special interest which warrant every effort being made to preserve all their important features.'
Buildings on the City Council's 'local list':
Nos. 64, 65, 66 (Pitt's Head PH - recently renamed 'The Gosford Arms' )
77-83 consec. (= Ashville Terrace)
116 (Hertford Arms PH) 117
154-164 (= Astley's, originally Calcott Bros. Ltd.)
Other buildings in the Conservation Area which have been identified as being of some architectural or historic interest are:
Nos. 28, 29, 31, 41, 73-75, 84-88
89B-90, 114/115, 119/120
Former All Saints' School (146), now the 'Scholars' night-club
All Saints' Parish Rooms (Vecqueray Street)
Far Gosford Street Conservation Area - Problems, Opportunities and Implications
Despite the effects of blight on the economy and appearance of Far Gosford Street, much of visual and historic value remains.
Little of this is immediately apparent, however, because, as with Spon Street and Spon End to the west, surviving medieval houses have been altered or refronted but not rebuilt. Many 15th or 16th century half-timbered buildings were retained by the owners of later centuries, and converted from fair-sized hall-type houses into two or three smaller tenements, each of two storeys. In many cases they encased the original facades in brick or plaster. The Gosford suburb was one place where such multiple occupation and modernisation took place.
In the last, as well as the present, century some of the older buildings were demolished and new buildings erected in their place, and land which had remained open for many years was infilled with terraced housing. In time, most of the houses were converted into shops. Ashville Terrace (nos. 77-83) was originally set back from the main building line to provide modest front gardens, now occupied by the modern single-storey shop extensions built on to the fronts of the houses. It would be fair to say that Far Gosford Street today, with its amalgam of buildings from different periods, forms a microcosm of Coventry's development between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries which is not paralleled elsewhere. Buildings from most architectural periods between those dates are represented there.
Designation of the street as a conservation area allows the pursuit of enhancement projects under any applicable Government funding schemes and encourages the recognition and restoration of medieval and other historic buildings. The group between nos. 28 and 41 on the north side, situated on rising ground at a bend in the road, could be of particular visual interest if sympathetically restored.