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Caludon

The history of Caludon is dominated by the history of Caludon Castle which was the main land use in the area. It is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building. The castle is now a ruin, and all that remains is a large fragment of sandstone wall. What remains of the once extensive estate is now Caludon Castle Park, owned and run by Coventry City Council. Within the park there is a second moated site 190 metres to the south of the castle and this is also afforded statutory protection.

The site has been occupied since at least the 11th century. The original building, pre-dating the Norman conquest of England, was a large house, which became the property of the Earl of Chester after the conquest. The house was given to the Segrave family in the 13th century, and was first described as a manor in 1239. A license for crenellation was granted in 1305, at which point the house is thought to have been re-styled as a castle. Another license was received in 1354, and the property was again rebuilt. In the 14th century, it came into the possession of Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, who was banished in 1398, after which the castle fell into disrepair. Mowbray's son, John, inherited the building, and it remained in the Mowbray family until 1481, when it passed to William de Berkeley, 1st Marquis of Berkeley. It was rebuilt again circa 1580, this time as a mansion, having lain derelict since Mowbray's banishment. The castle was all but destroyed following the Civil War in 1662 when King Charles took revenge on Coventry for supporting the Parliamentarians. It remained in ruins until 1800, when the remains were used in the construction of a farmhouse on the site.

The estate was divided up and much of it sold in 1815, and remained in the hands of multiple private owners until most of the land was purchased by the Coventry Corporation after the First World War and used for housing developments.

The moat, to the south of the castle, was constructed in mediaeval times, likely around the time of the rebuilding in 1305 and may have been an enclosure surrounding farm buildings connected to the castle.

It is known that during the Wars of the Roses, Thomas de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, stayed at the castle before the duel with Henry Bolingroke at Gosford Green in 1398. Henry is thought to have stayed at Bagot’s castle in Baginton. In the event the duel never took place and King Richard II banished both. The events are portrayed in Shakespeare’s play King Richard II.

There is also a legend that England’s Patron Saint, Saint George, was born at Caludon Castle, although there is no evidence for this.

Caludon is now a neighbourhood within Wyken Ward. 

A new book about the history of Caludon Castle has been reviewed by the Society here.

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