23rd Oct, 2017

More funding joy for Coventry medieval Charterhouse restoration

Coventry Editorial 10th Mar, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

COVENTRY’S medieval Charterhouse is celebrating after receiving more funding for its restoration.

English Heritage has awarded a grant of £200,000 towards repairing and rebuilding the medieval priory precinct walls.

Last month, we reported the Charterhouse off London Road, city centre, had won a £450,000 Heritage Lottery Grant rising to £4.5million to restore the “hidden gem” housing some of the UK’s finest medieval frescos, create an art and crafts space and a public park.

Last month’s announcement also secured the Charterhouse Park for the public after decades of use by families and dogwalkers had been under threat from Bluecoat school’s plans for school playing fields.

English Heritage, in announcing the latest grant, said the former Carthusian Priory, founded in 1381, was the last of the four great monasteries in Coventry.

It said it had acted “to save medieval priory remains that survived Henry VIII’s dissolution”.

The property is now owned by the Charterhouse Coventry Presentation Trust which took over from Coventry City Council through an asset transfer.

The Charterhouse site includes a grade I listed building, protected below ground remains and the protected precinct walls which all sit within the London Road conservation area.

Inner and outer precinct walls surround the buried remains of the priory. The inner walls will be repaired using the new English Heritage grant. Work on site has just started and will be completed in the Summer.

Dr Sarah Lewis, adviser to English Heritage in the West Midlands said: “Around 600 metres of surviving precinct wall gives us an idea of the original scale of the priory.

Ian Harrabin, Charterhouse Coventry Presentation Trust chairman, said: “The precinct walls are a hugely important feature of the site and are set in a semi-rural landscape in the heart of the modern city.

“A large section of the Inner Precinct wall was in a very poor state and it is wonderful that English Heritage has provided a grant, supplemented by funding from Pilgrim Trust, to enable restoration to commence.

“The project has really captured people’s interest and in a city that has lost so much since the 1930s, there is now renewed interest and energy in the city’s medieval past.”

The priory was founded by Richard II who laid the foundation stone of the church in 1385.

During Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, most of the buildings were demolished leaving only a few remaining, which English Heritage says makes the Charterhouse “particularly special”.

The building had been left to decay for decades after some modern renovation, with its medieval artistic jewels hidden from public view.

The £11mIllion project will over years create a public art and crafts gallery in conjunction with the Herbert Art Gallery, which would also be used by city students and schoolchildren.

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