SEP 00] HERITAGE OPEN DAYS NEWS
Visit The Seat Of City Power
will be a rare weekend opening for one of Coventry’s oldest and most
hidden buildings this Saturday.
Mary’s Guildhall is well-known for the events, meetings and weddings
that take place there all the year round.
THE MAIN HALL
to a tourist or a passer-by it can be a totally different proposition.
Tucked away down a narrow street alongside the old cathedral it is
going into the 14th century building opens up a different world, and
the scene of many major moments in the city’s history.
Black Prince, Lord of the Manor of Cheylesmore most probably visited
the building during its medieval pomp.
recalling Henry VII and his Queen Elizabeth’s visit still hang, and
many monarchs are also celebrated.
the hall was not a moment of celebration for Mary, Queen of Scots as
she was imprisoned in the fortified Caesar’s Tower for two months
from November 1569.
Mary’s, which has grown in size and been altered several times since
it was first built, reflected the power and wealth of the guilds in
Coventry when the city was one of the most important towns in the
was used as the council chamber from at least 1441 until 1865, and the
formal mayor-making ceremonies are still held there.
main hall was recently used to usher in a new dawn in Coventry’s
political history, when the city’s first cabinet met there to
encourage members of the public to come along and witness democracy in
action – more than 100 people turned up.
survived bombs falling nearby, and political riots in the 18th
century, the building is now part tourist-attraction, part events
cannot usually see the hall at the weekend as it is use. But this
Saturday the doors will be thrown open.
Black Prince will be on hand to tell people about his time in the
city, and medieval musician Richard York will be playing in the