Category "News"

Coventry’s Medieval Drapery – new archaeological evidence!

August 22, 2019
In July, Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) completed excavations behind Drapers’ Hall in advance of the restoration and reopening of the hall as a classical music venue. Finds included a 15th-century workshop for making metal dress accessories such as buckles and brooches, together with a number of stone moulds for casting metal. The site lay to the north of the areas excavated in 1988–9, the results of which are yet to be published. Medieval Coventry is working with MOLA to combine the results of the two excavations and publish the results. An initial assessment of the 1980s site archive held at the Herbert Museum has yielded positive results, including perfectly preserved soil samples, which include seeds, plant remains, animal hair, animal bones and other environmental material that will tell us about farming in the surrounding countryside and the diet of people of medieval Coventry. More information can be found on MOLA’s website: www.mola.org.uk/blog/buttons-cloth-and-metalwork-drapers%E2%80%99-hall-excavation-uncovers-long-tradition-industry-coventry

St Mary’s Hall Tapestry Conference – experts analyse the tapestry

August 22, 2019
In advance of the conference headed by David Starkey on 27 September, a number of experts have taken a close look at the tapestry. Among them was Mika Takami from the Hampton Court tapestry conservation team and she will be reporting on her findings at the conference. The tapestry has been well preserved under the current high-quality casing which is now nearly 20 years old. The ideal scenario would be to inspect the reverse of the tapestry to ascertain repairs over the years and analyse the fibres, but the case is sealed and cannot be opened without breaking it. However, enough information was obtained for further analysis to enable the experts to move our understanding forward about this outstanding piece of medieval art. There are a very small number of tickets still available for the conference and can be booked via Eventbrite at bit.ly/2QY3bs1

Mappa Coventry – what buildings do you feel were important in Coventry’s history?

August 22, 2019
Coventry has seen more changes to its built environment than most British towns over the past 1,000 years. Which of Coventry’s current and lost buildings do you feel should be highlighted on a map of historic Coventry? They could include the medieval castle, Pilgrim’s Rest, the workshop of John Thornton, Gosford Gate chapel, the Ram Bridge, the Bishop’s Palace, the Market Cross. Or what about modern structures such as the market clock tower, and factories such as Alvis, Standard, Singer and Courtaulds? Medieval Coventry is joining with the Historic Town Atlas charity to produce a high quality fold-out historic map of Coventry. Supported by Historic England, the project will be community-based and will consult with the public on the buildings that should be included. Please contact info@medievalcoventry.co.uk if you would like to get involved or if you have any suggestions. Please note this is will be a historic map of all periods of Coventry’s history – not just medieval.

Historian David Starkey to give opening talk at a conference on the tapestry at St Mary’s Hall, 27 September 2019

April 24, 2019
We are delighted to announce that the well-known historian Professor David Starkey will open a special conference about the magnificent tapestry that adorns the guildhall at St Mary’s Hall. It will take place on Friday, 27 September 2019. Other guest speakers include Dr Jonathan Foyle, Dr Kate Giles, Professor Maria Hayward, Dr Joanna Laynsmith and Fred Hepburn. The early 16th-century tapestry, which is recognised as one of the finest medieval artworks to be found in the city, has at its focal point King Henry VI and Queen Margaret of Anjou who brought the royal court to Coventry in the 1450s. Yet it remains something of a mystery – Why was it commissioned? Who commissioned it? Who are the all characters? What about the symbolism? Where was it made? These and other questions will be explored at the conference, which promises to be thought-provoking and illuminating in equal measure. 27 September 2019 – Save the Date!

Medieval Coventry supports English Tourism Week 2019

March 30, 2019
Today is the first day of English Tourism Week 2019 – it’s a great way to celebrate all that the country has to offer its visitors – from heritage, arts, theatre and music to restaurants, retail and sporting facilities. During English Tourism Week, Coventry is showcasing the city’s illustrious past and vibrant city scene through a series of interactive walks and trails – all for free! Find out more at www.visitcoventry.co.uk/events/event/1261/discover_historic_coventry_walking_tours And if you’d like to participate in one of our very own tours and find out more about the places in Coventry associated with Queen Isabella of France and Queen Margaret of Anjou, simply pick up a Women of Influence walking tour leaflet from the Coventry Tourist Information, The Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Bayley Lane.

Mark Webb shortlisted as finalist for Historic England Angel Awards

October 17, 2018

Medieval Coventry trustee Mark Webb has been shortlisted from hundreds of nominees as a finalist for the Historic England Angel Awards in the category: Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording.

Founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the Awards are co-funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation and Heritage England and recognise and celebrate those who are making a real difference in championing their local heritage.

Mark, who is spearheading a number of the Medieval Coventry charity’s projects, works tirelessly in encouraging people to find out more about the city’s illustrious past and its importance during the Middle Ages. Mark brings huge energy, expertise and knowledge to all that he does so this accolade is a fitting tribute.

There are fifteen Heritage Angel nominees across five categories and a panel of expert judges will choose the winners of each category.
Additionally, the best-loved project will be awarded the Historic England Followers’ Favourite Award.

For more information and to cast your vote for Mark and Medieval Coventry, visit
https://historicengland.org.uk/get-involved/angel-awards/best-rescue-recording-or-interpretation-of-a-historic-place/medieval-coventry/

Royal Women of Influence exhibition attracts over 2,000 visitors during Coventry’s Heritage Open Days

September 20, 2018

Painting of the tapestry at St Mary’s Hall by George Scharf, 1855. Queen Margaret is in the bottom right panel. ‘Justicia’ has been blanked out, which is a post-medieval amendment. Credit: With kind permission of The Society of Antiquaries of London, photograph by Ken Walton

The Royal Women of Influence exhibition at the Drapers’ Hall was an outstanding success during the two weekends of the Heritage Open Days. Over 2,000 people – from children and young people to senior citizens – visited the Hall and exhibition, which received glowing praise.

The exhibition followed a very successful Launch and Preview on 5 September held by Medieval Coventry and sponsors Coventry City of Culture Trust. It included welcome speeches and guided tours by Mark Webb, Medieval Coventry, and Sarah Griffin and Rachel Delman of the University of Oxford.

The preview received extensive press coverage, including the Coventry Evening Telegraph and the Coventry Observer:

https://coventryobserver.co.uk/news/coventrys-connection-to-two-english-queens-to-be-celebrated-in-drapers-hall-exhibition/

Please also see the link on the Coventry City of Culture 2021 website:

https://coventry2021.co.uk/drapers-hall-opens-coventrys-past-future-connections-princes-wales/

From left to right: Sarah Griffin and Rachel Delman (University of Oxford), Mark Webb (Medieval Coventry), Nicola Dyer (The Prince’s Foundation), Roger Medwell (Coventry City of Culture Trust and Culture Coventry), Jacqui Ibbotson (Coventry City of Culture Trust). Credit: Inpress Images
Credit: Inpress Images
Credit: Inpress Images

Medieval Coventry has partnered with the University of Oxford to tell the fascinating story of two royal women who had a significant connection with Coventry

August 31, 2018

This is culminating in an exhibition:

Royal Women of Influence in Medieval Coventry: Isabella of France and Margaret of Anjou

The exhibition is sponsored by the Coventry City of Culture Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund. This is also an opportunity to see inside historic Drapers’ Hall, which is not normally open to the public.

Venue: Drapers’ Hall, Bayley Lane, Coventry

Dates: 6 to 9 and 13 to 16 September 2018 during Heritage Open Days

Times: 10.00 to 16.30 daily

Free of charge.

Please note that unfortunately there will be no disabled access or toilets at the venue. No dogs, except assistance dogs, are allowed.

Isabella of France

The marriage of Edward II and Isabella, from Jean de Wavrin, Recuil des chroniques d’Engleterre, Vol. I (detail). Issued under Creative Commons License. Credit: © The British Library Board, Royal 15 E IV f. 295v

Margaret of Anjou

Portrait of Margaret of Anjou, gilt and bronze medal, made by Piero de Milano during Margaret’s exile, c. 1463. Credit: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Medieval Coventry trustee plays part in Coventry’s City of Culture winning bid

January 17, 2018

Leicester University is championing the part that Mark Webb has played in raising the profile of the medieval city during Coventry’s bid to become City of Culture 2021. Mark, a trustee of Medieval Coventry, is a postgraduate researcher from the university’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History.

Mark is also a board member of the Coventry Heritage Action Zone and a trustee of the Historic Coventry Trust and through these various roles he has been able to advocate the importance of preserving the city’s heritage.

Find out more.