Amanda Kay

I'm a copy-editor and proofreader for academic publishers, businesses and authors. Currently, I'm writing guidebooks for the Churches Conservation Trust / Jarrold Publishing. In the past I've worked for the museums, heritage and tourism sectors.

 

The medieval Coventry project beings together all these facets of my working life.

 

Luke Bryant

I studied the city of Coventry as an architecture student and became fascinated by the city's diverse and significant past, and the contrast with today's perception of Coventry.

 

I work for Stanton Williams architects, who have designed an extension for The Belgrade and Compton Verney. I enjoy working sensitively with existing buildings and focusing on context.

Mark Webb

I am at the Department of Archaeology, University of Leicester, specialising in medieval urban archaeology and history, particularly late medieval Coventry. I have an MA in Managing Heritage Sites. and an Master of Business Administration (MBA). I also work for the Prince's Regeneration Trust. I was born and grew up in Coventry.

Discover the Medieval Coventry Group

Get to know the Volunteers behind this charity and find out who they are, what they do and why they have decided to set up this charity.

Meet the team

What is the purpose of the charity and why was it set up?

To share knowledge about medieval Coventry using a mix of traditional and innovative techniques based on the latest digital technologies.

 

We are a group of volunteers with expertise and ideas on the medieval city which we would like to share. By the way, when we say ‘medieval’, we define it to mean the period between the Norman Conquest and the Dissolution of the monasteries, in other words, 1066 to c 1540

 

 

We feel that Coventry has a rich medieval story that deserves to be better known and which has been overshadowed by a focus on World War 2 destruction and post-war reconstruction.

 

Coventry was actually a Saxon town and so, strictly speaking, Earl Leofric and Lady Godiva fall just outside our focus. But we feel there is an even more interesting and less well-known story to tell about Coventry’s heyday from the mid 14th to the mid 16th centuries when it was the ‘boom town’ of England and the seat of royal power.

Why was medieval Coventry important?

The city, situated at the crossroads of the national road system, and with some of the strongest defences in the country, was of great strategic importance. It was no coincidence that the Lancastrian royal family chose Coventry as a new seat of power in the period 1456-1460 at a time of national unrest. The city played an important role in the Wars of the Roses, and holding Coventry was seen as crucial to controlling the rest of the kingdom.

 

Parliament was held in Coventry twice in the 15th century, as well as a number of Great Councils. And in 1451 was even made its own county! The County of Coventry survived for nearly 400 years.

The city was the ‘boom town’ of the late medieval period. Between c 1350 and c 1500, Coventry grew to be the fourth most populous and fourth wealthiest city in England, after London, York and Bristol. Its growth was based on its role in the international and domestic wool and woollen cloth industries, but it was also an important centre for metalworking, the leather industries and other crafts.

 

The civic ceremonials, processions and ‘mystery plays’ of Coventry were of national importance. Coventry’s merchants were amongst some of the wealthiest in the country and the Trinity Guild had royal patrons. It was an important ecclesiastical centre, with a Benedictine priory cathedral, two of the largest parish churches in England and three influential friaries.

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The medievalcoventry.co.uk website is still in beta stage.

These projects are being brought together

in partnership with Culture Coventry