Coventry Caesars Tower

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Town House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameCoventry Caesars Tower
Alternative NamesSt Mary's Guildhall, Bayley Lane
Historic CountryWarwickshire
Modern AuthorityCoventry
1974 AuthorityWest Midlands
Civil ParishCoventry

The monument includes the Guildhall for the guild of St Mary, Coventry. The guild was founded in 1340 and the construction of the hall began in 1340 and was completed by 1342. The hall, constructed from sandstone, was enlarged circa 1460. Built around a courtyard, the hall and its undercroft occupy the west side along with a two storeyed gatehouse. On the south and east sides of the courtyard are timber framed ranges of a later 15th century and circa 1400 date. At the extreme south west corner of the courtyard there is a three-storeyed tower known as Caeser's Tower which was rebuilt after suffering bomb damage during World War II. The hall was restored in 1824 by the architect Stedman Whitwell. It is believed that the hall is built on the foundations of and incorporates stones from the 12th century castle of the Earls of Chester. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Probably urban tower house of about 1300. Also suggested as tower of Coventry Castle as castle ditch is nearby. Was damaged by bombing in 1940 and has been restored. If not part of the C12 castle then built from stones of that castle and possible on foundations. The tower predates the foundation of the guild of St Mary but does seem to have been part of the guildhall from the start and housed the guilds muniments and treasures. Did this start as a private tower of a single wealthy merchant, a guild member, or was it built by a precursor group to St Mary's guild?

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSP335789
Latitude52.4074783325195
Longitude-1.50794005393982
Eastings433570
Northings278960
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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Books

  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 256-7
  • Stephens, W.B. (ed), 1969, VCH Warwickshire Vol. 8 p. 141-3 online transcription

Antiquarian

  • Speed, John, 1610, Map of Coventry

Journals

  • Davis, Philip, 2010-11, 'Crenellated town houses in Medieval England' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 24 p. 270-91