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History of St Mary's Guildhall

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A brief history



An atmospheric and architecturally stunning survivor of the medieval age, St. Mary's is widely considered to be the finest remaining medieval guildhall in the country.

The Coventry Tapestry

Coventry Tapestry


The 'Coventry Tapestry' is the highlight of the historic collections at St. Mary's Guildhall, and is widely recognised as one of the rarest and most important examples of this art in the country.

Mary Queen of Scots

Mary queen of scots page


In November 1569, a Catholic uprising in the north prompted Queen Elizabeth I to order the transfer of Mary Queen of Scots from her confinement at Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire, to the walled city of Coventry.

The medieval kitchens



Few people know that kitchens currently used to prepare food for Godiva's restaurant, weddings and conferences, have been in continuous use since the Guildhall was built in the 1340s.


William Shakespeare


William Shakespeare would have known Coventry and the Guildhall well, but did he ever perform here? The evidence suggests that it is highly likely that he did.

George Eliot

St. Mary's Guildhall


It is widely accepted that the Great Hall at St. Mary's Guildhall provided the inspiration for the "grand old hall", the scene of the trial court in George Eliot's first novel, Adam Bede.

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