The City of Coventry: The outlying parts of Coventry, Wyken and Caludon

A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 8, the City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.

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, 'The City of Coventry: The outlying parts of Coventry, Wyken and Caludon', in A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 8, the City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick, (London, 1969) pp. 119-124. British History Online [accessed 28 May 2024].

. "The City of Coventry: The outlying parts of Coventry, Wyken and Caludon", in A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 8, the City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick, (London, 1969) 119-124. British History Online, accessed May 28, 2024,

. "The City of Coventry: The outlying parts of Coventry, Wyken and Caludon", A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 8, the City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick, (London, 1969). 119-124. British History Online. Web. 28 May 2024,

In this section


The ancient parish of Wyken, the area of which was estimated as 670 acres in the mid 19th century, (fn. 1) formed only the northern and eastern parts of the later civil parish. The southern part, the Caludon estate, was a detached part of the ancient parish of St. Michael's, Coventry, until it was transferred to Wyken in 1884. The area of the combined civil parish in 1891 was 1,333 acres. (fn. 2) The civil parish of Stoke Heath, created out of 74 acres in the west of Wyken in 1920, became part of Coventry in 1928, and of the rest of Wyken parish the greater part - 1,263 acres - was taken into the city in 1932 and the remaining six acres in the extreme east were transferred to Combe Fields. (fn. 3)

Most of the parish consisted of a strip of land about two miles long and half a mile wide, on the south and west of the river, stretching from Courthouse Green in Foleshill to Sowe Bridge. On the west was a small area of higher ground near Stoke Heath, called Wyken Heath and Wyken Knob, and on the east the boundary followed the course of the former eastern branch of the River Sowe to include Hungerlay Hall Farm. (fn. 4) The small area of land to the north of the river included Wyken Manor House, the former Craven Colliery, and part of Henley Road.

The Caludon estate stretched from the River Sowe, south of Sowe Bridge, westwards to the high ground near Stoke Heath. It was partly divided from Wyken proper by a streamlet from Stoke Heath which joins the Sowe just east of Wyken church; this was presumably the stream, rising from Caludon well, which in the early 14th century marked the boundary with Foleshill. (fn. 5)

Ansty Road runs north-eastwards from Coventry towards Leicester through Caludon and the south of Wyken, crossing the River Sowe at Clifford Bridge. Clifford Bridge Road runs south from this bridge towards Binley, and crosses the river at Sowe Bridge. The railway, from Pinley to Foleshill, and the Coventry Canal run just inside the former western boundary of Wyken in its extreme northwestern corner, and a now disused branch railway from Hawkesbury in Sowe once served the Craven Colliery. The whole of Caludon and much of Wyken are occupied by modern housing estates.


WYKEN was first mentioned in the early 12th century when it was among the chapelries on the estates of the earls of Chester that were granted to Coventry Priory. (fn. 6) The overlordship passed with the other Chester estates to the manor of Cheylesmore, and Wyken was still subject to the Cheylesmore court in the mid 17th century. (fn. 7) Throughout the 13th century the estate was described as an eighth (fn. 8) but later as a third of a fee. (fn. 9) The principal estate began to be called a manor in the early 14th century. (fn. 10)

Combe Abbey had a water-mill in Wyken and Sowe in the late 12th century, (fn. 11) and although the abbey appears only as an intermediate tenant in the 13th century (fn. 12) the references to this holding in the abbey's registers were probably responsible for later attributions of the overlordship to the abbey. (fn. 13)

The earliest known tenants in Wyken were members of the Bruton or Bret family - Alice widow of Walter, James, and Robert - who held the mill from Combe Abbey (fn. 14) and the principal holding from the Chester estate in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. (fn. 15) Shortly after 1243 the estate passed to Geoffrey de Langley, possibly as part of the transaction by which he acquired Shortley from Henry d'Aubigny. (fn. 16) In the 13th and 14th centuries the estate was held by various members of the Langley family - including Walter, Alice, Robert, and John - and, like Pinley, by their successors William Careswell, Joan Trillow, and Sir Baldwin Frevill. (fn. 17) The Langleys extended the estate by purchasing a number of small freeholdings in the village. (fn. 18) When, on the death of the second Sir Baldwin Frevill in 1419, his estate were divided between his three co-heirs Wyken was at first held in three parts, (fn. 19) but after the redistribution of 1452 became part of the share of Margaret Frevill and her second husband Richard Bingham. (fn. 20) The manor was settled on Ralph Willoughby, Margaret's son, by her first husband, (fn. 21) and on Margaret's death in 1493 passed to her grandson, Sir Henry Willoughby. (fn. 22)

Wyken was held by the Willoughby family until 1596 (fn. 23) when, as a result of his extravagance, Sir Francis Willoughby was forced to sell it to Richard Green, (fn. 24) of a family whose members had been the principal tenants in the village since the early 16th century. (fn. 25) The Green family held the manor until the mid 18th century, when, after the death of Henry Green, the estate passed to William Craven (fn. 26) (who inherited the title of Baron Craven in 1764), son of Henry's daughter Maria Rebecca and John Craven of Whitley. The Cravens (from 1801 earls of Craven) (fn. 27) remained the principal landowners in Wyken until after the First World War, (fn. 28) when much of the parish was acquired by Coventry corporation for housing estates.

The Langleys probably had a house near the field called Hallfurlong and their small park south of the church, (fn. 29) but the Willoughbys do not appear to have lived on the estate. Henry Green's manor-house, which was mentioned in the Sowe tithe dispute of 1689 onwards, was probably in Wyken. (fn. 30) It may well be identified with the present Manor Farm, known in the earlier 19th century as Wyken House, (fn. 31) which stands on the south side of Henley Road. The tenant in 1778 was William Serjeaunt, who also held the game rights of the manor in 1788. (fn. 32) The position of the building, close to the Sowe boundary and in the extreme north of Wyken, is, however, an unusual one for a manor-house. A possible explanation is that this was already the home of the Green family when they acquired the manor in 1596 and that it only became the manor-house after that date. Members of the Craven family were said to have lived there, (fn. 33) but this seems unlikely since they had better houses nearby.

The older part of the house is timber-framed and has an L-shaped ground plan, consisting of a hall block and a smaller wing projecting to the south. Part of the hall block appears to have been remodelled and raised in height at some period, probably in 1624 when a stone chimney bearing this date was built on its north side. There is another early-17th-century chimney with diagonal brick shafts at the junction of the two wings. A projecting staircase wing on the west side of the house has been enclosed by brick extensions, both to the west and north, which date from the early 19th century. There are indications that the hall block has been truncated at its east end, where the gable wall is of 19th-century brickwork. If so, the timber-framed house was originally of greater size. (fn. 34) A circular brick dovecot to the south-east of the house was demolished within living memory and foundations of other buildings have been found in this area. The rickyard of the farm was on the north side of Henley Road until after the Second World War (fn. 35) when this land was acquired for housing. In 1964 about 40 acres to the south were still in use as farmland and a nursery garden. (fn. 36)

Coventry Priory acquired rights in Wyken by the de Montalts' grant of 1250. (fn. 37) In 1279 its holding consisted of a tenant with a half-virgate and two under-tenants. (fn. 38) There were further acquisitions made in 1305 and 1392. (fn. 39) Most of the small priory holding in Wyken in the 14th and 15th centuries formed part of the Attoxhale estate in Sowe immediately north of Wyken, (fn. 40) which had originally been built up by the Erneys family. (fn. 41) These lands passed to Coventry corporation in 1542, after the Dissolution, and were included in the endowment of Sir Thomas White's Charity in 1551. (fn. 42) Other pieces of land in Wyken were included with the priory's holding in Stoke, and were leased with that holding to Hugh Wyatt in 1541. (fn. 43) It is possible that this land became the detached part of Wyken between Caludon and Stoke which seems to have been occupied by 'Edward Day's dwelling house' in 1675. (fn. 44) In 1775 this was occupied by Joseph Hanson, and had formerly been held by Mrs. Garlick; it was a freeholding of the manor of Wyken. (fn. 45) A house was shown on the site in 1793, (fn. 46) about 400 yards east of Stoke church near the modern Wordsworth Road. The house here became known as Wyken House in the later 19th century, perhaps after the name ceased to be used for Manor House Farm.

Another freeholding in Wyken parish in the 18th century was that of Thomas Itchenor. (fn. 47) If, as is probable, it was this holding which William Pridmore (d. 1840) acquired in the early 19th century, it can be identified as an enclave of Wyken into Caludon marked on a map of 1778. (fn. 48) A house, called New House, was shown on this site in 1834; (fn. 49) it was later called Wyken Grange and was situated in what is now the Torcross Avenue area, where its name is commemorated in Wyken Grange Road. Pridmore's son, W. F. Pridmore, seems to have lived in Stivichall until the later 1860s, then to have moved to Wyken Grange, and finally, before 1872, to Wyken House near Stoke church. (fn. 50) Here the family lived until at least 1900. (fn. 51) Wyken House was put up for sale in 1929 (fn. 52) and the estate was afterwards broken up for building. Wyken Grange was also demolished for building sites between the two world wars. (fn. 53)

Land described as a carucate and a mill in Wyken were held in 1279 by Nicholas de Segrave, lord of the Caludon estate, immediately to the south. (fn. 54) Thereafter there was always part of the Caludon estate in Wyken. (fn. 55) In the early 15th century some land in Wyken held with Stockingford manor was granted to Arbury Priory, (fn. 56) but there are no other references to the holding. Land in Wyken was also held in connexion with the Zouche estate in Foleshill, (fn. 57) and in the 18th century some of the Caludon estate was held with a Foleshill farm. (fn. 58)

CALUDON was not among the chapelries of the Coventry district mentioned in the 12th century, and was probably a comparatively late settlement. It was granted by Ranulf de Blundeville, Earl of Chester, to Stephen de Segrave (d. 1241) at the end of the 12th century. (fn. 59) It was called a manor in 1239, (fn. 60) and described as a quarter-fee in 1275. (fn. 61) The overlordship passed with the Chester estates to the manor of Cheylesmore. (fn. 62) Coventry Priory claimed that it had bought the rent paid by Caludon to the overlord, but its claim was not sustained. (fn. 63)

Caludon was held by the Segrave family until the death of John Segrave, Lord Segrave, in 1353, (fn. 64) when it passed to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband, John Mowbray. (fn. 65) The manor was held by the Mowbrays (after 1397 dukes of Norfolk), through the varying fortunes of the family, until the death in 1481 of the Lady Anne Mowbray who was then the wife of Richard, Duke of York. In the subsequent partition of the Mowbray estates between the two co-heirs, John Howard, Lord Howard, and William Berkeley, Lord Berkeley, (fn. 66) Caludon was apparently allotted to the latter who was in possession of the estate in 1491. (fn. 67) The manor then descended in the Berkeley family until 1631 when George, Lord Berkeley, sold it to Thomas Morgan, of Weston under Wetherley, (fn. 68) who had estates elsewhere in Warwickshire and in Northamptonshire. His daughter and co-heir, Jane, married John Preston, of Furness (Lancs.) and Westmorland; (fn. 69) their son Sir Thomas Preston, Bt., held the manor at his death in 1709 when it was inherited by his younger daughter, Anne, the wife of Hugh Clifford, Lord Clifford of Chudleigh. The estate remained in the Clifford family until 1815, when it was sold piecemeal. (fn. 70) In 1846 the house and 200 acres in the east were owned by John Brown of Trinity College, Cambridge, 205 acres in the north by T. and J. Stephens, and 83 acres in the south by G. A. Pridmore. (fn. 71) In the late 19th century the site of the house and part of the estate were owned by the Revd. E. H. Garrard; G. A. Pridmore still occupied the southern area. (fn. 72) In 1929 the site was owned by H. J. Green. (fn. 73) After the First World War much of the land was acquired by Coventry corporation for housing estates, and the farmhouse and the remains of the castle are now included in a recreation ground (1964).

Caludon House or Castle was the only permanent nobleman's residence in the neighbourhood of Coventry. Apart from short periods when the house or castle was leased or disused, members of the Segrave, Mowbray, and Berkeley families lived there through much of its existence. Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, was said to have been living there when he appeared for the abortive duel before Richard II at Gosford Green in 1398. Curiously, the noble families living at Caludon do not seem to have used their power in the affairs of Coventry or its district. The castle was apparently abandoned either in the lifetime of Thomas Morgan or shortly after his death. The unique position of the castle in the district and the romantic appeal of its ruins have attracted the notice of antiquaries and produced accounts in which it is difficult to disentangle genuine information drawn from unquoted sources, and pure imagination. The story easiest to reject is that the house was the birthplace of St. George. (fn. 74)

The first manor-house at Caludon seems to have been built by the Segraves at the end of the 12th century; (fn. 75) there was a chapel there shortly after. (fn. 76) In 1279 there was a park of 20 acres and a pool. (fn. 77) The house or castle was probably rebuilt in 1305 when John Segrave received a licence to crenellate the building. (fn. 78) A similar licence is said to have been granted in 1354, (fn. 79) and the castle was probably again rebuilt at that date. Buildings mentioned as damaged in 1385 included a tiled building of four bays inside the bridge, a tiled building of seven bays outside the bridge, and a thatched barn of five bays. (fn. 80) A house on a bridge in Caludon mentioned at this time was presumably built over the moat. (fn. 81) The castle also fell into disrepair for some years after Norfolk's banishment in 1398, but is said to have been rebuilt by Henry, Lord Berkeley, about 1580 and added to by Elizabeth, Lady Berkeley, in the early 17th century. It was supposedly besieged and captured during the Civil Wars which would account for its disrepair in the late 17th century. (fn. 82)

The moat surrounding the castle enclosed an area of about an acre. For at least 150 years the only remains of the building itself have consisted of part of the north wall, standing immediately inside the dry moat. This wall is of grey sandstone with red sandstone dressings and is two stories high. It contains two tall pointed windows with incomplete tracery of mid-14th-century character, which may well have belonged to a first-floor great hall. Jambs of similar windows form the two ends of the surviving length of wall, suggesting that the hall must have been of at least four bays. Below the tall windows are those of an undercroft, with a flue rising in the thickness of the wall between them. (fn. 83) From its style it would appear that this fragment is part of the castle as rebuilt by John, Lord Mowbray, who was licensed to crenellate in 1354. No traces of any later additions have survived. The former farmhouse, which occupies part of the moated site to the southeast of the castle ruins, (fn. 84) is said to have been built by one of the Cliffords about 1800, using material from the castle. (fn. 85) It was, however, already in existence by 1788, when it was known as Caludon House. (fn. 86) The older part of the building is of brick, now mostly cement-rendered, on a stone plinth. Many alterations and additions were made in the 19th century. In 1964 the house was in poor repair, only partly occupied, and awaiting demolition. There is a second moated site to the south of the existing ruins.


The identity and character of the locality which was called Wyken is particularly elusive. Wyken was not mentioned in the Domesday Survey and, because Coventry Priory had little property there, there is less information about the parish before the 16th century than for most of the others in the district. There are no inclosure or tithe awards for the parish. In 1841 the local witness in the case about the county of the city had almost nothing to say about the parish except that it was very small, (fn. 87) and in 1927 it was said to have had 'a purely agricultural character'. (fn. 88)

The church stands on a low spur overlooking Wyken Bridge. Although there is no evidence that there was ever a village or hamlet around the church - in the 19th century there were only two or three minor buildings and a plot on which the former vicarage may have stood (fn. 89) - such a village may have existed before inclosure, and two medieval sources describe rows of three houses. (fn. 90) Two paths, from Caludon and Wyken Grange (now the roads known as Wyken Croft and Torcross Avenue), met near the church, and the continuation of Wyken Croft northwards past the church towards Henley was joined by Blackberry Lane just south of Wyken Bridge. The lay-out of the church, Wyken Bridge, and the paths around them, when compared with that of the Sowe road (Ansty Road) - which takes a sharp turn north-eastwards on the parish boundary and then runs straight across the parish to Clifford Bridge (fn. 91) - suggests that the former was the more ancient.

A highway to Leicester was mentioned in 1338, but this could have been either the Henley road or the Sowe road. (fn. 92) It has already been noticed that the road through Sowe fields to Ansty was much less important than the routes through Sowe Waste to the north; (fn. 93) this would equally reduce the importance of the Sowe road through Wyken. The Sowe road was called simply Caludon Lane from the 15th to the 17th centuries. (fn. 94) It was probably the highway to Hinckley mentioned in 1639, (fn. 95) but it was not marked in 1725. (fn. 96) It was, however, clearly shown in 1793, (fn. 97) after the Sowe inclosure of 1756 and the realignment of the roads there. The road was turnpiked in 1812-13 (fn. 98) and thereafter became increasingly important, but Wyken was not radically affected, as some neighbouring parishes were, by the roads passing through it.

La Wyke and other early forms of the name of the parish suggest that, like Caludon, the estate of the Brets and the early Langleys was a single farm. It was not in the great area of waste and woodland to the north of Coventry, and it touched Hasilwood only around Stoke Heath to the west and Sowe Shortwood near Attoxhale in the north; like Sowe village across the river to the east, it was an arable rather than a pastoral district. There are no references to woods in Wyken before the 16th century; in 1668 the manor included 24 acres of wood and 80 acres of heath, (fn. 99) and in 1778 six acres of woods and other pieces of land. (fn. 100) The commons, too, were very small. Wyken Green, where there was a highway, was mentioned in the 14th century. (fn. 101) Wyken Common was first mentioned in the 17th century, and Wyken Knob or Knot, near Stoke Heath, in 1815. (fn. 102) The whole area of commons made up only thirteen acres in 1778. (fn. 103)

There were several woods in medieval Caludon. An assart on the edge of a wood there was mentioned in the 13th century. (fn. 104) In the late 14th century the keeper of the estate caused damage to it by felling a wood called Newhewen, oaks and ashes in Dedemoor, and more oaks in the park. (fn. 105) In 1555 Caludon manor included 100 acres of wood. (fn. 106) Newhewen and woods in Caludon were mentioned in 1675. (fn. 107)

There were no extensive commons in Wyken, probably because the owners had rights outside the parish, in, for instance, Sowe Waste or Shortwood, which, as has been noted elsewhere, (fn. 108) was common to several surrounding villages. The lordship of Caludon had 80 acres in the waste in Sowe later called Cliffords Waste, presumably in composition for rights over the whole waste. (fn. 109) The tenants of Wyken had grazing rights until at least the early 16th century, (fn. 110) and although Sowe Waste had been inclosed piecemeal before the 18th century, the Wyken pound (probably at the gate into Wyken Field mentioned in 1581) (fn. 111) remained, only just outside the Sowe boundary, in 1886. (fn. 112) An area of 31 acres on Stoke Heath was held with the manor of Wyken in the 18th century. (fn. 113) The tenants of Wyken also had grazing rights in Hasilwood and in 'Billingfield' in the 15th century. (fn. 114)

References to Wyken Field or Wyken Fields, to culture, and to selions and headlands indicate that the fields there were open in the 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 115) In 1262 Walter de Langley and Nicholas de Segrave agreed on the mutual renunciation of commoning rights on their fields in Wyken and Caludon. Certain inclosures were also recognized, including those of Hallfurlong and Moorcroft, which were apparently demesne fields of Wyken. The grazing arrangements indicate a three-year rotation, but there is no evidence of three large fields. The fields later mentioned in Caludon were Michelfield, Litelfield, and Ashmoor. (fn. 116)

Meadows along the River Sowe were important in Wyken. They were sometimes referred to as lying within the arable fields, but they were held as separable plots, not in strips. (fn. 117) There were several small inclosed fields in addition to the open fields, particularly north of Wyken in the Attoxhale district on the edge of Sowe Waste. (fn. 118) Wyken Croft, which has sometimes been used as the name of a locality, and is now the name of a road, was part of the Attoxhale holding. (fn. 119) Caludon itself was a single large demesne farm, described as two carucates in 1279, with meadows and some small closes. (fn. 120)

In 1279 Walter de Langley had a carucate in demesne in Wyken and eighteen villein tenants, twelve tenants with quarter-virgates, four with halfvirgates, and four with small holdings; the tenant of the Coventry Priory holding also had a halfvirgate. (fn. 121) The virgates owed light labour services entirely connected with haymaking. (fn. 122) This system of virgates was still in existence in the early 15th century. (fn. 123) In addition to unidentified tenants paying certain rents, nine tenants were listed by name in 1401, (fn. 124) but the reason for the distinction between these two groups is obscure. The last reference to selions in the fields of Wyken was in 1479. (fn. 125) A tenement and yardland, then consisting, not of arable, but of pasture and meadow, was mentioned in 1650. (fn. 126) By 1778 most of Wyken was divided into five compact farms held by copyhold tenure. There were also, in addition to Lord Clifford of Caludon, two freeholders and three smallholders. (fn. 127) A plot of six acres, 'part of the park', at the junction of Wyken Croft and the Sowe road, was the only land kept in the Cravens' hands; High Park and Barley Park were in Lapworth's farm. These pieces are probably the remains of the medieval park. (fn. 128) Apart from the coal working on Serjeant's Farm, the farms remained almost unchanged until after the First World War. (fn. 129)

There were 23 tenants in Wyken in 1279, 15 taxpayers in 1327, 11 taxpayers in 1524, and 24 households in 1563. (fn. 130) There were 23 adults enumerated in the Compton Census of 1676; (fn. 131) these references suggest that there was a stable social structure and no inclosure during this period. By 1730 there were only about thirteen houses and in 1801 twelve houses with a population of 66. (fn. 132) It would seem that inclosure and a decline in population took place between 1650 (or 1676) and 1730. This gap can perhaps be narrowed further. In 1718 Henry Green gave to the church a house and ten acres, which seems to have been a village holding in the open fields; by 1775 this had been converted into an investment of £200 held by Lord Craven. (fn. 133) The period of inclosure may, then, have been between 1718 and 1730, and it may be suspected that the vigorous and litigious Green family was responsible. (fn. 134) If there had been a hamlet around the church, it had disappeared by 1778. The twelve or thirteen houses were then concentrated at the five farms, with one or two on Wyken Green and at the pound on the Henley road; there was also the house called Paradise and some other buildings near Stoke Heath which mark the first encroachment by Coventry suburbs on the parish. (fn. 135)

Evidence of the character of farming in Wyken is scanty, though, as has already been indicated, meadows and hay were important from an early date. (fn. 136) The Watts family, who farmed at Hungerley, claimed to be the inventors of a mole drainage plough. (fn. 137) Several references to ditching (fn. 138) suggest that such a plough may have been devised for draining meadows along the River Sowe, which were still subject to flooding in recent times. Mention of beasts and grazing in the Middle Ages indicates the characteristic mixed farming of that time. (fn. 139) In the early 19th century only about 130 acres of Wyken were sown, with grain and potatoes; potatoes and turnips were also being grown in gardens. (fn. 140) The Wyken Pippin, once a well-known apple, is said to have originated in Wyken from a tree grown by one of the Craven family in the late 18th century. The tree was still cultivated in Wyken cottage gardens in the 19th century. (fn. 141)

Coal digging spread south from Hawkesbury in the early 17th century. Unfortunately many of the early references to 'Wyken' mines are inaccurate, and refer to the Attoxhale farm in Sowe, only small parts of which were in Wyken parish. (fn. 142) The Greens and the Cravens were interested in mines, however, and possibly in the late 18th century a shaft was sunk on Serjeant's Farm just east of the farm buildings and north of the River Sowe. By 1850 this was known as the Craven Colliery. (fn. 143) A tramway, and later a branch railway, were extended south from Sowe to the colliery, and a fresh shaft was sunk in the early 20th century and new buildings erected. (fn. 144) The rapid increase in the population of Wyken between 1901 and 1911 from 124 to 321 was attributed to the greater numbers of miners. (fn. 145) There was also an electricity station on the site. (fn. 146) The mine became disused before the Second World War (fn. 147) and its site is now occupied by a factory and a warehouse. In 1859 miners on strike from Wyken (possibly from the Wyken Farm Colliery in Sowe) took part in election disturbances in Coventry. (fn. 148)

The population of Wyken rose slowly from 66 in 1801 to 148 in 1861, though maps show no noticeable additional buildings. (fn. 149) A slight fall to 129 in 1871 presumably indicates that there had been some weavers in the village up to 1860, who were driven out by the subsequent slump in weaving. The population remained unchanged (in spite of the addition of Caludon to Wyken parish) until 1901, when it was 124; there were then 27 houses, compared with twelve in 1801. (fn. 150) The 19th century, during which there had been such great changes a mile or two to the north and west, had very little effect on Wyken.

There was a rapid increase in population to 321 in 1911 and 364 in 1921, accompanied by the appearance of new buildings; these included Caludon Cottages, Grange Terrace, and Wyken Terrace on Ansty Road. Immediately after the First World War the Stoke Heath housing estate was built on the west of the old Caludon estate, and was followed before and after the Second World War by houses which now (1964) cover the whole of Wyken and Caludon except an area on either side of the River Sowe between the church and Manor Farm and in the Hungerley neighbourhood. (fn. 151) Lyng Hall Comprehensive School, built in 1955, now covers the site of Harris's Farm at Wyken Green. The brick farmhouse, dated 1830, and the farm buildings have been restored and are used as part of the school. Other modern buildings include the Morris (B.M.C.) factory off Nuffield Road in the north-west corner of Wyken, the Wyken Community Centre (formerly a Ministry of Labour hostel) off Clifford Bridge Road, schools, and several chapels. The River Sowe is being straightened by refuse tipping near Wyken Bridge. By 1921 many of the inhabitants were Coventry workers, and in 1939 the population of the ecclesiastical parish was estimated as 18,000. (fn. 152)


As parts of the manor of Cheylesmore, both Wyken and Caludon were subject to the jurisdiction of the Cheylesmore courts and later to the county of the city. The tenants of Wyken regularly attended the biennial Cheylesmore courts in the 14th century. (fn. 153) There is no evidence of a separate manorial court at Wyken. At Caludon there was a court for all the local estates of the Berkeleys; Stivichall tenants, for instance, held their lands by copy of court roll of Caludon manor in the 15th century. (fn. 154) The Cheylesmore court continued to function until at least 1659; rents were then being received for the manor of Wyken, for Caludon, and from two cottagers for plots on common land still subject to Cheylesmore. (fn. 155)

There were constables for Wyken parish from at least 1664, churchwardens from at least 1669, and overseers from 1680. (fn. 156) In 1841 it was said that there were no courts of any kind for Wyken; a single constable was nominated by the vestry. (fn. 157) The Caludon estate remained part of St. Michael's, Coventry, until 1884. (fn. 158) Wyken was then in Foleshill Union (later Rural District). There was a parish council for the civil parish of Wyken (including Caludon) from 1894 until its disappearance in 1931. (fn. 159)


GREEN'S CHARITY. It was stated in 1786 that Jane Green had given by deed (n.d.) £5 to the poor of Wyken which was then vested in Lord Craven and yielded 5s. a year, but in 1833 nothing was known of this charity. (fn. 160)

MUSTO'NS CHARITY. The Revd. Thomas Muston, Rector of Brinklow, by will dated 1729, left a messuage and lands in Foleshill, on trust that from the rents 20s. a year should be paid to the Rector of Brinklow and 10s. to the churchwardens of Wyken to be distributed among the poor of the parish. The residue of the rents was to form an augmentation to the living of Wyken. By the Foleshill Inclosure Act of 1774 an allotment of 14 a. 2 r. at Little Heath was made to Wyken church in respect of this property. (fn. 161) Though the 10s. was still distributed in 1875 (fn. 162) payment had lapsed by 1908. The Vicar of Wyken was then receiving £22 10s. rent from the Foleshill property which he understood to be part of his stipend and out of which he paid 20s. to the Rector of Brinklow; the rent had risen to £32 10s. by 1913. The charity property was later sold to Coventry Woollen Spinners and was re-sold in 1922, after the firm's liquidation. The 30s. charge had not been paid since about 1920, but after a fresh sale of the property in 1926 it was redeemed by transfer of £60 stock, by which time all arrears had been recovered. (fn. 163)


  • 1. Census, 1831-81.
  • 2. Ibid. 1891; Local Govt. Bd. Order, no. 16425.
  • 3. Census, 1921, 1931.
  • 4. Maps prepared during the boundary case of 1841 (see, e.g., Leet Bk. frontispiece) show a rectangular strip of land extending southwards into Binley from the Sowe, opposite Hungerley Hall Farm, to be in Wyken parish, but there is no other evidence that this was so.
  • 5. Leet Bk. 18.
  • 6. Cal. Chart. R. 1341-1417, 102, 103.
  • 7. See, e.g., E 317/Warws./11 rott. 2, 16.
  • 8. Bk. of Fees, 510, 515; Cal. Close, 1242-7, 116-17; Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, p. 83.
  • 9. E 164/15 f. 44.
  • 10. See, e.g., Warws. Ft. of Fines, ii, pp. 88-89.
  • 11. B.M. Cott. MS. Vit. A. i, ff. 54-54v.
  • 12. E 164/15 f. 44.
  • 13. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, p. 369.
  • 14. B.M. Cott. MS. Vit. A. i, ff. 54-54v; B.M. Harl. MS. 7, ff. 174v-175.
  • 15. Cal. Close, 1242-7, 116-17.
  • 16. Warws. Ft. of Fines, i, p. 152; see p. 84.
  • 17. B.M. Harl. MS. 7, f. 140 and passim; see pp. 84-85.
  • 18. B.M. Harl. MS. 7, f. 140 sqq.
  • 19. Warws. Ft. of Fines, iii, pp. 154-5.
  • 20. Ibid. 175.
  • 21. Ibid. 186.
  • 22. Cal. Inq. p.m. Hen. VII, i, p. 369.
  • 23. C.P. 25(2)/260/20-21 Eliz. I Mich.; C.P. 25(2)/261/33 Eliz. I Hil.
  • 24. Dugdale, Warws. 127; V.C.H. Warws. iv. 157.
  • 25. See, e.g., E 179/192/125.
  • 26. B.R.L., uncatalogued TS. of docs. relating to Sowe shows that Wyken was in Craven's hands by 1755.
  • 27. Complete Peerage, iii. 503-6.
  • 28. P.R.O., manorial reg.
  • 29. E 164/15 f. 44; Warws. Ft. of Fines, i, pp. 179-80.
  • 30. E 134/11 Geo. I Mich./14.
  • 31. O.S. Map 1", sheet 63 (1834 edn.); C.L., sketch map of district.
  • 32. W.R.O., Craven Estate Bk., 1778; Jopson's Cov. Mercury, 17 Nov. 1788.
  • 33. White, Dir. Warws. (1875), 671.
  • 34. Ibid.; the house in 1875 was said to be 'part of' an ancient residence.
  • 35. Ex inf. the tenant of Manor Farm, 1964.
  • 36. Ex inf. the tenant.
  • 37. Cal. Chart. R. 1341-1417, 105; Warws. Ft. of Fines, i, pp. 144-5.
  • 38. E 164/15 f. 44.
  • 39. Cal. Pat. 1301-7, 334; 1391-6, 151.
  • 40. E 164/21 ff. 45, 58v, 59.
  • 41. S.C. 12/16/42; see pp. 105, 110.
  • 42. L. & P. Hen. VIII, xvii, p. 321; Acct. of Loans, Benefactions, and Chars. 137; see p. 105.
  • 43. Hist. MSS. Com. 15th Rep. App. X, 123; see p. 98.
  • 44. Poole, Cov. 177.
  • 45. W.R.O., Wyken glebe terrier, 1775; W.R.O., Craven Estate Bk., 1778.
  • 46. W. Yates and Sons, Map of Warws. (1793).
  • 47. Cov. Poll Bk. 1761; Wyken glebe terrier, 1775.
  • 48. Craven Estate Bk., 1778.
  • 49. O.S. Map 1", sheet 63 (1834 edn.).
  • 50. T. A. Blyth, Stoke, 25, 209, 225; White, Dir. Warws. (1874), 653.
  • 51. Kelly's Dir. Warws. (1900), 288.
  • 52. C.L., sale cat., Oct. 1929.
  • 53. See, e.g., C.L., air photograph, 1 (468).
  • 54. E 164/15 f. 44.
  • 55. See, e.g., W.R.O., Craven Estate Bk. 1778.
  • 56. Cal. Pat. 1413-16, 29; Cat. Anct. D. iii, D. 504, 598; see also V.C.H. Warws. iv. 167, and p. 107.
  • 57. Warws. Ft. of Fines, ii, pp. 39, 40-41; see p. 58.
  • 58. W.R.O., Wyken glebe terrier, 1775.
  • 59. Dugdale, Warws. 128; corpn. deeds; E 164/21 f. 57.
  • 60. Cal. Papal Regs, i. 184.
  • 61. Cal. Inq. p.m. ii, p. 85.
  • 62. See, e.g., Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, pp. 429, 433; x, p. 107; Cal. Fine R. 1347-56, 379; E 315/81 f. 1.
  • 63. E 164/21 f. 59v.
  • 64. Cal. Inq. p.m. vi, pp. 429, 433; Complete Peerage, xi. 597-610.
  • 65. Cal. Inq. p.m. x, pp. 107, 109; Cal. Fine. R. 1347-56, 379.
  • 66. Cal. Inq. p.m. xii, p. 381; see Complete Peerage, ii. 132-5; v. 357-8; ix. 383-5, 599-610; xii(2), 910-13.
  • 67. Warws. Ft. of Fines, iii, p. 203.
  • 68. Complete Peerage, ii. 135-9; E 315/81 f. 52; Dugdale, Warws. 128.
  • 69. T. West, Furness (1813), 311-14; G. Baker, Northants. i. 184; G.E.C. Baronetage, ii. 220, 455.
  • 70. G.E.C. Baronetage, ii. 220; Complete Peerage, iii. 305-6; Dugdale, Warws. 128; Jopson's Cov. Mercury, 14 Nov. 1814.
  • 71. Tithe Redemption Com., St. Michael's Tithe Award, 1846.
  • 72. White, Dir. Warws. (1875); C.L., Andrews's cuttings, iii.
  • 73. W. J. Tydeman, Old Cov. 39.
  • 74. Ibid.; I. H. Jeayes, Cat. of Muniments at Berkeley Castle, 215, 246, 252, 264, 267; F. B. Burbidge, Old Cov. and Lady Godiva, 148, 178-80; C.L., Andrews's cuttings, iii.
  • 75. See, e.g., E 164/21 f. 57.
  • 76. Cal. Papal Regs. i. 184.
  • 77. E 164/15 f. 44; cf. Warws. Ft. of Fines, i, p. 179.
  • 78. Cal. Pat. 1301-7, 314.
  • 79. C.L., Andrews's cuttings, iii.
  • 80. Cal. Inq. Misc. iv, p. 169.
  • 81. C 145/234/4.
  • 82. C.L., Andrews's cuttings, iii, 104-5; cf. F. B. Burbidge, Old Cov. and Lady Godiva, 148, 178.
  • 83. See W. J. Tydeman, Old Cov. 39 (photograph). An early-19th-cent. view shows the same length of wall plastered over and with the medieval openings blocked: B.R.L., Aylesford Collect., Misc. Vol. 7.
  • 84. P. B. Chatwin, 'Castles in Warws.' T.B.A.S. lxvii. 27.
  • 85. C.L., Andrews's cuttings, iii.
  • 86. Jopson's Cov. Mercury, 17 Nov. 1788.
  • 87. C.R.O., Corp. Cases 3(b) i, evidence of W. W. Brown, p. 22.
  • 88. A. 287.
  • 89. O.S. Map 6", Warws. XXII. NW. (1889 edn.).
  • 90. B.M. Harl. MS. 7, f. 160; S.C. 12/16/42.
  • 91. See map on p. 35.
  • 92. S.C. 12/16/42.
  • 93. See p. 45.
  • 94. E 164/21 f. 52v; Poole, Cov. 176-7.
  • 95. Warws. Co. Recs. vi. 51.
  • 96. H. Beighton, Map of Knightlow Hund. (1725).
  • 97. W. Yates and Sons, Map of Warws. (1793).
  • 98. A. Cossons, 'Warws. Turnpikes', T.B.A.S. lxiv. 94.
  • 99. C.P. 43/343 rot. 164.
  • 100. W.R.O., Craven Estate Bk., 1778.
  • 101. Rolls of Warws. and Cov. Sessions of Peace (Dugdale Soc. xvi), 53.
  • 102. Poole, Cov. 177.
  • 103. Craven Estate Bk., 1778.
  • 104. Corpn. deeds.
  • 105. Cal. Inq. Misc. iv, p. 169; see also E 164/21 f. 59.
  • 106. A. 1.
  • 107. Poole, Cov. 176-7.
  • 108. See p. 108.
  • 109. E 164/21 f. 57; and see p. 108.
  • 110. E 134/20 Eliz. I East./4.
  • 111. Leet Bk. 828.
  • 112. O.S. Map 6", Warws. XXII. NW. (1889 edn.).
  • 113. W.R.O., Craven Estate Bk., 1778.
  • 114. Leet Bk. 336.
  • 115. Corpn. deeds; B.M. Harl. MS. 7, f. 140 sqq.
  • 116. E 164/21 f. 59v.
  • 117. B.M. Harl. MS. 7, ff. 198-198v.
  • 118. Corpn. deeds.
  • 119. E 164/21 f. 58v.
  • 120. E 164/15 f. 44.
  • 121. Ibid.
  • 122. Ibid.; B.M. Harl. MS. 7, f. 156.
  • 123. E 164/21 ff. 45, 59.
  • 124. C 137/23/46.
  • 125. B.R.L., 168237.
  • 126. C 5/54/44.
  • 127. W.R.O., Craven Estate Bk., 1778; W.R.O., Wyken glebe terrier, 1775.
  • 128. Craven Estate Bk., 1778.
  • 129. O.S. Maps 6", Warws. XXII. NW., XXII. SW. (1889 and later edns.).
  • 130. E 164/15 f. 44; E 179/192/4; E 179/192/125; B.M. Harl. MS. 594, f. 166.
  • 131. Warws. Co. Recs. vii, p. xcviii.
  • 132. Dugdale, Warws. 127; Census, 1801.
  • 133. See p. 342.
  • 134. For the Greens, see C 5/54/44; C 5/491/17; C 5/609/41; E 134/11 Geo. I Mich./14; E 134/11 and 12 Geo. I Trin./1; E 134/12 Geo. I Mich./13.
  • 135. W.R.O., Craven Estate Bk., 1778; see also Jopson's Cov. Mercury, 10 Feb. 1800.
  • 136. E 164/15 f. 44.
  • 137. Jopson's Cov. Mercury, 6 Jan. 1800.
  • 138. S.C. 2/207/23; B.R.L., 168237.
  • 139. Warws. Ft. of Fines, i, pp. 179-80.
  • 140. H.O. 67/14 no. 297.
  • 141. W. G. Fretton, The Forest of Arden, 9; White, Dir. Warws. (1875).
  • 142. Poole, Cov. 377, 382, 383; V.C.H. Warws. ii. 224; see pp. 111-12.
  • 143. White, Dir. Warws. (1850), 599.
  • 144. O.S. Map 6", Warws. XXII. NW. (1889 and later edns.).
  • 145. Census, 1911.
  • 146. O.S. Map 6", Warws. XXII. NW. (1926 edn.).
  • 147. It was apparently working in 1923: ibid. (1926 edn.).
  • 148. T. W. Whitley, Parl. Reptn. of Cov. 334.
  • 149. Census, 1801-61; O.S. Map 1", sheet 63 (1834 edn.); O.S. Maps 6", Warws. XXII. NW., XXII. SW. (1889 edn.).
  • 150. Census, 1801, 1871-1901.
  • 151. Ibid. 1911, 1921; O.S. Maps 6", Warws. XXII. NW., XXII. SW. (1919, 1926, 1938 edns.).
  • 152. A. 287; 'My Church'.
  • 153. See, e.g., S.C. 2/207/17.
  • 154. S.B.L., Cal. Gregory-Hood Docs., nos. 14, 15, 19.
  • 155. E 317/Warws./11 rott. 2, 16.
  • 156. See W.R.O., DR 39/1-11; A.220; C.L., Andrews's cuttings, iii.
  • 157. C.R.O., Corp. Cases 3(b) i, evidence of W. W. Brown, pp. 21, 22.
  • 158. Census, 1891; Local Govt. Bd. Order, no. 16425.
  • 159. Par. council recs. are in C.R.O.
  • 160. 28th Rep. Com. Char. 380.
  • 161. Ibid. 299-300; V.C.H. Warws. vi. 46; see p. 342.
  • 162. Digest of Endowed Charities (Warws.), H.C. 243 (1875), lvii.
  • 163. Char. Com. file 86904.