The latest podcast from the National Archives gives some useful information on how Coroners’ Inquests can be tracked down and what sort of information can be extracted from them.
You do not necessarily have to be seeking information about how your ancestor died, for an inquest can not only reveal in great detail about how the person died, but also often contained detailed evidence from several witnesses each of whom provide their names, a little about themselves and what they witnessed. Sometimes this gives us a brief glimpse into their daily lives.
Not all Coroners’ records have survived, but Coroners’ Inquests were the bread and butter newspaper reporting during the 19th century so detailed reports on inquests may be found in the newspapers. See out article on newspapers.