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Coventry Cathedral Also known as St Michael's Church

 

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Other Information

  • The original Coventry Cathedral was destroyed in the reformation and the city was stripped of its bishopric but St Michael's Church had survived and became the centre of religious worship for the city as it was the largest church remaining (as well as one of the largest parish churches in England).
  • It was only in 1918 that St Michael's Church was raised to that of cathedral status and with this having been achieved the local diocese decided to commission an extension. These designs however were aborted thanks to World War 2.
  • Coventry Cathedral was heavily bombed in World War 2 with much of it burned and ending up roof-less. The tower however survives and lies adjacent to the new cathedral designed by Basil Spence and continues to function as the bell tower for the cathedral.
  • The roofless ruins have been cleared of rubble now, and although still consecrated, effectively serve as a garden of remembrance to commemorate the bombing of Coventry.
  • The saw-toothed features of the cathedral extension are an addition by Spence made after he won the 1950 competition for a post-war place of worship there and rumour has it they were conceived whilst he was hallucinating on novocaine during a visit to the dentist.
  • A number of modernist details sit on the cathedral that have proven particularly controversial, the most significant of which is a fleche made out of a lattice that is barely visible on a cloudy day and considered by many to be completely ineffectual.

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Architect
Sir Basil Spence
Developer
Diocese of Coventry
Main Contractor
John Laing & Son Ltd
Structural Engineer
Arup Group

Reference Data

Reference No.
478
First Uploaded
19-02-2006
Last Editorial Date
13-05-2015
 

Building Location

Address
1 Hill Top, Coventry. CV1 5AB
Council
City of Coventry
County
West Midlands
Region
West Midlands
Country
United Kingdom

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Building Specification

Status
Complete
Construction start date
1380
Completion date
1420
Renovation Date
1962
Heritage Status
Grade I
Style
Gothic

Pinnacle Height (AGL)
90.00
Pinnacle Type
Spire

Market Data

Primary Use
Place of Worship


Metres > Feet