Wyken is one of Coventry’s eighteen municipal wards but was previously a civil parish, manor and a small village. Today the ward comprises three neighbourhoods: Caludon, Wyken and Oak Farm.
The neighbourhood boasts Coventry’s oldest surviving building that is still in use. St. Mary Magdalene Church, on Wyken Croft, dates back to the early 11th century. The village developed opposite the church and comprised 13 houses in 1730. The parish comprised a Manor house, parsonage, farmsteads and a handful of cottages and accommodated a population of 150 or less. It remained a small settlement until the 18th century at which point it began to expand. Today nothing remains of the original village.
One of the reasons for the expansion of Wyken was the creation of Craven Colliery. The original shaft was said to have been sunk in the 18th Century and a new shaft sunk in the 20th Century. By 1911 the population reached 321 and miners also came from nearby Walsgrave and Potter’s Green. The Craven colliery closed in 1927 following problems created during the general strike of 1926. Wyken Slough, or Wyken Pool, was formed by subsidence around 1860 and is the largest body of water in Coventry.
Wyken manor was for many centuries owned by the Craven Family of Coombe Abbey until it was bought by the Corporation during the First World War. The parish was incorporated into Coventry in 1932 as a result of boundary changes. Wyken Manor House was located on Henley Road, some distance from Wyken itself. It is now known as Manor Farm and gives its name to the neighbourhood surrounding it (in Henley Ward). This building, also known as Sergeant’s Farm, is the last remaining Council house in Coventry, the rest having been transferred to Whitefriars in 2001.
One of the things that Wyken is famous for is the Wyken Pippin. An apple believed to have been introduced by Admiral Thomas Craven (who died in 1772). In about the year 1720 he brought from Holland, and planted in the garden of the manor house, a young apple tree of a kind apparently hitherto unknown in this country. It flourished and bore delicious fruit. Its descendants spread far beyond North Warwickshire, taking the name of Wyken with them. The apple was until recently acknowledged in the name of the Wyken Pippin pub on Ansty Road, now called the Coventry Oak.