As I am going to be taking images of Coventry Cathedral, I feel a little history into the building would be an appropriate starting point. Of course, I have my own recollections and those that have been passed down to me from previous generations but although I have a fair amount of knowledge about the war time effects on the Cathedral , I know little of the life of the building prior to its almost complete destruction.
St.Micheal’s was not the first Coventry Cathedral, in fact the City has had 3 in its lifetime. St.Marys priory and Cathedral was the first but was destroyed by Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries.
The first St.Michaels Church was constructed between the 14th-15th Century and was one of the largest parish churches in England. It was promoted to a Cathedral in 1918. The spire stands at 295 feet and is the 3rd tallest in the UK.This building was partially destroyed during Operation Moonlight Sonata , although the Tower and Spire remained standing partially due to the fact that there were no wooden floors in this part of the building.
The above is the floor plan of the Cathedral dating from 1870.
The decision to rebuild the Cathedral was taken the day after it was destroyed on the night of 14th November 1940 and the Cathedrals stone mason created the now famous Charred Cross and Cross of Nails from the burnt timbers and roof nails.
The new St.Michaels Cathedral was designed by Basil Spence and was finally Consecrated on the 25th May 1962 by Her Majsesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Today both sites remain a symbol of hope and reconciliation to millions around the world.
A Newspaper report dated 15th November 1940 :