Wet Plate Negatives of Coventry

These have been sitting on my desk at work for a while, waiting for me to digitise them. I bought them last second on Feepay and hadn’t really looked at them, avtually I have a batch of other stuff that needs looking at that still sitting in a box.

These are ten whole plate wet plate negatives of mixed subject matter, one of which dates to 1868/9 and Coventry, maybe someone might recognise the housing/streets in the images. Please let me know if you do!

A quick search on Google turned up some surprising results.

The Lamb and Flag on Spon Street, Coventry… a great plate.


The Licensee can be seen to be C. Francis in this crop, and from online sources I found that he was only there from 1868 – 1869. So dating the plate exactly.


And just down from there The Woolpack run by R Parker. 1861 – 1874!



Edit: A water Conduit, an early water source. Crop below. Thanks Helen.


Further down the street is JM Stevens late Jordan? And the horse and cart is owned by W White, Market Gardener of Coventry.


And how it looks now in Google Maps….

Doesn’t quite look the same nowadays but remember Coventry was very heavily bombed during WWII, so hardly surprising.

A new street, I haven’t been able to find this one…. Edit: Thanks to Anne for identifying this as Stoneleigh Terrace on Greyfriars Green, unfortunately now a Bypass.


But some of the negatives have this masking to the glass side. Looks like its been etched into!

masketch lupe

They best get that pavement sorted…


A fine country house.


Thanks to Helen and Anne for their messages.

This is Stone House in Allesley Village. There is an Estate Agent advert online at the moment and you can buy it for £800K… https://goo.gl/maps/14xHyA68Ssv

“The stone house is a grade 2 star listed property that dates back to 1557 when it was mentioned in the will of John Milward, the freehold was bought by William Clarke in 1608, making it an original sandstone built Tudor house. It is thought to have been built on the site of the pack horse gatehouse of the legendary Allesley Castle.
Boasting of eight/nine bedrooms, six reception rooms, cellar, two red brick outhouses and walled rear garden.”


This one has a paper mask for the sky.


And a lovely country cottage…


You can just make out the mother and child.


EDIT: Thank you to Mr Mark Singlehurst for the suggestion that the cottage above is the Coat of Arms Cottage at Stivichall Hamlet, near the Coat of Arms Bridge – now a grade II listed building. Google Streetview.
Looking a the old bricked up window areas and lower roof line it may well be.

EDIT II: And thank you to Cliff Berwick who sent me these images of what he believes to be Pound Cottage, again at Coat of Arms Road. They are indeed very similar.

Any thoughts? Priest to the left?


And this unusual group of soldiers?


Again this one has been masked/etched but making the image much much worse, the actual plate has much more detail but is worsened by this masking?



After a visit to the Conservation Care Dept where I work, I found the masking is actually on the plate as a varnish of some sort and not etched into the glass as I first thought. This would have been done to balance out the exposure for printing between the tent and the subjects.

Now they wouldn’t condone what I did next… I removed it with an nail polish remover. So I digitised it again and now you can see far much more detail even if the photographer managed to focus on the tent rather than the subjects!



Beer anyone?


And this is the best info we can get from any of the papers they are holding.


Thanks to Laura in Conservation for her help and advice.

Showing off ones horse!


Which came first… maybe they took another because of the snoopers at the lower window in this second plate?


Also the two horse plates have this very yellow hue, maybe from the developer used rather than the varnish?


So a great little collection of wet plate negatives, I’m quite pleased with the purchase.