from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Broadgate and Precincts - - 554599.jpg
coat of arms
coat of arms
Coordinates 52 ° 24 ′  N , 1 ° 31 ′  W Coordinates: 52 ° 24 ′  N , 1 ° 31 ′  W
Coventry (England)
Residents 366,785 (as of: 2018)
surface 98.64 km² (38.09  mi² )
Population density: 3718 inhabitants per km²
ZIP code section CV
prefix 024
Part of the country England
region West Midlands
Shire county West Midlands
Metropolitan county West Midlands
Metropolitan Borough Coventry
ONS code 00CQ
Metropolitan Borough of Solihull Coventry Birmingham Sandwell Metropolitan Borough of Dudley Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough of Walsall Staffordshire Warwickshire Worcestershire Shropshire Telford and Wrekin Leicestershire Derbyshire Birmingham Coventry Solihull Wolverhampton Metropolitan Borough of Walsall Sandwell Metropolitan Borough of Dudley Kirklees City of Wakefield City of Leeds City of Bradford Calderdale North Tyneside South Tyneside City of Sunderland Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead Newcastle upon Tyne Metropolitan Borough of Wirral Liverpool Metropolitan Borough of Sefton Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough of St Helens Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley Sheffield Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough of Wigan City of Salford Trafford Manchester Metropolitan Borough of Stockport Tameside Metropolitan Borough of Oldham Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough of Bury Metropolitan Borough of Bolton Frankreich Irland Isle of Man Schottland Nordirland Wales Greater London Surrey Buckinghamshire Kent Essex Hertfordshire Suffolk Norfolk Lincolnshire Rutland Cambridgeshire East Sussex West Sussex Isle of Wight Hampshire Dorset Devon (England) Cornwall Bristol Somerset Wiltshire Gloucestershire Leicestershire Northamptonshire Oxfordshire Herefordshire Warwickshire Worcestershire West Midlands (Metropolitan County) Shropshire Staffordshire Nottinghamshire Derbyshire Cheshire Merseyside Greater Manchester South Yorkshire East Riding of Yorkshire West Yorkshire Lancashire North Yorkshire Cumbria Northumberland Tyne and Wear County Durham (Unitary Authority) Borough of Darlington Borough of Stockton-on-Tees Middlesbrough Redcar and Cleveland Borough of Hartlepool Blackburn with Darwen City of York Kingston upon Hull North East Lincolnshire Borough of Halton Borough of Warrington Cheshire West and Chester Stoke-on-Trent Telford and Wrekin Derby (Derbyshire) Nottingham Leicester City of Peterborough Borough of Swindon Southend-on-Sea Borough of Medway Thurrock Bedfordshire Borough of Milton Keynes Luton Central Bedfordshire North Somerset South Gloucestershire Bath and North East Somerset Plymouth Torbay Scilly-Inseln Poole Bournemouth Southampton Portsmouth Brighton and Hove Reading West Berkshire Wokingham Bracknell Forest Slough Windsor and Maidenhead

Coventry [ ˈkɒvəntɹɪ ] is an English industrial city in Metropolitan County of the West Midlands . It forms a metropolitan borough and has the status of a city . Coventry ranks eleventh on the list of cities in the United Kingdom with approximately 367,000 inhabitants . Coventry is 153 kilometers northwest of London and 39 kilometers east of Birmingham . It is further from the coast than any other British city.


It is generally believed that Coventry was formed in 1043 when the Benedictine Abbey was founded by Leofric , Earl of Mercia . The abbey was the seat of the Bishops of Coventry until 1238 and then one of the seats of the Bishops of Lichfield and Coventry . The most famous legend in Coventry history, the naked ride of his wife Lady Godiva , also goes back to Leofric .

By the 14th century Coventry had developed into one of the most important centers of the cloth trade and one of the most important cities in England. In 1345 the city was granted city rights.

In the English Civil War, heavily fortified Coventry remained firmly in the hands of Parliament. However, after the restoration in 1662, the city walls were razed on the orders of Charles II.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the city was initially a center of watchmaking. After that, Coventry developed into one of the main focuses of bicycle and later ( combustion ) engine production from the late 19th century .

Air raid in 1940

The city center after the German air raid on November 14, 1940. In the back the ruins of the Owen Owen department store.

On November 14, 1940, the German Air Force carried out a heavy bombing raid on Coventry under the code name Company Mondscheinsonate , which was primarily aimed at the Armstrong Siddeley Parkside factory located on the southern edge of the city center , an aero engine plant of the Hawker-Siddeley Group, but also numerous others Machine and vehicle construction companies in the city, such as Rover , Morris ( Riley ), Alvis , Standard Motor and SS Cars (from 1945: Jaguar ).

In addition to large parts of the city center, 4,330 houses and irreplaceable cultural assets such as the medieval St Michael's Cathedral were destroyed. 568 people were killed. The attack was the one that claimed the most deaths of all German air raids in England. 75% of the industrial facilities were damaged or completely destroyed, which led to many of the remaining companies being relocated to the surrounding area. Due to the high degree of destruction, the National Socialist Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels invented the term " Coventrieren " for the destruction of a city from the air. The Luftwaffe attacked Coventry again on April 8, 1941 and August 3, 1942, bringing the total number of victims in the city to 1236 dead and 1746 injured.

A metropolitan legend says that Prime Minister Winston Churchill knew about the attack beforehand and did nothing to avoid revealing that the British had been able to decipher German radio messages encrypted with the Enigma machine since the beginning of 1940 . In fact, Churchill knew that a heavy air strike was imminent but did not know which city would be the target.

Despite the great destruction in the city, Richard Howard, then cathedral dean of the parish church of Coventry, called for reconciliation and the banishment of all thoughts of hate and revenge in a Christmas mass broadcast directly from the ruins by the BBC . Shortly after the end of the war, this attitude led to Coventry's first town twinning with Kiel and in 1959 to another with Dresden , which was also destroyed in the attacks of the RAF and USAAF in February 1945 , killing between 22,700 and 25,000 people.

After the attack, carpenter nails that had held the cathedral's medieval ceiling beams together were used to assemble the Cross of Nails of Coventry . Today it stands on the altar of the new cathedral and is a symbol of reconciliation and peace. There are other crosses of nails in over 160 parishes around the world, which together form the cross of nails community.

After 1945

Coventry city center
The ruins of the old Coventry Cathedral

The ruins of the 14th century Coventry Cathedral were preserved as a memorial after the war. The city's new cathedral was built in the immediate vicinity. Benjamin Britten's War Requiem was premiered at its inauguration on May 30, 1962 . The cathedral has been the seat of the modern bishops of Coventry since 1918 . In Coventry is also the headquarters of the organization " Minorities of Europe ".

After the destruction of large parts of the city center, the cityscape there was completely redesigned after the war. That's why downtown Coventry today is largely a testament to the concrete architecture of the 1950s and 1960s. At the turn of the millennium, however, massive redesigns and renovations began under the name “Phoenix Initiative”, which led to an improvement in the cityscape compared to the end of the 20th century.

In 1955, the city was awarded the first ever European Prize for its outstanding efforts to promote European integration.

About 30 years ago Coventry experienced an economic boom following the construction of a power station. The population increased by 30,000. Up to 50,000 new jobs were planned, but only 40,000 were filled, 10,000 of them by residents of the city who were still unemployed until the power plant was built.

The “Sky Building” is the tallest building in the city.

coat of arms

Description of the coat of arms : In the shield split by red and green, a standing golden elephant with the same saddlecloth on which three golden tinned towers with a large cross window and a round roof stand.


The former Morris engine and transmission plant is now part of Coventry University as the William Morris Building (Photo 2007)

Shut Lane Mill , built in the 12th century, was demolished in the 1930s.

Coventry was the center of British vehicle and engine construction. The Triumph Cycle Company started building bicycles in the mid-1880s and with the motorcycle production started in 1902 after the First World War, it became the largest manufacturer in Great Britain (see also: Triumph Motorcycles ). From 1923 the Triumph Motor Company was also an automobile manufacturer.

The Daimler Motor Company was founded in 1896 to manufacture commercial vehicles . From the late 1890s, Humber and Riley began manufacturing motor vehicles in Coventry. Standard Motor followed in 1903 and the Rover Company, which emerged from the bicycle manufacturer Starley & Sutton Co. in 1904 . In 1907 Deasy Motor Car Manufacturing was founded (from 1909 Siddeley Deasy Motor Manufacturing Company Ltd. ), which merged in 1919 with the vehicle and motor division of the industrial group Armstrong-Whitworth to Armstrong Siddeley . In the same year the TG John and Co. Ltd. ( Alvis Cars ) founded.

During the First World War it was feared that the German army would take Saint-Denis near Paris . There was a plant of the armaments company Hotchkiss et Cie , which then built a plant in Coventry. This was founded in 1923 as Morris Engines Ltd. to the engine and transmission plant of the Morris Motor Company . The former Hotchkiss factory is now part of Coventry University ( William Morris Building ).

1928 settled the Swallow Coachbuilding Company (from 1934: SS Cars Ltd ) in Foleshill on the northern edge of the city; since 1945 the company has been trading as Jaguar Cars .

In the 1920s, Armstrong-Siddeley became a major manufacturer of aircraft engines, and in the late 1930s it also developed a gas turbine. In 1966, Rolls-Royce took over the Bristol Siddeley factory on Coventry's Parkside. After the closure of this location in 1994, the city lost further jobs in vehicle and mechanical engineering. With the closure of Jaguars Browns Lane plans and the Peugeot plant on Aldermoor Lane, the last two manufacturers stopped production there, so that no more cars have been built in Coventry since 2007.

Therefore, the regeneration of industrial areas that are no longer used and the settlement of new, sustainable companies, especially in the service sector, are a central challenge for the city.


Due to its central location, the city has excellent transport connections. Coventry is connected to the M6 , M69 and M40 Motorways and is on the West Coast Main Line , the central railway line from London to Birmingham. There are also rail links to Nuneaton and Leamington Spa . There are regular bus connections from Pool Meadow bus station to London, Birmingham and the major airports in the London area.

Via the Coventry Canal , which was built at the end of the 18th century, the city is connected to the Victorian network of canals , the so-called narrowboat canals , which were the first efficient transport routes for bulk goods during the industrial revolution . Today this canal system is used as a recreational boating area.

The relatively insignificant Coventry Airport had gained in importance in the short term due to the establishment of the low-cost airline Thomsonfly , but Thomsonfly withdrew completely from the airport again for the 2008/9 winter flight schedule.


There are two universities in Coventry. The Coventry University is located on a modern campus in the city center. The University of Warwick is 3 miles south of the city center on the Warwickshire border . The latter university has an excellent reputation and has always been in the top group in university comparisons in terms of research and quality of teaching.


  • Coventry Cathedral : Former St Michael's Parish Church, built around 1400, became a cathedral when the Diocese of Coventry was re-established in 1914. The church, which burned out and collapsed during the bombing in 1940, remained in ruins and was included in the new building built by Basil Spence and Arup in 1956–1960 .
  • Holy Trinity Church (Dreifaltigkeitskirche): The parish church was founded in the 12th century not far from St Michael's - later Coventry Cathedral - was rebuilt in the 17th century (tower) and redesigned in neo-Gothic style in 1859 by George Gilbert Scott . The wall paintings inside (Last Judgment) from around 1430 were discovered in 1831, but only known after a restoration in 2004.
  • Christchurch steeple: bell tower of the former monastery church of the Franciscans (Greyfriars) from the 14th century. The tower on Union Street is the only remnant of the Franciscan Church, which dates back to the 13th century, and was integrated into the new building of Christchurch in the 19th century. The church itself fell victim to the bombing in 1940 - again except for the medieval tower, which is now a bar.
  • Remnants of St Mary's Priory on Priory Row: The foundations of the priory founded in 1043 by Lady Godiva and Leofric of Mercia were discovered in the 19th century and excavated in the 20th century. You present yourself today in a park (Priory Gardens) opposite the Holy Trinity Church. The neighboring half-timbered house ("Lychgate Cottages") in Priory Row was built in 1648 as a cell building for the priory.
  • St Mary's Guildhall: House of the former St Mary's Guild in Bayley Lane immediately south of the cathedral ruins. The sandstone building, erected between 1394 and 1414, later served as a municipal weapons store, as a prison, as a theater (in which, among others, William Shakespeare appeared), and finally as a municipal treasury.
  • Remains of the former city fortifications from the 2nd half of the 14th century, which were largely removed in 1662: Swanswell Gate (city gate in Hales Street, around 1395), and Cook Street Gate from the 14th century.
  • Half-timbered house at Baylay Lane 22, built around 1500 in the Tudor style ("Grade II" listed).
  • Golden Cross: Coventry's oldest pub on Hay Lane in the shadow of the cathedral, a “Grade II” listed half-timbered Tudor style house, built in 1583.
  • Ford's Hospital: A former poor house on Greyfriars Lane. The “Grade I” listed half-timbered house with a picturesque inner courtyard was donated by the merchant William Ford in 1509 and expanded in 1517 and 1529 respectively. It partially collapsed during the bombing of 1940 and was restored with the original material from 1951–1953.
  • Cheylesmore Manor Gatehouse: Grade II listed gatehouse of the non-preserved Cheylesmore Manor on Manor House Drive. Half-timbered house from the 16th century, today the registry office.
  • County Hall: House of the former "County Court", opened in 1783. Grade II Listed Palladian Building on Cuckoo Lane opposite the cathedral bell tower.
  • Council House on Earl Street: Historic administrative building, built 1913–1917 in Tudor style.
  • Coventry Transport Museum. The museum gives a comprehensive overview of the automotive tradition in Coventry.
  • Herbert Art Gallery and Museum
  • Lunt Fort: The reconstruction of a Roman fort.
  • Midland Air Museum
  • Coventry City Center - houses several shopping centers, as well as a classic market hall.
  • Skydome - entertainment center with pubs, discos, night clubs, cinemas and an ice rink where the Coventry Blaze ice hockey games take place.

Twin cities

City partnerships exist with the following cities:

Unofficial friendly relations exist with:

sons and daughters of the town


In English there is the phrase “to send someone to Coventry”, which means something like “put someone on the sidelines” or “leave someone behind”. Allegedly this goes back to prisoners who were interned in Coventry during the English Civil War and who were provided with food by the city population but otherwise remained completely isolated.

Web links

Commons : Coventry  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Mid 2018 Estimates of the population for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
  2. Coventry website ( Memento of the original from April 12, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /