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Swanswell Gate


In 1329 Edward III gave permission to the 'goodmen' of Coventry and the Prior of St Mary's to build a town wall around Coventry. Until that point Coventry had been defended by ditches, with moveable barred gates controlling access along major transport routes.

The walls stretched over two miles and were composed of two outer skins of red sandstone infilled with rubble. When complete the walls stood 12 feet high and were 8 feet thick, creating an impressive defensive barrier.

Of the original twelve city gates, only two remain, Cook Street Gate and Swanswell Gate, also known in times gone by as ‘Priory Gate’. A large portion of wall still extends from this gate, finishing its run just short of Cook Street gate situated one hundred yards north. Its earlier reference as Priory Gate was because it gave entrance to the prior's own land and fishing pool.

Address: Hales St, Coventry, CV1 1JD