Last Thursday I had the pleasure to attend the Night at the Museums (Twilight Tour) hosted by Priory Visitors Centre in partnership with the Charterhouse Priory. Starting at Priory Visitors Centre we were treated to soup and a roll provided by The Heritage Cake Company. The pumpkin soup and roll warmed me up ready for the evening ahead which was introduced by Paul Curtis, aka The Deep Fact Friar, and Carole Donnelly.
The site of Coventry’s first and largest Cathedral, St. Mary’s, lay buried and hidden until the ‘Phoenix Initiative’ gave archaeologists the chance to excavate the area before the impending Millennium Project began. The dig brought the attention of the Channel 4 TV series Time Team to our city, who broke all their rules and stayed for 4 days to assist with the excavation. Due to the scale of the project and historic significance of the structure that was being unearthed, the Time Team crew revisited the site which was almost unheard of.
The Undercrofts themselves have been well preserved since and as part of our tour we heard how they were originally used.
Touring the city
On route to Charterhouse Priory we walked through the magnificent Cathedral Quarter where we learnt the history behind the Coventry Cross monument and how it was originally located nearer to where Lady Godiva statue now sits.
On Much Park Street we stopped to admire the remains of the medieval building that is thought to have been a merchants house. When explained how the house would have been used it was easier to identify parts of the structure and imagine how it would have looked.
Once we had arrived at the site of the Whitefriars Monastery darkness had set in. We were given an overview of the interesting history of the site including how it was purchased by John Hales in the 16th Century, how Queen Elizabeth I addressed the people of Coventry from the Oriel window and how it was once home to Blue Coats School.
A brief walk down London Road led us to the Charterhouse Priory
On arrival we were greeted by Mark who was our guide for the remainder of the tour. Throughout the building we were introduced to the chequered history that is held within its walls. This is seen from the numerous paintings/murals, wood carved beams and varying stonework all of which date from different points of history in time.
To end the tour we were offered refreshments from the Little Vintage Cake Company.
For anyone who wants to learn more about Coventry and its fantastic history I would highly recommend this tour and I am now looking at participating in the Talk and Walk Tour of Coventry’s Medieval City wall.