Coventry is a cathedral city in the heart of England. Surrounded by beautiful Warwickshire countryside and part of the West Midlands region, Coventry is home to over 300,000 people making it the 11th biggest city in the UK. Coventry’s history lies in manufacturing, with British cycle and motor history very much rooted in the city. Coventry was also famed for its ribbon industry and watch/clock making, although innovative technologies, retail, tourism and leisure now complement the more traditional areas of manufacturing. The city has two universities – the city centre-based Coventry University and the University of Warwick on the southern outskirts. Coventry is well connected by rail, with a direct service from Coventry to London Euston taking just 59 minutes. The M6, the M69 and the A45 are the city’s main road links.
Pre-dating both Birmingham and Leicester, Coventry has always been a pivotal location. Evidence suggest the city grew from a Bronze Age settlement, with both the Romans and Saxons subsequently settling in the area. Throughout the Middle Ages, Coventry was one of the most important and largest cities for trade, with the exchange of cloth one of its strongest merchant industries.
Lady Godiva is probably Coventry’s most famous resident who, according to legend, rode through the city’s streets naked during the 13th century, in order to gain remission of the taxation imposed by her husband on his tenants. The act is remembered with a statue in the Broadgate area of Coventry, unveiled in 1949.
Coventry was the first place in the world to have a twin city after it formed a relationship with the Russian city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) during WWII. It was this war that saw extensive damage to the city, with the Luftwaffe air raid known as the “Coventry Blitz” wreaking havoc on 14 November 1940. The Germans even coined the term ‘Coventrate’ to describe the tactics of complete urban devastation developed for the raid.
Living in Coventry
Coventry prides itself on its central location – so much so that when it built the Ricoh Arena it lauded the fact that 75% of England’s population were under a two hour’s drive away. The arena itself is a unique multi-use centre covering more than 40 acres. Coventry residents head to the arena for banqueting, exhibitions, sports events (Ricoh is home to Coventry Football Club) and music concerts. There’s also a luxurious De Vere Hotel on site, with its state-of-the-art fitness and leisure complex, and a casino.There is a thriving arts scene in Coventry, with a number of venues promoting local, national and international talent. The Belgrade Theatre is set in one of Coventry’s most iconic buildings, and hosts established and ground-breaking touring companies. The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is renowned for its exhibitions, displays and educational resources celebrating Coventry’s past, present and future.Very much part of the future is Belgrade Plaza – a mixed-use city-centre development that’s in its second phase of development. A multitude of restaurants, shops and an on-site hotel combine to create a great buzz by day and night.
To the south west of Coventry City Centre is Central Six – a major retail destination crammed full of high-street shops, restaurants and cafés.
Top Attractions in Coventry
1. Cathedrals – Old and New
Coventry has had three Cathedrals in the past 1000 years: the 12th century Priory Church of St Mary, the mediaeval Parish Church Cathedral of St Michael and the modern Coventry Cathedral, also named St Michael. The mediaeval cathedral was destroyed by an enemy air attack in 1918, during WWII, but rather than flatten the site, the ruins were preserved and a new cathedral built to complement the remains.
2. War Memorial Park
War Memorial Park is where Coventry residents head for green space and community facilities. It attracts around 400,000 visitors every year, with the Godiva festival one of the park’s highlights. Sporty types can head to the tennis courts or football pitches, while children naturally gravitate to the play area.
3. Coventry Transport Museum
The city’s links with the cycle and motor industry are celebrated by this museum at Millennium Place on Hales Street. The 240 cars, commercial vehicles and buses, 94 motorcycles, 200 cycles, 25,000 models and around 1 million archive and ephemera items have been designated a ‘collection of national importance’.
The city has benefited from redevelopment and financial boosts since the decline of its manufacturing industry. The creation of the Ricoh Arena, together with the ongoing development of Broadway Plaza, has sparked renewed interest in Coventry among the home moving masses. The housing stock is varied, as you would expect from a city that has strong medieval roots as well as a vigorous post-war building programme. Property for sale in Coventry includes modern lofty-style dwellings, Edwardian Villas, large semi and detached residences, and a healthy glut of developer-led new build schemes and conversions.Inter- and post-war houses for sale in Coventry are profuse as the influx of factory workers during the 1920s and 1930s sparked a house building boom. Radford, Coundon Canley, Cheylesmore and Stoke Heath are just some of the city’s newer suburbs.
Some of the most magnificent houses for sale in Coventry can be found in the Gibbet Hill, Westwood Heath, Earlsdon and Allesley Village neighbourhoods, with Kenilworth Road, Cromwell Lane, Westminster Road, Sandpit Lane and Birmingham Road some of the most coveted addresses.