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St Michael's Coventry

The Rise and Fall of the Old Cathedral

George Demidowicz, Heather Gilderdale Scott and Jonathan Foyle (Introduction)

ISBN: 978 1 85759 929 9
Size: 270 x 240 mm / 10½ x 9½ in.
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 128
Images: 145

UK £19.95 / US $29.95


•    Written by specially commissioned experts
•    Illustrated with carefully selected historical material, some of it previously unpublished, and with specially commissioned new photography
•    Introduction by Dr Jonathan Foyle, Chief Executive of World Monuments Fund Britain



The old cathedral of St Michael become known throughout the world, ironically, as a result of its devastation in a World War Two air raid, in November 1940, and its subsequent resurrection as an intrinsic part of the inspiration for new Coventry Cathedral and a symbol of peace and reconciliation. Previously one of the largest parish churches in the country, elevated to cathedral status as late as 1918, it was a superb example of the fifteenth-century Gothic architectural style, with its magnificent tower and spire, and notable collection of medieval stained glass.

This celebratory and richly illustrated volume is based on a conservation plan commissioned by the World Monuments Fund Britain, tracing the long history of the church and offering an architectural and artistic appreciation of what was constructed and what remains.


George Demidowicz is an architectural historian and buildings and landscape consultant; Heather Gilderdale Scott is an art historian specialising in medieval stained glass; Dr Jonathan Foyle is an architectural historian, broadcaster and advocate for heritage sites. 


"Before the Blitz, the church of St Michael, Coventry, was a wonder. Now it is receiving well-deserved attention… As ruins go, the old cathedral of St Michael, Coventry is towering. The 295ft spire is the tallest among medieval English cathedrals after Salisbury and Norwich… Some 5,000 pieces of medieval glass remain in store… There’s a section on the glass and an explanation of the history of the old cathedral, with fine colour photographs, in St Michael’s Coventry by George Demidowicz and Heather Gilderdale Scott, in the enterprising Scala series."
Christopher Howse in The Telegraph (London), 23 June 2015

"What a find!"
John Humphries on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, 16 July 2015