Burges and
Hales Street


The Burges is one of the few traditional historic high street areas surviving in Coventry.

The name “The Burges” probably derives from “Between the Bridges”, first documented in 1223, and the two bridges were located at either end of the street; crossing the Radford Brook to the north, and the River Sherbourne to the south. The area was known as St John’s Bridge from the early 1300s and from the 1860s as The Burges.

Historic maps show the buildings laid out in characteristic medieval ‘burgage plots’; with shops and houses fronting onto the marketplace and narrow strips of land behind containing outbuildings and gardens. Palmer Lane is documented as early as 1225 and was where pilgrims lodged when visiting St Mary’s Priory. “Palmer” comes from the palms, Christian symbols that pilgrims used to carry. Today it contains the only visible stretch of the now culverted River Sherbourne.

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