Team Weaver’s House explore more Coventry heritage
Last weekend saw a bumper day in terms of local historical interest, and as it wasn’t one of our own Open Days, we got out and about to enjoy some of Coventry’s other heritage gems. Like The Weaver’s House, volunteers have played a huge role in these sites.
First up was the CET Building.
The former HQ of Coventry Telegraph (the E bit comes from when it had Evening in the title) this fifties building was a labyrinthine delight of glossy mid-century detailing and industrial post-apocalyptic neglect.
It’s been empty for over ten years but now there are plans to restore it as a fifties styled boutique hotel. Before that, volunteers have turned it into a temporary gallery space with the option to tour the rest of the building including the massive press in the basement.
Here are a few pictures from our explorations:
Upstairs, we got a great view of the Belgrade Theatre, another iconic 50s building.
The tour was self-guided, so we were able to go at our own pace and enjoy all the details. We looked around the upstairs offices with lots of original features.
There was a lot to see across this huge site – offices, newsroom, social spaces and even an onsite flat. Once through this area it was downstairs into the corridors of the basement where everything starts to look more industrial and a bit creepy. With workplaces looking like they had just been left it had the feel of being suddenly abandoned like the plot of so many horror movies… especially in the cavernous area of the printing press itself.
Once through the basement the tour leads back to the lobby and exhibition space and free coffee.
Be aware that when visiting much of the building is not currently accessible as the lifts aren’t functional and some areas can only be accessed by stairs.
There are many more photos available on the Facebook page where you can also follow the latest updates to the restoration as well as exhibition and events info. A really fascinating insight into part of Coventry’s recent history – take the opportunity to visit whilst it’s available…
Next up was the Priory Visitor Centre.
This has been closed for over a year and this was its official opening ceremony as a social enterprise. A lot of hard work has gone into reopening the building and it was time to celebrate!
Right in the heart of the city centre and directly adjacent to the other two Cathedrals, the Priory is a little oasis of calm.
As part of the reopening celebrations, special guests included Lady Godiva and the ‘Deep Fat Friar’ who can usually be found guiding people around the city wall and something we’re hoping to join another week!
It was great to see the centre open again and we were impressed with the knowledge and enthusiasm of the volunteers.
The Undercroft area which famously featured on Time Team is a truly fascinating insight into Coventry’s history and you can find out how to get to see this area as well as more about the project on the Facebook page.
From then, we went up to the re-enactment at Charterhouse – but we’ll save that for another post!