Friday, 11 October 2013

And then there were three..

How many Cities can boast that they have had three cathedrals?  Not many I guess but Coventry can do just that.   In the  14th century St. Michael's was built and replaced the Benedictine Abbey  of St Mary's built in 1043.  St Michael's, an enormous 'parish church' was promoted to a Cathedral in 1918 but destroyed by the Luftwaffe of  Nazi Germany in November 1940. The air raid by the Luftwaffe also destroyed much of Coventry though not all, the City 'fathers/planners' had been making a real effort themselves through the 1920's and 1930's when swathes of historic Coventry were cleared under the guise of modernisation.  Post war the City was rebuilt and a new Cathedral designed by Sir Basil Spence was completed and consecrated in 1962.

St Michael's tower
The ruins of St. Michael's

Behind and above the wall of the 14th century cathedral you glimpse the new edifice

The ruins of the high altar with a rustic burnt wood cross
Coventry University from the Cathedral ruins
The stunning modernistic façade of the new Coventry cathedral
I would have gone in for a look around but the £8 admission charge was more than I was prepared to pay for the privilege.  I was not the only one to feel that £8 was in the realms of 'rip-off'.
'He will bruise you in the head...'
Epstein Sculpture of St. Michael and the Devil


  1. An £8 charge to enter a church, no matter how spectacular is extortionate. When we visited a couple of years ago we were ‘persuaded’ at the door to ‘make a donation’ of £3 and for that we were ‘presented’ with a small token (may have been a paper book mark or something) so that the visitor felt that they weren’t paying an entrance fee. The visitor numbers must surely have fallen drastically charging that sort of money. I wonder if worshipers have to pay every time they attend a service. What an absolute shame as it really is a wonderful place inside. See

    1. Hi Carol
      Yes I thought £8 was excessive. I appreciate that there is cost to opening a building to sightseers but this charge was just too much in my view.


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