Remains of Allesley Castle halt damaged bus stop move

By Matthew Bates Thursday 29 November 2012 Updated: 30/11 10:42

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Buy photos » Councillor Bally Singh at the site back in July, when the bus shelter was newly installed by Centro. 27.012.029.cov.nc

A BUS stop regularly hit by drivers cannot be moved - because it sits next to the remains of a 12th century castle.

Winsford Avenue's shelter is set to be replaced by Centro for the second time in five months after being hit by a bus driver again.

But the city council has told the travel organisation it will not allow the shelter to be moved because it would interfere with the archaeological remains of Allesley Castle.

The shelter is located at a turning circle and driver error has been given as a reason for the latest smash. No-one was in the shelter at the time.

A Centro spokesman said it had been upgraded in the summer to provide a bigger six-seat facility as many elderly residents relied on the services using the stop.

“Ideally Centro would have preferred to move the shelter back by a couple of metres but the land to the rear of the bus-turning circle is part of the remains Allesley Castle which is protected by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

“Coventry City Council feels locating the bus stop further back would have a negative impact on the setting of the monument and any buried archaeological remains, and any work to expand the stop would first require approval from English Heritage.

“We are working with the council to reach a solution and drivers using the terminus are reminded of the need to take care when it.”

Ward councillor Bally Singh said: "All must be done to protect the public, as I would hate to think what would have happened if someone had been waiting at the stop when the bus smacked into it."

MYSTERY surrounds the site of Allesley Castle

There is no documentary evidence as to who built it and when, and no archaeological work has ever been carried out.

However, it is likely it predates the establishment of the 13th century deer park which later became Allesley Park.

One theory is it was an illegally built fortification, constructed without the permission of the king during the civil war between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda in the 1140s.

This would have meant that it was short-lived and therefore explain why it does not appear in documents.

However, the presence of a dovecote suggests it would have been the residence of someone of significant status, as the keeping of doves was restricted to the aristocracy in the medieval period.

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The shelter was damaged in the recent smash, which was put down to driver error. (s)

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