Styvechale or Stivichall
[Pronounced: Sty – chel/Sty – chal]
A suburb of Coventry situated on the South of the City. From the North/city centre end, it weaves a line from just beyond the railway station in an arc towards the A45/A46, bounded on the Eastern side by Cheylesmore, Whitley and the A46. On the Southern boundary runs the A45 adjoining Finham. However its Western flank adjoining Earlsdon and Canley consists of the greater part of Green Lane, often regarded as a suburb in its own right.
Styvechale may have begun as a farming area in Saxon times and indeed remained largely agricultural until the first quarter of the 20th C. The estate came into the possession of the Gregory Family [later Gregory-Hood] in the 16th C. They occupied Styvechale Hall which they rebuilt during the 18th C after demolishing Styvechale Village which lay round the Parish Church of St. James. At the beginning of the 19th C they took the opportunity to demolish the small Saxon church now incorporated into the grounds of the new hall, and rebuild on a larger scale. The Hall was eventually demolished in the mid-20th century after falling into disrepair and the site developed for housing. At the same time the church was extended to cater for the rising population of the area.
The City Council bought the estate from the Gregory-Hood Family after the First World War and created the War Memorial Park from a major portion of the land. The whole district was officially incorporated within the extended City boundaries in 1932.
Three main arteries lead out of the City passing through the estate, the Kenilworth and Leamington Roads, still major thoroughfares and the Baginton Road, now truncated by the A45. A toll house stood at the apex of the Kenilworth and Leamington Roads by the Grove/City end of what is now the Memorial Park. While still owned by the family, tolls were collected from travellers passing through the estate along these roads. The toll house stood until the early 60’s when it was demolished and the site incorporated into Top Green.
Styvechale Manor lies along the Leamington Road near to St. James’ Parish Church. It became a private girls’ school, Bremond College, prior to the Second World War but has subsequently reverted to accommodation use.
Styvechale Grange is a 17th century building that was for many years used as a farm house. Most of the land surrounding it was developed to accommodate a modern estate in the 1960s. The Grange itself was converted into apartments.
A particular area of interest is the Coat of Arms Bridge Road, so called because the arms of the Gregory Family are emblazoned on both sides of the bridge carrying the Coventry to Leamington railway line. This was a condition laid down by the family who had originally opposed its construction. They eventually sold enough land in the first part of the 19th C to enable the railway to be built. This road contains what is left of the old Styvechale Hamlet and an obelisk, to the memory of the Gregory-Hood Family, commemorating their gift of land to the City for preservation.
Today Styvechale is a thriving urban area with green spaces, various church denominations, good schools and local amenities.