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Coventry

Coventry is a city in the West Midlands of England with a population of around 303,900, Coventry is the tenth largest city in England.

It is traditionally a centre of motor and cycle manufacture, the Triumph motorcycle[?] having its origins in 1902 in a Coventry factory. Large areas of the city were destroyed in a massive German bombing raid on November 14, 1940. The city's medieval cathedral was destroyed in that attack: the new cathedral was opened in 1962, next to the ruins of the old cathedral. It was designed by Basil Spence[?] and contains the tapestry, "Christ in Majesty" by Graham Sutherland[?] and the aluminium statue of St Michael and the Devil by Jacob Epstein[?]. Coventry is a twin city to Dresden.

See also Coventry Cathedral

Coventry is the home of the University of Warwick and Coventry University[?]. And is also home to the Museum of British Road Transport, where the world speed record breaking cars, Thrust2 and ThrustSSC are displayed.

Traditionally in northern Warwickshire, it became a metropolitan district[?] of the West Midlands metropolitan county in 1974. After the disbanding of the metropolitan council it has remained a metropolitan district, administered as a unitary authority area.

Coventry's most famous resident is Lady Godiva, who is alleged to have ridden through the city naked on horseback; there is a statue of her in the city centre. Thus the city is also traditionally regarded as the home of the original Peeping Tom.

In Britain, to "send someone to Coventry" means to ostracise them.

Neighbouring towns: Rugby,Warwickshire, Kenilworth, Warwick, Nuneaton

History

Coventry is believed to have been established in the year 1043 when a Benedictine Abbey was constructed. The abbey was founded by Leofric Earl of Mercia and his wife Lady Godiva. And soon afterwards a market and a settlement was established at the abbey gates.

By the 13th century Coventry had become a centre of many textile trades, and Coventry became one of the most prosperous cities in Medieval England.

In 1345 king Edward III granted Coventry a charter, and Coventry became a county in itself.

In the 16th century the cloth trade declined, and the city fell upon hard times.

In the 18th century Coventry began to recover, and Coventry again became a major centre of a number of clothing trades.

During the 19th century Coventry became a centre of a number of industries, including watch and clock making, manufacturing of sewing machines, and from the 1880s onwards Bicycle manufacture. Due to this industrialisation Coventry's population grew rapidly.

Population growth in Coventry

  • 16,000 (1801)
  • 62,000 (1901)
  • 220,000 (1945)
  • 303,900 (1995)

By the 1930s Coventry had developed a large car manufacturing and motor industry, becoming the centre of the British motor industry. The city remained prosperous and largely immune to the economic depression of that decade.

Coventry's darkest hour came during World War Two. Hitler singled out Coventry for heavy bombing raids, due to its historic architecture and the fact that it was a major industrial centre.

On November 14th and 15th 1940 a massive bombing raid by the Luftwaffe destroyed vast areas of the city, and the medieval centre of the city was obliterated, including its famous cathedral. In total 554 people were killed and over 60,000 buildings were destroyed in the raid, although unofficial figures put the number of people killed far higher.

After the war the city was extensively re-built. The new city centre built in the 1950s was considered one of the most modern of its time, and copied by city planners throughout the world. A new modern cathedral was also built.

During the 1970s and 1980s the city fell into recession with factory closures and high unemployment. In the early 80s, a hit record was made about Coventry called "Ghost Town" by a band called The Specials.

In recent years Coventry has begun to recover, with new Hi-tech industries locating in the city.

Coventry's main industries today include: Cars, electronic equpment, machine tools, agricultural machinery, man-made fibres, aerospace components and telecommunications equipment

External Links


This article is about Coventry, England, for info on other places named coventry see Coventry (disambiguation)



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