Work to bring Coventry's 'Toy Museum' back to life has started - The Coventry Observer

Work to bring Coventry's 'Toy Museum' back to life has started

Ryan Smith 17th Oct, 2022   0

A PROJECT to bring a Coventry City Centre building known as the ‘Toy Museum’ back to life has started work on site.

Historic Coventry Trust has secured a £180,000 grant from Historic England and a further £100,000 from the Architectural Heritage Fund for Whitefriars’ Gate in Much Park Street.

Initial work on the Grade II listed building involves repairing the roof, stonework, windows and doors as well as securing the fabric of the building.

The restoration programme is under way and will take five months to complete.

It is part of a wider project to convert Whitefriars’ Gate into visitor accommodation and office space under the existing planning and listed building consent from Coventry City Council.

The building is a 14th-century postern gatehouse of Whitefriars Monastery, the Carmelite Friary adjacent to the London Road ring road roundabout.

The gatehouse and the main friary buildings passed into the ownership of John Hales in 1538 during the dissolution of the monasteries.

After Much Park Street suffered bomb damage during the Second World War, the other surviving medieval buildings were relocated to Spon Street, leaving Whitefriars gatehouse.

Former city councillor and potter Ron Morgan was the building’s last resident, and his love of children’s toys led him to open the building as a museum between 1973 and 2007.

The adjacent part of the building suffered fire damage in 2009 but despite being repaired it has been empty and unused ever since.

Coun David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Heritage at Coventry City Council, said: “We have been working with Historic Coventry Trust on several projects, including Charterhouse, Drapers’ Hall and Lychgate Cottages and the standards of restoration work are excellent.

“I’m sure with the same attention to detail the Trust will be able to breathe new life into Whitefriars’ Gate.

“We all have fond memories of the building when it was the Toy Museum and it will be great to see it back in use.”

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