Coventry , West Midlands
Today visitors to Coventry cathedral find an
unusual site, with two cathedrals in one, a cathedral that was destroyed by
bombing in the WWII and next to it a modern cathedral, that is in an
unusual north/south axis.
Coventry has had three cathedrals.
- The first was St. Mary's, a monastic
building, only a few ruins of which remain.
- The second was St Michael's, a Church of
England church, later designated Cathedral, that remains a ruined shell
after its bombing during the Second World War.
- The third is the new St Michael's
Cathedral, built after the destruction of the former, and a celebration of
20th century architecture and opened in 1962.
This page deals with the second and third.
The first cathedral in Coventry, was St Mary's
Priory and Cathedral, which held such status from a date between 1095 and 1102,
when the infamous Bishop Robert de Limesey moved the Bishop's see from Lichfield
to Coventry, until 1539 when it fell victim to King Henry VIII's Dissolution of
Prior to 1095, it had been a small Benedictine
monastery (endowed by Earl Leofric and Lady Godiva in 1043), but shortly after
this time rebuilding began and by the middle of the 13th century it was a
cathedral of 425 feet in length and included many large outbuildings. Leofric
was probably buried within the original Saxon church in Coventry. However,
records suggest that Godiva was buried at Evesham Abbey, alongside her father
confessor, Prior Aefic.
Today you see the ruins of the cathedral
destroyed in the Second World War, can climb its tower with views across the city, and
next to it visit an ultra modern cathedral. There are several positions where
the two can be photographed together. The new cathedrals major attractions are
stained glass, and statues.
Location: Coventry Cathedral, Coventry,
Birds eye close - multimap
Getting there: Leave the Ring Road at junction
5 and proceed along Little Park Street to the traffic lights at the Council
House. Go straight over at lights and then almost immediately left into St
Mary's Street. At the T Junction turn right into Bayley Lane and then left
into Priory Street. The Cathedral is on the left.
Other Useful Websites:
Photo of inside of cathedral prior to destruction in WWII
Address: Coventry Cathedral and Diocesan
Offices 1 Hill Top Coventry
Postcode: CV1 5AB
Telephone: 02476 521200
Opening Times: Daily 0900-1700. Check website
for any closures.
The Treasury is
situated in St Michael's Hall. The original charred cross from the Ruins is
on display along with treasures from the old and new Cathedrals. The
Treasury is open daily Monday to Friday from 11am to 3pm, and on Saturdays
is open subject to availability of voluntary staff.
St Michael's Tower can be climbed
all year round, weather permitting, and offers spectacular views over
Coventry. Visitors are reminded that they climb at their own risk.
Charges: Every tourist visiting the
Cathedral is now invited to make a donation at the entrance. They suggest £3
per adult. During 2007, the average donation they received was about
43 pence per visitor.
No photo permits are now required by
individuals taking photos for their own use. Groups/students etc may need
them, check the website or contact them.
Climbing St Michael's tower - Adults
£2.50; Children under 16 £1; Under 5s free. All children must be
accompanied by an adult.
Other Location Pages:
List of all Anglican
cathedrals and other major Anglican churches in the UK
including all major Christian buildings, regions orders, normal layouts and
Page Ref: Coventry_Cathedral
Classification: Abbeys (incl. all Christian buildings)
Date Updated: 09/2008
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