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St. Michael's Tower

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Identification

St. Michael's Tower
St. Michael's Cathedral, The Old Cathedral
125436

Map

Structure in General

church
existing [completed]

Facts

  • The tower was added to the main structure of what was then St. Michael's Parish Church by the brothers Adam and William Botoner between 1373 and 1394, during which time the apse and choir were also built.
  • The top of the slender spire actually leans 3ft off centre, due to subsistence problems over the centuries. Salvage teams after the Blitz mistook this for bomb damage and considered demolishing the tower and spire, which they thought to be unsafe.
  • Construction on the nave, inner isles and spire continued over the next four decades, finally completing in 1433 when the spire, paid for by Anne and Mary Botoner, was finished. The church was then further enlarged around 1500 with the addition of side chapels.
  • St. Michael's Church was granted Cathedral status in 1918, at which time it was the largest Parish Church in England. It became Coventry's first Cathedral in 400 years, following the demolition of the huge Cathedral of St. Mary during the Dissolution of the 16th Century.
  • Before the present structure was built, a Norman church existed on the site in the mid-12th Century, during the reign of King Stephen. However, the oldest existing building on the site is the South Porch, which was built around 1300.
  • The Cathedral remained largely unchanged until Thursday 14th November 1940, when an infamous nine-hour Blitz turned the centuries-old structure to ruins. Luckily, despite suffering one of the most prolonged military bombardments in history, the spire and outer shell remained standing.
  • With considerable foresight, most of the Cathedral's 15th Century glass was removed before its destruction and is now stored in the undercroft the new Coventry Cathedral. Some glass actually survived the bombs and remains in place today.

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More Information

Location

Priory Street
CV1
Coventry
England
United Kingdom

Technical Data

293.96 ft
293.96 ft
292.98 ft
140.09 ft
1300
1433
1500
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