St. Marys Guildhall
St. Marys Guildhall
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700 years of power, propaganda and partying

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Image source: The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum 

A remarkable piece of UK history

What started as one of Coventry’s medieval trades and crafts is now a remarkable piece of history. Showcasing medieval Coventry’s rich heritage, St Mary’s Guildhall is embodied in over 700 years of history. Now one of the wealthiest cities in England, Coventry and the story of the Guildhall begins back in the 1300s.

Miraculous tales of the Guildhall building

If these walls could talk, St Mary's Guildhall would tell fascinating tales from the medieval era, from the seat of power where Coventry was ruled for almost 700 years, to the home of extraordinary tapestry, cultural performances from Shakespeare, and a wealth of royal visitors. The stunning building boasts artistic expression throughout with beautiful stained-glass windows and art sculptures, bringing history to life.

 

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medieval Coventry
Image source:  Coventry City Council  
A story surviving the great wars
Image source:  Coventry City Council  

A story surviving the great wars

The powerful Merchant Guild of St Mary’s built a timber Guildhall on the site of the former Coventry Castle. In 1392, medieval Coventry's four richest merchant guilds joined to form the Guild of the Holy Trinity to make it what it is today. Having survived through the Reformation, Second World War, and the English Civil War, St Mary’s Guildhall stands proudly in the City of Culture, offering escapism from today to travel back to some of Britain’s most significant moments in history. 

 

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A Guildhall full of fascinating stories

Ruling the city

The ancient St Mary’s Guildhall survives the Second World War as an emblem of medieval Coventry's resilience and rebirth.

Food and feasting

The Guildhall's medieval kitchen became a soup kitchen to feed Coventry's poor and destitute during great hardship in the 1800s.

Masters of the medieval era

The Guildhall's Armoury room became the weapon store for the successful defence of the city following repeated royalist attacks.

Fit for royalty

Between 1569 and 1570, 17 year old Mary Queen of Scots was detained at St Mary’s Guildhall on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I 'for her own protection'.
Work with us
Image source: Robert Orland

Work with us

Are you passionate about history, intrigued by Coventry’s medieval era, and love the community? Then come and work for St Mary’s Guildhall. To be in the thick of history, just send us your CV and we’ll be in touch.

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Volunteering
Image source: Robert Orland

Volunteering

Want to relive history in the heart of Coventry community? We have plenty of volunteering opportunities available so you can immerse yourself in medieval tales and enlighten the experiences at St Mary's Guildhall.

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The Guildhall Transformation & Cultural Capital Programme

Through the investment of more than £6 million, St Mary’s Guildhall has been transformed into a must see visitor attraction which will offer a fascinating insight into the Guildhall’s amazing history, incredible story and how it has been at the centre of civic life for over 700 years.  

READ FULL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The Guildhall Transformation & Cultural Capital Programme
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With funding from the Cultural Capital Investment Fund and resources from:

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Image source: Culture Coventry Trust / Coventry Archives 

Visit the historical Guildhall

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Educational tours coming soon

LEARNING
Image source: Wikimedia / Public Domains 

Celebrate in the shadows of royalty

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**Notice** St Mary’s Guildhall, Coventry Opens, Saturday 7th May 2022, Free Entry, 11.00am – 4.00pm. For COVID-19 guidance & advice, please visit gov.uk.
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