City walls

Reflecting its commercial and strategic importance, in 1355 construction began on city walls, a vast and expensive undertaking funded by local tolls and taxes, and for which King Richard II allowed stone to be quarried from his park in Cheylesmore. The building started at New Gate and was initially finished in around 1400, but much repair work and re-routing was still to be carried out and its final form was not completed until 1534. They were an impressive feature; measuring nearly 2.2 miles (3.5 km) around and consisted of two red sandstone walls infilled with rubble over 8 feet (2.4 m) thick and 12 feet (3.7 m) high, with 32 towers including 12 gatehouses. With its walls, Coventry was described as being the best-defended city in England outside London.