DISCOVER COVENTRY’S HERITAGE
Photos by Rob Tysall, Tysall’s Photography
Ann Evans reminds us that Coventry’s Heritage Open Days are almost here.
The City of Coventry is steeped in history and so much of our heritage is still there for us to visit and explore. From the Medieval Undercroft where Lady Godiva and Earl Leofric would once have walked, to churches built almost 1,000 years ago. There will be Regency buildings to explore, 16th century Almshouses, Victorian gardens – and so much more.
Coventry’s Heritage Open days return again this year, marking 25 years of being a part of the UK’s Heritage Open Days locally and nationally. From 13th to 22nd September, Coventry is freely opening its doors to a multitude of unique places some of which are either closed to the public normally or have paid admission.
These free events celebrate Coventry’s architecture and culture, its industries and its history. More than 50 events and venues are taking part, offering a unique opportunity to see some of the city’s hidden gems. Many places are offering guided tours and other activities to add to the enjoyment of the visit.
One of the highlights of the Heritage Weekends, takes place on Friday 20th September, this being Dame Goodyver’s Day. This was a traditional feast day given by the Guild of Cappers and Feltmakers many centuries ago, and revived by Coventry’s official Lady Godiva, Pru Poretta MBE who believes that Lady Godiva is as important a figure today as she has even been. Lady Godiva will lead a colourful, musical, multi-cultural procession from Broadgate to Priory Garden on that morning.
Amongst the many tours taking place are tours of Coventry Cathedral, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry Archives, the Coventry Watch Museum, Coombe Abbey Park, the Canal Basin, the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Parkash, the Belgrade Theatre, the Albany Theatre and Draper’s Hall. Amongst those venues normally closed to the public are the Amazon warehouse, the Council House and the Medieval Lychgate Cottages?
Some visits require pre-booking, but all the details are on the website. Or pick up a leaflet from libraries and other venues around the city.
The Heritage Open Weekends have been organised locally by Coventry City Council, the event is co-ordinated and hosted nationally by the National Trust with co-funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery. However, the events would not happen without the support of hundreds of volunteers and members of the Coventry Guild of Tour Guides.
Take a look at the full list of incredible places opening their doors, and really discover the History of Coventry.
For further information, visit: www.coventry.gov.uk/hod