30th Jun, 2022

Excavations at Coventry's 'historic core' Drapers' Hall reveal hidden treasures

Felix Nobes 2nd Aug, 2019 Updated: 2nd Aug, 2019

EXCAVATIONS at Drapers’ Hall have revealed details of how Coventry’s ‘historic core’ was used through the centuries.

The Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) has inspected the site ahead of its transformation into a new music venue.

MOLA chiefs say finds from the site have provided a ‘tantalising insight’ into what the artifacts uncovered may have been used for.

They include a ‘bird bone pen’, medieval glass and even bone fragments – and there are negotiations ongoing to display them at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.

It is suspected that objects uncovered could have been used for anything from metalworking and fulling cloth, to button making and quarrying.

A MOLA spokesperson said: “These observations are just the beginning.

“Our specialists will analyse the finds from the site in detail to tell us even more about the medieval industrial processes, production and craft activities taking place in the area.

“It is hoped that the artefacts found from the dig will be displayed at the Medieval Gallery at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, alongside those from the 1989-9 dig, and that the artefacts will also form the basis of a major exhibition on Coventry’s textiles history.”

Among the finds during the excavation were 18th or 19th century ladle bowls, with the heraldic arms of the Drapers Company – active from 1613 onwards.

It also uncovered stone mould that would have been used for casting metals in the 14th or 15th century.

The 16th or 17th century bird bone pen has a tapering ‘nib’ at its distal end which would have been dipped in ink.

Two similar broken examples have been found in Coventry in antiquity.

MOLA says it is thought that the fragment of painted medieval glass may have once been part of the nearby Benedictine Priory and Cathedral of St. Mary.

This is due to similarities with other glass fragments found on the priory site.

A set of 16th century beads was found in a rectangular stone-lined pit, thought to have been used for fulling

And two detailed stone moulds dating to the 14th or 15th century were found during the excavation displaying letters of different styles and sizes, possibly even made for a specific client.

The Grade-II listed building was built in the classical style in phases from 1832.

It was the headquarters of the city’s Worshipful Company of Drapers and has also been a magistrate’s court, church centre and even an air raid shelter.

It has lain empty since the early 1990s.

Historic Coventry Trust aims to have the restored hall opened in 2020, in time for the city’s tenure as UK City of Culture the following year.

Are you on Facebook?

Like or follow our Facebook page - facebook.com/CovObserver to get daily news updates straight to your news feed.

Property Finder 24/7

Search for properties in Worcestershire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Coventry Observer.

Digital Advertising

Advertise on the Coventry Observer to boost your online presence.