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Coventry Cathedral

Coventry , West Midlands

Location Guide

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.

St Michael's - Bombed in second WW, as seen today
From Wikipedia

Ruined Old and new cathedrals next to each other
From Wikipedia

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 the Monasteries.

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, West Midlands

Grid Reference: SP336790 Ceremonial County: Warwickshire

Map Link: Multimap

Aerial photo: 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.

Website: Own

Other Useful Websites: wiki  Coventry history

Photo of inside of cathedral prior to destruction in WWII

Email: information@coventrycathedral.org.uk
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.

Nearby Locations:

Other Location Pages:

List of all Anglican cathedrals and other major Anglican churches in the UK

Abbey section, including all major Christian buildings, regions orders, normal layouts and history.



Page Ref: Coventry_Cathedral

Classification: Abbeys (incl. all Christian buildings)

Date Updated: 09/2008

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