Visitors from across the Midlands, the UK and the world are now able to stay in some of Coventry’s most ancient buildings.
Six historic buildings have been launched as boutique holiday and visitor accommodation, providing a unique place to stay in the heart of the city.
Historic Coventry Trust has painstakingly refurbished and converted the two last surviving Gates in the city wall and a terrace of timber framed cottages in Priory Row as part of a £1.75 million partnership project with Coventry City Council.
The ancient buildings, which have been vacant for decades, were built between 1385 and 1440 and are precious and rare survivors of the city’s medieval past.
Graham Tait, Assistant Director of the Historic Coventry Trust, said the accommodation would give a welcome boost to the city’s visitor economy.
“The quality and craftsmanship of the restoration is exceptional and the design combines all of the character of the ancient buildings with all of the benefits of modern living,” he said. “High speed WiFi, rainfall showers, stylish kitchens and comfy sofas are a long way from life in the 1300s.
“The unique nature of these properties will give visitors an added reason – should they need one – to travel to Coventry during its year as UK City of Culture and is another fantastic legacy from this truly memorable moment in time for arts and culture in the region.”
Historic Coventry Trust is a Heritage Development Trust, one of only seven in England funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund, which has helped to fund the project along with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, the Council’s Cultural Capital Investment Fund and the Government’s Getting Building Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP).
The four properties in Priory Row can cater for groups from two to six, while the Cook Street and Swanswell Gates can both accommodate two people.
Richard Harrison, of No Ordinary Hospitality Management – the company behind Coombe Abbey Hotel – said they are expecting demand to be high to stay in these incredible historic venues in Coventry city centre. He said:
“It is really exciting and a true credit to the vision of Historic Coventry Trust to have restored six of the city’s most important historic buildings.
“This will give visitors from all corners of the UK and the globe the opportunity to enjoy a memorable stay in the heart of the Midlands particularly during UK City of Culture.
“It will be the perfect combination of modern luxury accommodation while soaking up the medieval past.”
Councillor David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Heritage at Coventry City Council, added:
“I’m delighted to see these great historical landmarks transformed and brought back into use.
“The Council is working closely with Historic Coventry Trust, and the buildings are among more than a dozen impressive cultural capital schemes that are underway or completed, with more than £40m of external investment.
“The restoration of the cottages and the two City Gates has been amazing to see and will expand the city’s rich cultural offer, for residents and visitors, even further.”
Helen Peters, chair of CWLEP’s culture and tourism business group, said:
“The Getting Building Fund is making a real difference to projects throughout Coventry and Warwickshire and it is great that visitors can now book to stay at these wonderful properties.
“This is reflected in CWLEP’s Reimagining Our Communities focus in Coventry and towns throughout Warwickshire in our Strategic Reset Framework to introduce initiatives which will encourage visitors to fall in love with the places we know are fantastic when they stay here.
“It makes such a difference to the visitor economy to be able to offer people unique places to stay when visiting events like the UK City of Culture, because it will encourage them to not only extend their time in the area but to return in the future, hopefully for the Commonwealth Games 2022, when the Coventry Building Society Arena will be a hosting the wrestling, judo and rugby sevens .”
Bookings can be made at www.historiccoventrytrust.org.uk/stay-with-us/