The property known as No.11 Priory Row (now St Michael’s House) has a long and diverse history. It has served many purposes, from family home to offices. Almost completely destroyed in the 1940 bombing of Coventry, the façade, cellars and annex building known as No.10A are the only parts to remain original. The property is now one of two Grade II listed Georgian fronted buildings in the city.
No. 11 Priory Row was purchased in 1721 by David Wells, who built a town house on the site. It was sold in 1741, and from that point on saw a number of different owners and tenants. From 1890 it was owned by various commercial organisations before being purchased in 1936 by William Coker Iliffe, whose father founded the Coventry Evening Telegraph, with the intent to restore the house.
Following the Blitz of Coventry on 14 November 1940, all but the façade, cellars and No. 10A were destroyed. Following Iliffe’s death in 1942, the trustees of his estate were left with the task of preserving the house. A long struggle with the City Corporation ensued but in 1952 permission was given to begin rebuilding, and in December of 1956 the Lord Mayor of Coventry opened the newly renovated house. The Cathedral acquired the building in 1966 and it was used for office space before becoming the deanery. In 2011 the decision was made to rename the building St Michael’s House and dedicate it to be a space for learning and reconciliation. For more information on our plans for the house please visit the Conservation page.