AUG 00] HERITAGE OPEN DAYS FACTFILE
Register A Look At Cheylesmore Manor
remnants of a medieval royal palace in Coventry city centre is one of
the buildings opening for Heritage Open Days.
gatehouse of Cheylesmore Manor is squirreled away behind sixties
concrete in New Union Street.
used to be the only unfortified royal palace outside London.
it is better known as the register office, and is the oldest building
in the country to hold that function.
with many old buildings it has been added to and changed over the
is thought that it was built for the Earl of Arundel in 1237. By 1320
it had passed to Queen Isabella, wife of Edward II along with the
lavish Cheylesmore Park that surrounded it.
Isabella will be on hand when the building opens for the Heritage Open
Days weekend to tell visitors her part in its history.
Tour Guide Barbara Bickerton will be getting into character to bring
the Queen back to life.
had the house during the time that Coventry had very strong links with
the royal family. Her son Edward the Black Prince took possession of
it afterwards, and in 1385 Richard II allowed the people of the city
to take stones from the quarries in his park if they would include it
inside the city walls they were building.
fell into disuse as Coventry’s links with royalty waned. In 1661
Charles II granted the house to a loyalist, Sir Robert Townsend, to
recognise his support of the Royalist cause - hardly a popular move in
a Roundhead town.
this era the changes were made to the building that can still be seen
Cheylesmore estate was slowly swallowed up by the city, and the house
left royal ownership in 1798 when the Prince Regent, later George IV,
sold it to the marquis of Hertford. It is rumoured that this was after
the Prince lost a caterpillar race!
was gradually permitted in the 20th century as the buildings decayed,
but the government stopped the council from demolishing the gatehouse.
restoration work the building opened as a register office in 1968. It
will be open on Sunday 17 September from 11am to 5pm for visitors.
manor house built by William de Albany
first called Cheylesmore Manor House. It is valued at 5 marks a year,
about £3.30 today.
building passes to Queen Isabella
Edward III sends his son (the Black Prince) to live there with
Isabella, the prince’s grandmother
the building is enclosed in the city walls
Henry VI spent various periods at the house – they could have
coincided with his first of madness
it is described as being “somewhat in ruine” by John Leland
Queen Elizabeth granted the manor to the mayor.
Prince Regent sells the house to the Marquis of Hertford.
WH Eaton buys the house for £100,000. in 1887 he was made Lord
Original 14th century timbers found in condition, with ivy growing
through bedrooms and parts of the building having been turned into top
part of the building demolished
restoration work begins