The Anonymous Widower

The Destroyed and the New

I went to the football at Coventry today and as I was a bit early, I went into the city centre to see the two cathedrals; the destroyed mediaeval one and the new building created in the late 1950s to replace it.

The Two Cathedrals

The Two Cathedrals

The new one was designed by Basil Spence and is unusual in that it is aligned north and south, so that it is at right-angles to the old cathedral.

The New Coventry Cathedral

The New Coventry Cathedral

The sculpture is by Sir Jacob Epstein and portrays St. Michael’s victory over the devil.

Inside the Old Coventry Cathedral

Inside the Old Coventry Cathedral

The tower still functions as a bell tower, but only it and the walls remain after bombing of the 14th November, 1940. One notice on the walls said that one of the reasons it all came down, was that the heat was so intense the iron supports put in to make it stronger, twisted and destroyed the roof. So perhaps ancient builders did know a lot more than we give them credit for.

Ecce Homo - Sir Jacob Epstein

Ecce Homo - Sir Jacob Epstein

This is another piece of sculture by Sir Jacob Epstein.  It is called Ecce Homo.

Reconciliation - Josefina de Vasconcellos

Reconciliation - Josefina de Vasconcellos

This is another of several pieces of sculture in the nave of the old cathedral. One poingnent piece was made by an 18 year old schoolbay, who lost his life in the war.

Alain John's Statue of Christ

Alain John's Statue of Christ

The inscription under the statue reads.

This is a second casting, in concrete of a statue at Blundell’s School in Devon. It was created by an 18 year old pupil, Alain John. The Headmaster, Neville Corton, later became Bishop of Coventry and on the death of Alain John, an RAF navigator, in 1943 at the age of 23, the statue was recast for Coventry as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the war.

The Window Between the Two Cathedrals

The Window Between the Two Cathedrals

As it was Sunday, I didn’t venture into the new cathedral, but I did take this shot of the window that effectively separates the new from the destroyed.

Let’s hope we do not see such destruction again.  But I suspect we will!

August 9, 2009 - Posted by | World | , , ,


  1. […] in the last post on Coventry Cathedral, I have spelt mediaeval with an extra […]

    Pingback by Diphthongs « The Anonymous Widower | August 9, 2009 | Reply

  2. […] a mental note that if I had moved to London by then, I would go and visit the cathedral, as it is a mystical place, where I could contemplate the death of my wife and son. I thought too, that I might sample a good […]

    Pingback by What I Had Intended to Do Yesterday! « The Anonymous Widower | January 2, 2011 | Reply

  3. […] shed a tear this time, I did think of her when I passed.  It may not be as well known as Coventry, but to me this church is an important memorial to those who died. 52.245212 […]

    Pingback by The Bombed-Out Church « The Anonymous Widower | March 19, 2011 | Reply

  4. […] It is certainly a different approach to that used at Coventry Cathedral. […]

    Pingback by The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church « The Anonymous Widower | May 5, 2014 | Reply

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