This building is in Cuckoo Lane and incorporates the Prision Governors house in Pepper Lane.
It is called County Hall because Coventry was a county for around 400 years until it was placed back into Warwickshire in the late 19th century. This building served as a Crown Court until 1988.
The County Hall, a stone-built courthouse, was erected in 1783-84, and was one of the few 18th century public buildings in the city. Land adjacent was used as a gaol and the Prison Governor’s House is still attached to the County Court building.
In 1988 a new County Court building was constructed in Much Park Street and County Hall lay vacant for many years. The building was on our list of important vulnerable buildings in the city for many years. However in recent years the ground floor has been converted into a bar and grill called the Establishment and we are glad to see this important building saved for the future and therefore removed from our list of buildings at risk.
The conversion of the building has taken advantage of some of the orginal features of the building, including the use of old prison cells as dining areas, the retention of the courtroom gallery, judges chair and the coat of arms. The access to the underground prison cells has also been retained. This was in the form of a glass cover, which has recently been replaced by railings (see photos below).
A recent planning applications to create a boutique hotel on the upper floors was dropped when English Heritage objected to some of the details of the project.
The photos in the gallery were taken by Coventry Society Vice Chairman Paul Maddocks. Click on the thumbnails to see a slide show of larger images.