38–39 Bayley Lane

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38–39 Bayley Lane
Bayley Lane Medieval Undercroft 8.JPG
The area of the undercroft is outlined on the ground above.
General information
Status Destroyed
Address Bayley Lane
Town or city Coventry
Country United Kingdom
Completed 14th century
Owner Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

38–39 Bayley Lane is a former building, whose present-day site is accessible from the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, England.[1] All that remains is the medieval 'undercroft', a fourteenth-century cellar that initially belonged to a wealthy merchant, who was a clothier.[2] The undercroft is built with sandstone with a stone-ribbed vault for added security and strength.[3]


The area of Bayley Lane that the building was located in was occupied by wealthy merchants in the late medieval period.[3] Following the earlier levelling of Coventry Castle, the area would have been undeveloped. Bayley Lane likely emerged as a route through the former castle bailey or outer court.[3]

The status of the area grew after the establishment of St Mary's Guildhall, followed by the construction of Drapers Hall.

The property belonged to the Benedictine Priory and the earliest-known tenant was Robert Allesley, a girdler.[3]


Looking towards the window in the north wall of the undercroft.

The cellar of 38–39 Bayley Lane is much smaller than the similar undercroft beneath St Mary's Guildhall, further along Bayley Lane[1] which is used as a restaurant.

The undercroft consists of two square bays making a rectangular room (just over 21 by 11 feet (6.4 by 3.4 m)).[3] There are two separate entrances, one by which the cellar is entered from Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in the west and another, which is blocked after a few steps, in the east.[3] There are niches in the northern and southern walls which were used to store valuable goods.[2]

The local topography allowed the cellar to be lit on the northern side with a window.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Visitors given rare access to medieval undercroft in Coventry city centre". BBC Online. BBC. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Rare visit to medieval undercroft in Coventry city centre. Coventry: BBC Online. 23 June 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Demidowicz, George (2008). Medieval Undercroft. Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.