Lady Godiva and her husband founded a Benedictine abbey there in 1043. By the 14th cent., Coventry, a flourishing market and textile-weaving town, was one of the five largest towns in England. The entire central portion of the city, including the 14th-century Cathedral of St. Michael, was destroyed (Nov., 1940) in one of the worst air raids to be suffered by Britain during World War II. A new cathedral, alongside the ruins of the old one, was completed in 1962.
Of interest are a statue of Lady Godiva; St. Mary's Hall (1340–42, with 15th-century additions); Holy Trinity Church (13th cent.), with a spire 237 ft (72 m) high; the spire (230 ft/70 m high) of Christ Church; and Ford's Hospital, a restored Tudor almshouse. The city's educational institutions include the Univ. of Warwick, Lancaster College of Technology, Coventry College (a teacher training school), and two old public schools.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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