Near to the War Memorial Park on Coat of Arms Road is an old animal pound which dates back to the time of King Charles II.
The Coventry Society, then known as the Coventry Civic Amenity Society, restored and cleaned up the city’s last animal pound and returned it to the care of Coventry City Council in 1975.
The remains of the Stivichall Animal Pound date back to 1663. It was used to keep beasts; cows, horses, sheep or goats which had strayed from the common fields and were wandering the streets. It was used to enclose them in the pound until their owners reclaimed them, for a fee! But now only two walls and the floor remain.
Recently it fell into neglect again due to Council cuts and had to be cleared up once again by volunteers. This view shows the weeds and looks diagonally across from corner to corner, with the southern end of the Memorial Park in the background.
Nettles and brambles discourage getting too close an investigation, but you can just about see the extremely weather beaten wooden engraved plaque on the left wall which states “City of Coventry – Stivichall – An animal pound existed here before 1663. – To mark the restoration by Coventry Civic Amenity Society this plaque was unveiled by Councillor JD Berry Chairman of the Planning Committee. – November 1975”.
Removal of invading vegetation has revealed the stone flags lining the pound. The photo is taken from the north wall of the pound looking towards the gateway at the south-east corner.
Jim Passmore, a Covsoc Committee member and also a Friend of the War Memorial Park and a Coventry Tree Warden, tells us that “in December 2018 at a Friends of the Coventry War Memorial Park committee meeting a member, Rene Whitlock, asked if the Coventry Tree Wardens could clear and restore the Animal Pound since she knew that Tony Rose and I have been working for some time carrying out work on the Kenilworth Road Spinnies.
“So Tony and I finally started work in February 2019. A simple job, just clear the pound!! On 5th May Tony and I led a walk along the Kenilworth Road Spinnies, and one of the attendees was Mick Fitzpatrick from the Stivichall Grange Residents Association. Later in the month Tony and I were contacted by Mick.
“When volunteering at the War Memorial Park with the rangers he broached the subject of having a fence around the pound. A few day later I followed this up and was told that they had some fencing which could be used along with a gate. This is now due to be installed in mid August.
“In early June Mick, Tony and I discussed having a re-opening at the Heritage Weekend. Mick was already in contact with Cllr Linda Bigham about other matters and asked if she, as Lord Mayor, would officiate at the re-opening – to which she agreed.
“An application was then made to have the ceremony as part of the Heritage Weekend, and an official invitation made to the Lord Mayor.
“The extremely weather beaten wooden engraved plaque is currently in my shed being restored. This will be placed back on the wall together with a new plaque for 2019 before the ceremony. The ceremony is scheduled to take place between 11am and noon on Saturday 14th September 2019.
“As a link with the previous opening, the event will be attended by Murial Stanton, wife of Mr Stanton seen in the centre of the group shown carrying out the previous restoration (see above).
“It is hoped that the Stivichall Grange Residents Association will be looking after the pound in the future.”
The Animal Pound was included in the land purchased on 27th of January 1921 by Coventry City Council from donations for the War Memorial Park.
The photo below shows a similar pinfold in the village of Berkswell.