SEP 00] HERITAGE OPEN DAYS NEWS
Drapes Lifted Off Historic Hall
classical building squeezed in alongside the old cathedral is opening
this weekend for the first time in four years, because of people
survey among the visitors at last year’s Heritage Open Days event
saw Drapers Hall as the firm favourite to be opened.
building is currently being used as a church centre for Holy Trinity
church, but it previously was a powerbase for the drapers of the city.
the city had an international reputation for its cloth-making, the
drapers were very wealthy men, and had a lot of influence in the city.
recorded activities of the department date back to the city’s
medieval hey-day, but the first known building on the site was built
in 1637 and torn down in the early 1770s.
replacement for that building, made of stone instead of timber, lasted
a mere 60 years as dry rot set in.
its replacement has lasted for 170 years, although it has had some
close shaves on the way.
exterior is a simple classical design, but architect Thomas Rickman
added a Grecian elegance to its interior.
building escaped the bombing which devastated the cathedral next door,
and narrowly avoided demolition as part of plans to open up the area.
weekend will be a chance to see it in its most untampered state for
history groups such as Coventry Watchmakers Museum will be in the
hall, as will CWN, from 11am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.