Coventry, Warwickshire

Coventry, 2007; Taken from the tower of the old cathedral church of St. Michael, looking westwards down the line of the Upper and Lower Precinct shopping areas

Lady Godiva, was an 11th-century Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to a legend dating back at least to the 13th century, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in order to gain a remission of the oppressive taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants. There is no historical record as to whether she achieved what she set out to do!

The name “Peeping Tom” for a voyeur originates from later versions of this legend in which a man named Tom had watched her ride and was struck blind.  If this be so, I suspect the whole of Coventry would have been sruck blind!

Statue of Lady Godiva

Statue of Lady Godiva

St Michael’s Cathedral was largely constructed between the late 14th century and early 15th century. It was one of the largest parish churches in England when, in 1918, it was elevated to cathedral status on the creation of Coventry Diocese.  This St Michael’s Cathedral now stands ruined, bombed almost to destruction during the Coventry Blitz on 14 November 1940 by the German Luftwaffe. Only the tower, spire, the outer wall and the bronze effigy and tomb of its first bishop, Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman-Biggs, survived. The ruins of this older cathedral remain hallowed ground. It remains uncertain as to why Coventry was targeted by the Luftwaffe, as there were nothing of military significance in the area, Coventry being a university city. Old St Michaels remains consecrated ground to this day.

The remaining wall of St Michael's.

The remaining wall of St Michael’s.

St Michael's taken from "inside" the church, showing the remaining spire.

St Michael’s taken from “inside” the church, showing the remaining spire.

The Old Cathedral was formerly the parish church of St. Michael. The present structure largely originates from the 1300’s to 1400’s, with additional chapels added on in the 1500’s, but originally a smaller chapel of Norman design stood on the site. St. Michael’s was first mentioned in 1138 during the reign of King Stephen, and was referred to in one record as “the church of St. Michael’s in the Bailey”, which gives us some idea of its origin within the grounds of Coventry Castle.

Inside the Cathedral

Inside the Cathedral

Stained glass windows

Stained glass windows

A bible from the 15th century

A bible from the 15th century

The spire of  Old St Michael's

The spire of Old St Michael’s

Tudor Architecture
Around the narrow cobbled streets in the vicinty of S Michaels Cathedral are wonderful examples of old Tudor houses.

The two best examples of these is the Coventry Guildhall first constructed in 1340.  The building in still used today as a restaurant and function centre, catering for wedding etc.

Inside the Guildhall circa 1340

Inside the Guildhall circa 1340

The Coventry Guildhall circa 1340

The Coventry Guildhall circa 1340

The Coventry Guildhall circa 1340

The Coventry Guildhall circa 1340

The other is The Tudor Rose which is large pub in he middle of town.  It has been operating continually as a hotel for as long as folks can remember, but I was unable to find out when it was built.

The Tudor Rose Inn

The Tudor Rose Inn

Another Tudor example

Another Tudor example

Coventry Canal Basin
The Coventry Canal Basin marks the end of the Coventry Canal which extends 38 mile (65km) to the Trent-Mersey Canal.

The Coventry Canal Basin. The basin was opened in 1769 and expanded in 1788. It is situated just north of Coventry City Centre and just outside the city’s inner ring road. Many of the buildings and the site were restored between 1993 and 1995. The Canal Bridge, Canal House and the warehouses are grade II listed buildings. All boats going in and out of Coventry Canal Basin have to pass through the Canal Bridge.

It is noted when walking to the Canal Basin, that it is built into the side of a hill, and the adjacent road (Leicester Row) is lower than the canal itself!

Walking up the stairs to the canal level

Walking up the stairs to the canal level

Narrowboat in the Basin

Narrowboat in the Basin

Coventry Canal Basin

Coventry Canal Basin

Begining ofthe Coventry Canal

Begining of the Coventry Canal

The Canal Bridge

The Canal Bridge

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Crane to load/unload the narrowboats

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Moored narrowboat

 

Basin Warehouses

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Larger view of Basin area

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