History of Coventry


Coventry is a city of culture, peace, reconciliation, innovation and invention. Coventry has a story to tell and experiences to share.

We've only gone and done it! All of the city's hard work and commitment to the bid has paid off. Now that we have won City of Culture 2021, Coventry could be transformed forever. So, what are you waiting for?! Sign up to the City of Coventry 2021 newsletter, like the Facebook page, follow City of Culture 2021 on Instagram and follow City of Culture 2021 on Twitter.

Coventry has changed so much over the last decade, from the new shops in town and the latest restaurants and bars, to the innovative developing university buildings. There are also developments near the railway station where pedestrian routes and offices are being opened out and improved.

A little history...


Coventry blitz

The Coventry blitz was a series of bombings that took place in Coventry, the most devastating being the evening of 14 November 1940. Many people lost their lives and buildings were destroyed - the cathedral being one of them, which was razed to the ground.


Coventry Cathedral

Coventry has had 3 cathedrals in the past. The place we now call ‘Coventry Cathedral’ is actually two buildings which lie in the heart of the city. They are the remains of a medieval parish church.

After being destroyed in an enemy attack in the Second World War, rather than sweeping away the ruins, the Cathedral community preserved the remains as a reminder of the folly and waste of war. The cathedral is now seen as a place of peace and reconciliation.


Lady Godiva

Lady Godiva asked her husband the Earl of Mercia Leofric, to lower taxes time and time again with no luck. One day he said he would only reduce the taxes if she rode a horse naked across town!

Lady Godiva was brave enough to take him up on his challenge. Everyone showed their respect by staying indoors and only one person now known as ‘Peeping Tom’ looked! Due to her compassionate deed, Leofric fulfilled his promise and reduced the taxes straight away.


Booming cloth and textiles trade

Coventry became an extremely important city in England due to its booming cloth and textiles trade during the Middle Ages, and according to documentation - one of the wealthiest cities in medieval England.

Coventry has played a massive role in a range of fields such as the clocks, bikes and motorcycles industries.

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
QS Five Star Rating 2019
Coventry City of Culture 2021