A medieval wall was rediscovered on Cox Street car park during a routine survey for the construction of a £50 million student accommodation complex on Fairfax Street.
The sandstone wall was located by archaeologists between the ring road and sports centre, opposite to the swimming baths. Diggers and handtools were used to uncover remains of the wall beneath the car park previously home to Priory Baths.
Specialists have claimed that the wall was ordered to be torn down in 1662 by King Charles ll as an act of revenge for Coventry’s support of the Parliamentarians during the 17 century Civil War.
The wall that protected Coventry would have been connected to Swanswell Gatehouse which is next to Lady Herbert’s Garden. Work began on the stretched wall in the 14th century until it measured 2.2 miles long and 12 feet high with two layers of red sandstone. It was even maintained into the 17 century having been repaired in the 1640s English Civil War.
Twelve gates were instilled in the wall but only three remain today including Swansell, Cook Street and Whitefriars. Specialists have classed the wall and gates as a scheduled ancient monument, granting it protection from any unauthorised change.
Coventry City Council approved planning documents that show the construction of four towers, ranging six to 21-storeys high, for the housing of 1,000 students. Construction of the student development should be completed by Summer 2018 after commencing in April, but the wall discovery is expected to slow down this process.
A campaign to ‘save our city wall’ has been launched on social media to preserve the now 700-year-old monument which is part of Coventry’s history.
Christiana Amao, third-year Psychology student, said: “I am very delighted to hear that Coventry has found a 700-year-old wall. Ideally, they will be able to build the student accommodation around the wall.”
She added: “It’s a good way to combine modernisation and legacy.”