Call to preserve Coventry wartime relics as hedgerow mortar found

A spigot mortar believed to be built in 1941-2 in a hedgerow in Keresley, Coventry
-Credit: (Image: Coventry council)

The recent unearthing of a World War Two relic in a Coventry hedgerow has piqued local interest and sparked lively debate. The rare find, a 29mm 'spigot mortar', resting in solid concrete provides extraordinary insights into the city's wartime defences.

Despite Historic England not currently recognising this intriguing artefact, it holds significant importance locally, and is likely to receive formal acknowledgement from the city council, according to a recent local government report.

CoventryLive readers have been sharing their thoughts on this discovery and the future of Coventry's other wartime relics. You can have your say in the comments section below.

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Reader DavidM wrote: "In the 1960s my father, brother and I used to cycle all over the Coventry area. We often came across old concrete pill-boxes on country lanes or alongside railway lines. I wonder how many are still left? I haven't lived in Coventry for decades."

Commenter Greenplanet said: "There is a World War 2 underground air raid shelter built for the medical personnel who worked at the nearby Keresley Hospital who were billeted in houses nearby. This shelter is of stone construction with stairs leading underground, it is spacious and extremely well preserved. Coventry Council have agreed with Bellways to demolish this shelter although it is not in a footprint of a house and well concealed by hedgerows. Why?"

Lee1976 said: "Those hedgerows have been there for hundreds, if not a thousand years. Shocking to see them ripped out. At least they will preserve a lump of concrete."

TeamRad questioned the scattergun approach to preservation in the city: "They'll knock down the Black Horse in Spon End, but preserve this?"

WilliamW wrote: "Great, and please can we also preserve architectural gems of the visionary post-war development like the arcade and other areas in the city centre?"

Green hornet added: "We have one in Allesley that I know of."

Coventrian commented: "Whilst not especially rare, they are not as common as pill boxes or air raid shelters. However they were part of the wartime defences. The business end fired the mortar and could be removed for a quick getaway to a different location. Although the war ended 80 years ago there are many signs of conflict visible in more recent times. For the keen-eyed observer, evidence of bomb damage and shrapnel marking to buildings in the City Centre. The old toilets opposite the now demolished Council offices in Earl Street was heavily pock marked and only tidied up in 1990 for 50th anniversary of the 1940 Blitz."

Do you believe that this should be preserved or demolished? Let us know HERE or in the comments below.