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The Drapers Room

Drapers room

The Drapers Room

Built in 1340-42 as part of the Guildhall's Gatehouse, this fine room actually takes its name from an adjoining chamber, which was leased as a meeting room by the Drapers' Company in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The City Archives tell us that no less an historical character than Mary Queen of Scots was detained in this room, at some stage during the six week period that she was held captive in Coventry in the winter of 1569-70. The site of this detention was traditionally, but incorrectly, assigned to a much smaller chamber in another part of the Guildhall.

By 1719, the room was known as the 'Mayoress's Parlour', and was being used for the mayoress and 'the better sort of women' to dine apart at public feasts. During the late1940s the room underwent a further change of use, when it was refurnished as a courtroom (the former holding cells still exist in the basement of the Council House).

Much of the present décor dates from the 1830s, when the then mayor, George Eld, initiated a programme of restoration and refurbishment in a Tudor and Jacobean style.

The stained glass window was installed in 1888, replacing an earlier Venetian window, whilst over the fireplace is an equestrian statue of Lady Godiva by William Behnes, who attained a reputation for his high quality portrait busts between 1820 and 1840.

The Drapers' Room is licensed for civil ceremonies and offers free WiFi access.