The straggly parish of Chilvers Coton once covered an area of 4145 acres and was divided up into four “Ends”. The Church End was located where the parish church stands. The “Town End” was where the border of the parish ran along the Wash Brook in Nuneaton town centre. Today this is Queens Road through to Coventry Street. The course of the ancient brook marked the parish boundary. The brook was culveted in the 19th century. “Heath End” was a long stretch bordering the dark woods of Arbury where Heath End Road is today. Finally there was “Virgin’s End”. This was the corner of College Street and Coventry Road on the right of this photo taken in the late 1920’s.
“Virgins End” took its curious name from a shrine to the Virgin Mary, which stood near this spot. Close by there was a beer house called the “Virgins Inn” which was located on the right in the photo probably in the building on the extreme right. There were far more old pubs and drinking houses in Coton in the nineteenth century than there are today: The Horseshoe, the Fleur de Lys, the Wharf, the Jolly Colliers, the Boot, the Hare and Hounds, the King William, the Rose, the Sheepsfoot Inn, the Newdigate Inn (known locally as the “Bloody Hand”), the Bull & Butcher, The Dugdale Arms, the Sportsman, the Bull & Bitch and the Virgin, as well as the Griffin in the hamlet of Griff close by.
In 1836 the owner and licensee of the Virgin’s Inn was Richard Ballard, who was also listed as a weaver.
In the photo we can see College Street leading up to the Bull Ring. This roadway obtained its name from the College of the Poor, or the workhouse, which used to stand beyond the houses on the left.