A TIMELINE OF THE HISTORY OF COVENTRY

By Tim Lambert

1043 Earl Leofric and his wife Godiva found a Benedictine monastery at Coventry

1086 Coventry has a population of about 350

c. 1234 Franciscan friars (called grey friars because of the colour of their costumes) arrive in Coventry

1335 onward Stone walls are built around Coventry

1340 The merchants of Coventry are formed into a guild to protect their interests

1342 Carmelite friars (white friars) arrive in Coventry

1345 Coventry is given a charter (a document granting the townspeople certain rights)

1380 Coventry has a population of nearly 5,000 making it a large town by the standards of the time. Coventry is famous for its wool industry.

1520 Coventry has a population of 6,601

1538 Henry VIII closes the friaries in Coventry

1545 Coventry grammar school opens

1603 Coventry suffers a severe outbreak of plague

1647 The phrase 'sent to Coventry' is first recorded

1662 Charles II orders the demolition of the walls around Coventry

1741 The wool industry in Coventry is rapidly declining although silk ribbon weaving is booming. Coventry gains its first newspaper.

1790 Night watchmen patrol the streets of Coventry

1793 A dispensary where the poor can obtain free medicines opens

1801 The population of Coventry is 16,000

1820 Coventry gains gas light

1838 The railway reaches Coventry. The Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital opens.

1847 A cemetery opens

1851 The population of Coventry is 37,000

1860 Silk ribbon weaving goes into a steep decline

1871 A smallpox epidemic kills 166 people in Coventry

1889 Coventry City Football Club is founded. The first telephone exchange opens.

1895 The first electricity generating station opens. Electric trams run in the streets.

1897 The first cars are made in Coventry

1901 The population of Coventry is 62,000

1902 An ambulance service begins in Coventry

1910 The first cinemas open in Coventry

1916 G.E.C. begin making electrical goods in Coventry

1917 The first council houses are built in Coventry

1919 The church of St Michael is made a cathedral

1921 War Memorial Park opens

1928 The boundaries of Coventry are extended

1940-41 Coventry suffers severely from German bombing

1948 Princess Elizabeth lays the foundations stone of a new city centre

1958 Belgrade Theatre opens

1960 The first mosque in Coventry is built. Herbert Art Gallery and Museum is built.

1970 Coventry Polytechnic is founded. A Toy Museum opens

1975 Midland Air Museum opens

1990 Cathedral Lanes Shopping Centre opens

1991 West Orchards Shopping Centre opens

1992 Coventry Polytechnic is made a university

2000 Skydome Leisure Centre opens

2003 Millennium Place opens. The population of Coventry is 300,0000.

A history of Coventry

A timeline of Keresley

A timeline of Birmingham

A timeline of Tamworth

A timeline of Leicester

A Timeline of Northampton

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