The City of Coventry where I live is rich in history. Of especial interest to visitors here is the Medieval centre of the old town.
Here are a few photographs taken around the old Cathedral which is now in ruins since the infamous nine-hour Blitz on the night of November 14th 1940.
If you look carefully, you may be able to see my wife and two kids, dwarfed by the immensity of the ruined structure. One can still try to imagine the splendour that was once the pride of our city.
Above is a shot of the Altar and the east end of the Cathedral. Below, a close-up of the "Charred Cross". After the Blitz, the Cathedral's stone mason discovered two large oak beams that had fallen from the roof. Charred but still intact, they were lashed together into the shape of a cross and stood in a sand bucket. Another smaller cross at the base of the larger one (difficult to see from my photo') was made from some of the nails which had rained down upon the Cathedral floor that night. These symbolic features, along with the inscription "Father Forgive" behind the Altar, simply remind us all of the futility of war.
A dramatic view of the Old Cathedral's Spire.
The famous brass statue of St. Michael and the Devil on the southern end of the east wall of the New Cathedral.
The decision to build the New Cathedral was made only the day after the blitz. Building did not start however, until 1962.
It was designed by Sir Basil Spence and has been the subject of much controversy over the years due to its' rather unorthadox style. The design was a radical new approach and a complete break away from traditional style cathedrals. It certainly is very representative of rebirth and cooperation, incorporating gifts and structural features that have been donated from all around the world including Germany and Bethlehem.
In 1999 and 2001, the Channel 4 TV - Time Team, fronted by Tony "Baldrick" Robinson came to Coventry to do an historic archealogical dig in search of the original Cathedral of St. Mary's.
They were astonished by the quality of what they found and consequently made an unprecedented second visit to the city to see the progress made by Coventry archealogical experts who continued their work.
The Cathedral was an enormous structure and the dig revealed many complete artifacts from as long ago as the 12th Century which had remained buried for over 400 years since King Henry VIII's dissolution of the Monasteries.
A wealth of information on these digs is available on the Channel 4 web-site. You can access their pages directly by clicking on the dates above.
So.... that was it - a single page - my earliest attempt to give you a bit of information about our city of Coventry, back in May 2002. Well, we all have to start somewhere!
Did you notice the (non)deliberate mistake regarding the year the New Cathedral was built??? (And that wasn't the only mistake!)
To find out how I'd developed this website during that first 6 months, try this link to see it in December 2002
Now back to the new website!