Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

Coventry Cathedral

675 of 1169 nominations


Coventry Cathedral

Is this an icon?


Coventry Cathedral

The special history of Coventry Cathedral has made it a unique modern-day symbol of faith, trust and hope. The medieval cathedral, also known as St. Michael’s or the old cathedral, was badly damaged by Luftwaffe bombs on the night of 14 November 1940. Five hundred and sixty-eight people died in Coventry that night, and the cathedral was reduced to an empty shell. The ruins were preserved and a new cathedral, designed by Sir Basil Spence and consecrated in 1962, was built alongside it.

A powerful reminder of the Christian principles of death and resurrection, the ruins and the modern building create a single living cathedral. The modern design of the new building caused controversy when it was built, but it’s widely regarded now as a 20th-century masterpiece and is filled with iconic art – including a Graham Sutherland tapestry, a statue by Sir Jacob Epstein, and a stained glass window by John Piper.


Your comments

A poignant symbol of reconstruction after the 2nd World War and now famous worldwide as a symbol of peace and reconciliation.

Avtar Taggar

This is one of the most moving religious spaces in the world. Criticism of Coventry has become a tired cultural cliche; and says more about post-war Britain's failed relationship with modernism than the city itself. Tedious critics have carried on where the Luftwaffe left off. The Cathedral is a simple, yet sublime space, perfectly integrated with the City's past. I wish more modern building could share its beautiful, functional, durable essence.
John Thornhill

It is truly an amazing structure - something modern yet beautiful - which does not fail to challenge you every time you re-visit it. The ruins of the bombed out Medaeval Cathedral are linked seamlessly to the new building - thorugh the entirely glass front which is covered with amazing hand engraved angels. A very Iconic building of which we should all be proud.
Robert Bradshaw

View All Comments (3)



I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer