Earlier today, Sue and I had an 'away-day' to Coventry. The main aim was to visit Spon street - a Medieval or Tudor reproduction of what old Coventry used to look like. For details see this link. Unfortunately, there are a load of road works and building work going on and although I took some photos. I was very disappointed. I think a future visit may be needed once the restoration work has been completed.
We browsed the City Centre and even had an all-day breakfast before I spotted a row of timber framed buildings to the right of the huge Primark store. With camera in hand I found one of the most beautiful collection of buildings I had ever seen.
Most people will be familiar with the history of Coventry Cathedral - yes the new one. Which is situated next to the old one (following me so far?) But are you aware of an even earlier Cathedral just a stones throw from both structures.
St Mary's Cathedral and Prior (see plan below).
All that now remains are a few red stone walls and a garden as the whole building was dismantled and the stones, lead and other materials sold off (making someone a very rich man). This plan (found in the visitors centre) shows the old layout. If you have never been to St Mary's, it is well worth a visit and I found the curator to be a most interesting individual, very keen to pass on information and his knowledge.
To the naive end is this later stone built structure - Blue Coat School, which is just teaming with fantastic architectural detail and some of the best stonework I have ever come across. If it were not so big, I would build a model of it tomorrow. Just look at the masonry!
As if this was not enough - the Tutor or timber framed buildings to the left of Blue Coat School, the Lychgate Cottages offered another group of modelling inspiration.
As I stated at the beginning of this post, I was disappointed with Spon Street. However the St Mary's Cathedral and Priory more than made up for it.
If you have the opportunity to visit Coventry, check out all three cathedrals, they are all within easy walking distance and all three are fantastic sights, each in their own way - beautiful buildings.