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Saturday 14th January
RAR 255
COVENTRY'S GBG

Meet at Greyhound, Sutton Stop, 12 noon
Sunday 5th February
HW 55
SNOWDROPS AT ALLESLEY

Meet at The Brooklands, Kingsbury Road, 12 noon.
Saturday 18th February
RAR 256
STATFORD TO WELFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am (X18 takes 1 hour 35 mins!!)

The No.27 bus leaves Welford at 3:16pm and arrives Stratford 3:29pm (opposite Maypole)
5:50pm arrives 6:12pm
6:09pm arrives 6:46pm

The X18 bus leaves B439 (Binton turn) at 3:19pm arrives Stratford at 3:56pm. This stop is supposedly 20 mins walk from Welford.
3:49pm arrives 4:26pm
4:24pm arrives 5:01pm
4:54pm arrives 5:31pm

The 6:30pm No. 460 National Express arrives Coventry 7:00pm
Saturday 18th March
RAR 257
WELFORD ON AVON TO BIDFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives B439 (Binton turn) at 12:07pm
Saturday 15th April
RAR 258
BIDFORD ON AVON TO HARVINGTON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives Bidford 12:11pm
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Some of you may remember Lost Pub No 37 in Pint Sides dated Summer 2011. This was the Broomfield Tavern. Here it was stated that Broomfield Park is the last surviving part of the great Lammas and Michaelmas Common Lands that once enclosed the south west of the city. The parts around Spon End were the descendants of the Spon Common Fields. The bounds of these commons were walked on 1st August or 29th September, depending on whether they were Lammas or Michaelmas Lands. At this time any remaining enclosures or hedges on the common lands were removed; torn down is more like it; which often lead to disputes and even violence! The boundaries of these common lands are followed for much of their course by modern roads, so I thought it would make a good walk for December, when the weather is inclement, it gets dark early, and the Continental Market may be in town. If you want to tear down any fences or hedges it's nothing to do with me.
photo of the broomfield tavern
The Broomfield Tavern
We meet at THE BROOMFIELD TAVERN at 3:00pm for a pint of whatever delight Angie and Graham have for us. If I am late, wait for me, I am doing a post round beforehand. We can look out of the windows over the tiny remnanat of the Common Lands that is Broomfield Park.
photo of broomfield parkBroomfield Park and Butts Park Arena
The Butts Park Arena has been home to Coventry Rugby Football Club since 2004. It replaced a small stadium with a running track encircled by an asphalt banked cycle track. Beyond the arena is the QCDA building. Photo © Copyright E Gammie and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
At 3:30pm we walk down the Butts and follow the Inner Ring Road to Warwick Road, keeping in mind that everything to your right was common land until 1860 - 1875. We follow Warwick Road and cross Top Green. Then we follow Kenilworth Road and pass a pair of gateposts covered in undergrowth.
photo of gateposts
These once lead to a big house called 'Broadwater', which has been demolished and replaced by a small housing estate of the same name. We cut the corner to Earlksdon Avenue South by walking through a small area of woodland. Then we approach THE CITY ARMS for 4:00pm.
photo of earlsdon avenue south
Earlsdon Avenue South

The City Arms, Earlsdon

Leaving the Arms at 4:30pm we continue along Earlsdon Avenue North and turn right into Hearsall Lane. Since all the land to the right was commons, the only direct route from Earlsdon to Coventry was by footpath. Otherwise you had to travel to Kenilworth Road or Hearsall Lane. This is probably where the habit of refering to Earlsdon as 'the village' came from. I have seen an old photograph of the City Arms with open countryside in front of it!

Down Hearsall Lane we take the second path on the left, opposite the bus stop, up to the HEARSALL INN in Craven Street. This pub has a micro brewery as well as a number of guest beers. We arrive at 4:45pm and leave at 5:15pm.

The Hearsall Inn, Chapelfields
From the Hearsall we return down to Hearsall Lane and then turn right to pass under Spon Arches and back to the Broomfield at 5:25pm.
photo of broomfield park
Broomfield Park
The plaque at the base of the tree describes the dedication of the park and is shown below.
Photo © Copyright Keith Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
photo of plaque
Plaque with the dedication for Broomfield Park
The plaque reads: This recreation ground was presented to the city in 1926 jointly by Messrs Alfred Herbert Ltd and Sir Alfred Herbert KBE and this tree was planted in 1928 to commemorate the gift. Photo © Copyright Keith Williams and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

What became of the commons? It can be seen from the 1887 Ordnance map that Chapelfields, Earlsdon and Spon End had already been built up, including Broomfield Terrace and Broomfield Place. Coventry Cricket Ground occupied the area that became The Butts Stadium and the Technical College (now Earlsdon Park, though there never was such a place!). There is also a farmhouse called 'Broomfileds' in roughly the Sovereign Road/Melbourne Road area, which suggests that the Broomfields must have been a much larger area than the present day Broomfield Park. When the commons were enclosed, some of the freehold was sold to the freemen in small plots known as 'Freemen's Garden'. By the time of the 1904 - 1911 Ordnance Survey map, it can be seen that all of Lower Earlsdon was being laid out. The only remnants of the common lands were the Cycle Track, Cricket Ground and Broomfield Park. This little park was the last place still laid out with Freemen's Gardens, which means that this is the last surviving tiny fragment of the great Lammas and Michaelmas lands of ancient Coventry.

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