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History of Radford

Radford was once a small village a little to the north west of Coventry, but it lost its separate identity some time before it became a part of the city in 1890. Situated on the Radford Brook which flows south to join the River Sherbourne, the first settlement was presumably made at the Red Ford, here crossed by a track which later became Radford Road.

Coventry Priory acquired land in Radford in the early Middle Ages, and the area was included in the county of Coventry from 1451 to 1842. There was no manor house, but many of the old field names have survived in the naming of modern streets, e.g. Batemans Acre, Crampers Field, Thistley Field and Steeplefield. A guild chapel of St. Nicholas existed until the mid-16th century, but very little trace of it has been found. However, the dedication was revived when a church was built in 1874, and again in 1955 after bombing had necessitated its rebuilding.

Various charities were endowed with land in Radford in Elizabethan times as Coventry Corporation became the chief landowner, and although there is some evidence of quarrying, sandpits and kiln, agriculture was the main occupation until weaving was introduced. By 1838, two thirds of the population were engaged in the industry, and the village expanded to accommodate an increase of over 200 people in the next 12 years. Some larger better class houses were built in the south east, but on the whole living conditions in Radford were not good in the 19th century, and a British School with a Sunday School attached was established on Radford Road in 1864 to try to improve the moral tone of the district.

Cash's Kingfield factory dates from 1857, but industry really arrived with the Daimler Company whose factory was built before the 1st World War. An airfield was developed for wartime use, but this later became a Coventry's council housing estate when it was built in the 1920s. The Moseley Avenue area was laid out in the years 1924-1927 and a new church and school followed soon after. St. George's in Barker Butts Lane was consecrated in 1939, and Barker Butts School (now part of Coundon Court) was opened ten years earlier. The new St. George's Church was designed by a well known Church Architect N. F. Cachemaille-Day and replaced a wooden structure built in 1928/29.

[Thanks to Coventry City Council for this information]

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Would you know what happened to the houses no 4 and no 10 Radford Rd., Coventry. Also would there be any photos of the type of house they were in 1930 to 1940 for me to see please. Where could I find out more on them?

J. Cooke. 11/7/2016

I have fond memories of attending Hillcrest, Radford Rd. in the early 50s. It temporarily housed the Coventry school of art and and technology and had been a rather grand old family mansion. I have one good photo of it and it was next door to Barrs Hill school. A beautiful building, I believe it was just destroyed after the new art school was opened, a dreadful shame.

Megan Walden. 22/12/2018