Coventry: Scarred by War

by Dan Burton

Coventry Cathedral is one of the city’s most recognisable attractions. The older part of the cathedral stands adjacent to the newer, rebuilt building as a reminder to Coventry’s war-torn past. But what other secrets does the city hold from yesteryear?

Spon Street is a historic street in the heart of Coventry’s bustling city centre. During the German Blitz of WWII, this street was one of Coventry’s most prominent shopping arcades, with watchmakers and iron businesses dotting its pavements. However the bombings left it decimated. Today, Spon Street has been restored and is now home to Coventry Watch Museum.

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St Mary’s Guildhall is another of Coventry’s famous landmarks that was damaged in the Blitz. The majority of the building suffered either a complete structural failure or severe structural damage. In addition to this, the centre of the city was heavily bombed with over fifty calls to the emergency services in the first hour of the Blitz. Broadgate, the heart of Coventry’s shopping district, and the train station were just two parts of the city centre attacked by the bombers, with the main platform all but lost.

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With reminders of Coventry’s bloody past dotted all over the city, it is always important to remember those who perished in the Blitz. In War Memorial Park, Cheylesmore, stands a cenotaph dedicated to the fallen soldiers from wartime Coventry and a plaque with the names of the firemen who gave their lives to protect their city hangs prominently in the Guildhall as a fitting tribute to those who paid the ultimate price.

Check out the map to see the areas that were badly affected during the Blitz:

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