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George Singer's statement of Wealth - Coundon Court

Coundon Court was the residential address of the industrialist George Singer, from the 1890s.

George Singer first moved to Coventry in the late 1860s to work at the Coventry Machinists Co. After then working for Charles D. Roberts’ Paragon Cycle Company in Hillfields, Singer then started up a business in Partnership with his father-in-law, James Stringer, as Singer & Co. Ltd. in 1874.

Singer cycles soon found a solid reputation for being well made quality machines, favoured by the rich. Over time, Singer steadily amassed a fortune and grew higher and higher in society.

During his time in Coventry, Singer progressed from a humble shared digs at Union Street, to much larger rented properties in Coventry including ‘The Elms’ near to his Canterbury Street factory, and a large Victorian house at ‘Stoneleigh Terrace’, Warwick Green.

In 1890, he had his very own mansion built in rural Coundon, then a small hamlet on high ground overlooking Coventry. It was designed by the Architect Charles Gray Hill, and was named ‘Coundon Court’. At around this time Singer began to take a more relaxed role at his cycle business, yet took on more municipal duties, elected Mayor of Coventry from 1891 for three years.

Singer died in January 1909, and later that year, his wife Eliza and family decided to place Coundon Court on the market. The Auction Brochure stated the property was ‘built by the late owner, without regard to cost’ with ‘costly and beautiful fitments, electric light, hot water heating’, and stood in ‘fifty seven acres of charming pleasure grounds and parkland’. The house itself was stated as having twenty bed and dressing rooms, a noble hall and two galleries, a massive oak staircase, and a suite for reception and billiard rooms.

The property was eventually sold privately in 1912 for £11,750, and again in 1947 for £15,000. In 1953 it became a High School, and today the main house still stands as part of one of Coventry’s largest comprehensive schools – still known as Coundon Court.
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