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Industry and commerce
Whitley was formerly one of the sites for quarrying the red stone used in older buildings in the city of Coventry. It is now the home of the Whitley plant, which is the Engineering Centre and Headquarters of Jaguar Cars Limited. The facility is a fully integrated design, research and development centre for all current and future Jaguar products.
In the 1990s (approx), a supermarket was built on the site of the former Whitley Hospital. The supermarket was originally owned by Safeway, and after the 2004 takeover by Morrisons, it was sold on to Asda. Whitley has a number of small shops, takeaways and businesses including a hair salon and an in-car entertainment shop. Whitley also has an IBIS hotel and a large sports centre.
Whitley Abbey Bridge
The Whitley Abbey Bridge which passes over the River Sherbourne at the bottom of Abbey Road is now blocked off to road vehicles, but before Thomas Telford built the current London Road, it formed part of the main London to Holyhead coaching route. The mill which stood next to the bridge had been unused since the 1880s, but remained occupied until it was demolished in the 1950s.
Until the turn of the 19th century, Whitley had its own identity based around a principal grand house which was built in the 14th century. Contrary to popular belief, it was this house which bore the name "Whitley Abbey" and not a monastic residence. Several changes and additions to the house took place over the following centuries until the entire estate was sold in 1924, and the house fell into disrepair. Planning permission was granted during the 1950s to build Whitley Abbey Comprehensive School on the site, which was later demolished to make way for Whitley Abbey Community School later named Whitley Business & Enterprise College, but was recently re-opened by Princess Anne and is now called Whitley Academy.It is one of the few RSA Academies in the country.
St James' Church
From 1938 to 1951, Church of England worship had been held in the chapel in the grounds of Whitley Abbey. Prior to that, services had been held in several temporary locations. In 1951 a dual-purpose church/community hall was constructed and opened on Abbey Road. In 1967, work on a new St James' Church and vicarage was started, alongside the previous building. The new church opened in 1968, the old church becoming the church hall.
Whitley has three schools: Whitley Academy, Alice Stevens School, and Whitley Primary. Whitley Academy is a secondary school and sixth form for boys and girls, 11 and 18 years old. It was formally opened in 2012 by Princess Anne as an official RSA Academy. Riverbank Academy is a special school (state sector) for boys and girls, 11 to 19 years old.
Whitley was the home to Coventry Zoo from 1966 until 1980. There was a seven metre tall fibreglass Zulu warrior holding a spear at its entrance and was a popular visitor attraction. After the zoo closed, the Zulu was going to be moved to another site, but it broke up. The Warwickshire Racquet & Health Club (formally known as Esporta and the Coventry Racquet Centre), originally built in 1983, currently occupies the site.
- Albert Smith and David Fry: (1991). The Coventry We Have Lost. Vol 1. Simanda Press, Berkswell. ISBN 0-9513867-1-9
- Albert Smith and David Fry: (1993). The Coventry We Have Lost. Vol 2. Simanda Press, Berkswell. ISBN 0-9513867-2-7
- Public Sculpture of Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull. Page 221. George Noszlopy.