Today, Mon 16th May Open 10:00am–4:00pm
Coventry Cathedral is open as normal today
General visiting times: Mon-Sat 10:00am–4:00pm
Sun 12:30pm–3:00pm

Ruin to renewal

A journey from broken majesty, to the renewal of hope

The architect of the new cathedral, Sir Basil Spence, was keen that all visitors (including you) should enter via the main entrance to the Ruin, off Cuckoo Lane. Only after seeing the charred remains of what was a magnificent building, together with its moving artefacts, should you then walk across and into the New Cathedral (where another transformation awaits).

This journey is central to Spence’s original concept. The Ruin is a powerful reminder of both man’s inhumanity to man and of Provost Howard’s determination to seek reconciliation, not revenge. It is a reminder which would have been lost had The Ruin been simply demolished and replaced, as all of the competing architects, Spence aside, had proposed.

The image below shows the New Cathedral's Baptistry Window, at the foot of which is a large boulder, shipped from Bethlehem in 1960. The top of the boulder features the Cathedral's baptismal font - a focus of new beginnings - carved into it by Ralph Beyer (1921-2008). Beyer was a letter carver and sculptor who was commissioned to carve nave inscriptions for the new Cathedral. The Tablets of the Word, on the walls of the nave, and startling inscription set into the floor as you enter the new Cathedral, are the work of Beyer and his team.

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