Cash for tourist makeover of Coventry's historic cottages - The Coventry Observer

13th Aug, 2022

Cash for tourist makeover of Coventry's historic cottages

John Carlon 17th Jan, 2020

HISTORIC cottages in Coventry City Centre are closer to becoming tourist accommodation, with a grant of £350,000.

The Architectural Heritage Fund has given the cash to the Historic Coventry Trust.

Newly formed to take over heritage properties, the trust is preparing to renovate the Lychgate Cottages on Priory Row.

The three cottages will provide somewhere to stay for visitors during City of Culture 2021.

Coventry City Council, which owns the houses, recently charged the Historic Coventry Trust with renovating and managing the cottages.

Coventry Prayer House has occupied the houses since 2010 – the faith group was forced to find space elsewhere in the city after the council ended their tenancy.

The Architectural Heritage Fund described Lychgate Cottages as “three remarkable close-studded timber frame properties dating from around 1415 and the only upstanding building surviving from the 12th century St Mary’s Priory complex.

“Historic Coventry Trust intend to revive a national important heritage asset, making the properties accessible to the community and visitors to the city, and providing much needed visitor accommodation in the lead up to Coventry City of Culture 2021.”

Though the timbers date from the 14th century, historians say the cottages were built in the 1640s as one large property.

The trust is also set to receive £150,000 – The fund said it gave the money for ‘the national demonstrator project for High Street Heritage Action Zones at Hales Street, the 14th-century Swanswell and Cook Street Gates (the only two of the medieval gates to survive), the late-medieval Charterhouse site and the 19th-century Greek Revival Drapers’ Hall.

‘These projects will be restored and adapted to create exciting new commercial and public spaces, events venues and unique visitor attractions in time for Coventry’s 2021 City of Culture year.’

Ian Harrabin, Chairman of Historic Coventry Trust, said: “These are two very different awards but both will be of great benefit to the city.

“Historic Coventry Trust is a lean but ambitious organisation and we have got lots to achieve over the next couple of years. Obviously handling such important and varied projects requires a wide range of skills and is time-intensive, so the Heritage Development Pilot Grant of £150,000 will help us build and sustain those capabilities.

“The £350,000 towards 3-5 Priory Row is a massive boost towards transforming these three 15th Century buildings into unique visitor accommodation while respecting their architectural merit and outstanding historical importance.”

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