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Pilgrims Rest, 6 Ironmonger Row

These premises have been known by different names during their history:FROMTONAME
Photo The Pilgrim's Rest pub on the corner of Palmer Lane and Ironmonger Row. Pilgrims journeyed to various places throughout Britain. The hospices where they stayed overnight would originally have been religious houses. There was also a Pilgrims Rest in Lockhurst Lane. They came to pray to the many relicts contained in Coiventry Priory. A hostel was erected in Palmer Lane for the lodging of pilgrims by the Benedicitne Priory of Coventry, bearing in mind that the first floor rooms over the west range of the Priory would have been used for the guest accommodation for the better class of pilgrims. Survivng drawings show a large timbered building with oversailing upper floors. The building was heavily decorated on both outside and in with carved images, not only of religious subjects, but also of hunting deer and other animals. Coventry's bishops had their own hunting park at Whitmore and no doubt this was a favourite pastime. It stood within the shadow of the Priory, but no reference has ever been found to it in the buildings owned by the Priory, although the Trinity Guild did maintain a 'common lodging house of thirteen beds' to receive poor travellers on pilgrimage or other pious business. At this time the facade of the Pilgrims Rest on Ironmonger Row overlooked the triangular area where Coventry's market was held. This area was later filled in by extensions to Butcher Row, Cross Cheaping, Ironmonger Row and Little Butcher Row. The original Pilgrims Rest was demolished in 1820 and replaced by a new brick public house together with two dwelling houses. On the corner house a tablet was fixed saying.... PALMER LANE Upon this site stood the Western part of a large and very Ancient Edifice called THE PILGRIMS REST. It was supposed to have been the Hostel or Inn for The Maintenance and Entertainment of the Palmers And other Visitors to the Priory of Benedictine Monks which stood near to the Eastward. It became ruinous and was taken down AD MDCCCXX when this house was erected.....and you can just make it out in the photo above. Pilgrims Rest 2 In 1837 the building was left by Edward (II) Phillips to his son William (II) Phillips. These were members of the Phillips brewing family. At that time it was stated that the new pub had been built on the site of a malthouse called the Pilgrims Rest. This suggests that after the dissolution the old guest house had more mundane commercial uses. In c1907 Mary Dormer Harris says that 'Hard by the Priory Gate in the Bull Ring somewhat removed from the monk's own dwellings, stood the guest house or hostelry in Ironmonger Row, on the site now partially covered by the inn 'Palmer's Rest'. Used as a smithy and permitted to become ruinous, this fine timber house with its jutting storeys, pointed windows and copious memories was suffered in 1820 to be demolished. The traditional name - Palmers Rest - keeps alive one of the primary intentions of monastic hostelries, the entertainment of pilgrims.' It's a pity she got the name wrong ! She goes on to say; 'Remains of fine window carving, says Fretton, can be seen embodied in the modern 'Palmer's Rest' Inn; the flotsam and jetsam time has left of the Priory Guest-house). The carving displays hunting scenes, but has been so strangely disfigured by recent coats of paint of a sorrowful and dreary brown that it is impossible to take pleasure in it.' In 1906 the police objected to the renewal of the license for the Pilgrims Rest, but it stayed on. Then in 1907 the police claimed that the pub has been closed and compensation paid. This appears to have been a little premature as the pub remained open until 1936. The second Pilgrims Rest was demolished in 1936 to make way for Trinity Street. Upon demolition it was found to contain parts of the original building such as timber, wattle and daub and stone tracery. This suggests that it had a number of stages of construction in different materials and it has been said that these remains may have dated back to monastic times.


1822 - 1823 J. Chitton 1828 - 1829 William Lowe 1841 - 1851 Edward Hollick & shoemaker & 35 acres of land 1861 - 1871 Elijah Dalton 1874 J. Hastings 1879 James Wilson 1881 J. Pollard 1886 A. Thompson 1890 - 1891 G. Pitt 1893 T. J. Elkington 1894 - 1896 F. Buckingham 1903 John Hambridge 1905 Thomas Reader 1911 - 1913 Mrs Hyde 1919 - 1927 Ellen Smith 1931 - 1932 J. Royal


? William (I) Phillips to c1837 Edward (II) Phillips from c 1837 William (II) Phillips
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