Coventry’s Medieval treasures: a digital discovery

We’re planning a series of self-guided tours designed to unearth Coventry’s medieval treasures – the beautiful buildings that can still be seen within the urban landscape and those long since lost but recorded in photographs taken in the recent past and evocatively captured in watercolour paintings and line drawings from The Herbert’s rarely seen art collection.

Subject to a successful funding bid, the tours are planned for use on a smartphone/tablet using a multimedia narrative. They will also be available as leaflets downloadable from the website.

Butcher Row c. 1900
Butcher Row c. 1900
Trinity Street, formerly Butcher Row
Trinity Street, formerly Butcher Row
Coventry Cathedral (formerly St Michael's) c. 1935
Coventry Cathedral (formerly St Michael's) c. 1935
Coventry Cathedral now
Coventry Cathedral now

Taking you to a number of waypoints around the city, the tours will:

present ‘then’ and ‘now’ images to reveal the medieval streets and buildings as depicted by artists and recorded by photographers

give you a glimpse of what Coventry was like during the Middle Ages

introduce you to the people associated with the city – from townsfolk and merchants to noblemen and royalty, and everyone in between!

tell the story of how Coventry became an important royal residence for King Henry VI and Queen Margaret of Anjou in the 1450s

unearth some of the medieval artefacts recently discovered by archaeologists

reveal exquisite documents that provide a fascinating insight into the social, working, religious and administrative life of the city’s inhabitants

enable you to identify your whereabouts on John Speed’s 1610 map of the medieval city

encourage you to deepen and enrich your knowledge of medieval Coventry by spending time in the places seen or referred to on the tour:

  • The Herbert’s medieval gallery
  • St Michael’s Church (Coventry Cathedral ruins)
  • St Mary’s Hall
  • Holy Trinity Church
  • St John’s Church
  • Priory Visitor Centre
  • Priory Undercrofts
  • Far Gosford Street
  • The Weaver’s House
  • Charterhouse, the Carthusian Priory of St Anne.

Would you like to get involved?

We’ll be commissioning some research to find out what people think of the digital tours initiative and to involve them in deciding on tour content. If you’d like to participate, please contact Amanda Kay by emailing

To give you a flavour of what the app might look like, click on the image below. The animation was created by Taylor Sharpe as part of his third year student portfolio at Coventry University.