Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Coventry, a midland city and county, parliamentary and municipal borough, and market town of Warwickshire, on the Sherbourne, a tributary of the Avon, 18 miles S.E. Birmingham, and 94 N.W. London. The town is in part ancient, and has some good old timber-fronted houses. There are some fine public buildings, among them St. Michael's church - said to be the largest parish church in England - with a spire 300 feet high, Trinity church with a spire of 237 feet, and St. Mary's fourteenth-century hall, notable for its ornamental work, its carved oak roof, its tapestry, and fine painted window. There is a free public library, and the cemetery is one of the most beantiful in England. Owing to its central position Coventry is well placed for commerce, and besides its railway communication it is well served by canals, the Coventry canal joining the Oxford canal. The principal industries are cotton, woollen, worsted, and art-metal work, with silk dyeing, while its ribbons and watches are widely renowned, and of late years it has become the chief seat for the manufacture of bicycles and tricycles. Till the Restoration the city had walls, but these were destroyed in Charles II.'s time as a punishment to Coventry for having sided against the king in the Civil war. There are ruins of a Benedictine priory founded (1043) by Earl Leofric and the Lady Godiva, the name of the latter being also kept alive by the procession which perpetuates the memory of her gaining freedom from taxation for the town-folk by riding naked through the streets in the manner and under the conditions described by Tennyson in a well-known poem. Here, too, took place the trial by wager of battle between the Dukes of Hereford and Norfolk in the reign of Richard II. Mary Stuart was for a time imprisoned here. There is a statue of Stanley, the introducer of the modern tricycle. The parliamentary borough returns one member.