You are here: Home : Search : Search Results : Detailed Result
  |   Print  

COVENTRY CATHEDRAL

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  ST MICHAELS CATHEDRAL, CATHEDRAL OF ST MICHAEL
DESCRIPTION + /

Coventry Cathedral is commonly seen as a symbol of post-war revival.
The cathedral's origins date to the medieval period as the church of St Michael and 1918 it was granted cathedral status. During an air raid on 14 November 1940 the cathedral was ruined. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott designed 'an ambitious scheme' to rebuild the cathedral but this was abandoned in 1946 and four years later a competition was held for a new design. There were no restrictions concerning style, materials or retention of building fabric, however the tower and two crypts had to be incorporated into any new design.

The competition was won by Basil Spence whose design was oriented at right-angles to the ruins which were incorporated into the new building as a forecourt. Intended to be a stone structure, the design was altered in 1955 due to a shortage of funds. It was therefore decided that concrete would be used to build the Chapel of Unity and Guild Chapel and concrete blocks for the cathedral interior. Spence also redesigned the porch as a means of visually linking the old and new structures.

Artworks commissioned by Spence in 1951-3 included the east-end tapestry by Graham Sutherland, the etched west window by John Hutton and ten nave windows by Laurence Lee, Keith New and Geoffrey Clarke. Further works were commissioned in 1954-55 and include the baptistry window by John Piper, a sculpture of St Michael by Jacob Epstein and Ralph Beyer's carved inscriptions for the nave recess in 1957. Final commissions in 1960 were the altar candleholders by Hans Coper, the high altar cross from Clarke, and the lectern eagle by Elisabeth Frink. Through its works of art the cathedral demonstrates the influence of the Festival of Britain held in 1951.

PICTURES + / -
DETAIL + / -
MORE INFORMATION & SOURCES
+ / -
MONUMENT TYPES + / -
COMMENTS + / -
Please help us keep our information accurate let us know if you see any errors on this page.

Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.