After more than 30 years shut, this impressive Regency hall in the heart of historic Coventry is being repurposed and reinvigorated as an intimate venue for music and music education.
The Grade II* listed Drapers’ Hall is one of the few Regency buildings in the city and was built in 1831-2 as the headquarters of the Coventry Drapers’ Guild.
The current building is the third Drapers’ Hall on the site, replacing the previous medieval and post-medieval buildings which the wealthy Guild of Drapers constructed as places to do business, to socialise and to hold events.
Designed by Thomas Rickman and H W Hutchinson, the current building is in Greek Revival style and consists of a series of grand ceremonial spaces lit by rooflights: a Ballroom, Tea Room and Reading Room. Each of these has decorative plaster ceilings and chimneypieces. In the basement the original kitchens, plate store, wine store and sculleries survive with all their fittings. Parts of the basement were also used as air raid shelters in both World Wars.
The building was last used as a youth magistrates’ court over 30 years ago. Working with The Princes’ Foundation, Historic Coventry Trust is restoring the building as a home for Coventry Music Service and a music and events venue.
This project is supported by funding from Alan Edward Higgs Charity, Arts Council England, Coventry City Council Cultural Capital Fund, Coventry Drapers, Foyle Foundation, Garfield Weston, London Drapers, The Prince’s Foundation, Swire Charitable Trust and Wolfson Foundation.
The Hall’s grand and historic spaces are available for hire.