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