Major buildings

By the 15th century, the size of the city had become more-or-less fixed and its streets and main buildings had largely been completed. Within the city walls were a number of impressive churches: in addition to Holy Trinity, by this time considerably enlarged; and St.Michael's which had been rebuilt as one of the largest parish churches in England with a magnificent tower and spire; the nearby priory with its cathedral church now dominated the scene and is thought to have possibly had three spires itself. The church of the greyfriars (later Christ Church) also had a spire, while the guild church of St. John the Baptist at Bablake had a short square tower. The whitefriars or Carmelites had a church not far from the remains of their friary, and there was also a church that belonged to the hospital of St. John. The Guest House on the corner of Palmer Lane provided lodgings for pilgrims to the priory, and there were numerous inns in the city to cater to the needs of travellers, merchants and local inhabitants.

 

In 1465 the Coventry mint was established where nobles, half-nobles and groats were coined, but was disbanded a few years later, and the Golden Cross inn, built in 1583, now occupies the site. St. Mary's Hall, a guildhall built and extended 1340–1460, served as the combined headquarters of the united guilds of the Holy Trinity, St. Mary, St. John the Baptist and St. Katherine. Following the suppression of guilds in 1547, for a time it served as the city's armoury and (until 1822) its treasury, as well as the headquarters for administration for the city council until a new Council House was officially opened in 1920.

 

Coventry's famous "Three Spires"; belonging to St. Michael's (300 ft / 91 m), Holy Trinity (about 230 ft / 70 m) and Christ Church (Greyfriars, just over 200 ft / 61 m), dominated the skyline and would have been an impressive and easily recognized landmark for travellers and visitors to the city, as well as being visible from some distance.

 

When he visited Coventry c. 1540, the noted antiquarian John Leland was impressed by the "many fayre towers in the waulle" and "stately churches in the harte and midle of the towne" as well as its "many fayre stretes...well buyldyd with tymbar.

 

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