So what did you do in lockdown? Lose or put on weight? Realise just how difficult it is to play a musical instrument? Discover or rediscover cookery or gardening? Decorate? Realise that teachers probably do need and deserve those long summer holidays? Write half a chapter of the book you’ve been talking about writing for years and then sink back in front of the telly? Or just carry on working the job you’ve been doing for years with no change apart from having to put up with all your mates keep telling you what they’ve been doing with all this time they have on their hands?
Well without doubt, the person who from a Coventry perspective has won first prize in lockdown is Peter Garbett, who decided that the best use of his time, which was eight hours a day seven days a week, would be to build a model of Coventry, from 1509.
Back in March, Peter told the Evening Telegraph why he chose 1509:
“Henry VIII had just come to just come to the throne, so he hadn’t started his destructive bit, taking down the churches and things. Coventry at that point had built all its walls, they were all in place and all its gates were pristine.”
“We also had some fantastic Tudor buildings, like Bablake Hospital and Ford’s Hospital in England, and I wanted to include those into into into the timeline. So 1509 was just about the best time I could, I could get to without, you know, losing some of the stuff you know. So it’s a great time.”
At the time he said that
“I just want to get it into somewhere where it can be properly displayed, and everybody can come and see it and get some enjoyment out of it. I think people would get a lot of enjoyment from going and seeing it.”
Well it might not have a permanent place to be displayed as of yet, but for now you can go down to the Central Library and see it through May and June.
Besides picking out the buildings that are still there, surely the thing that most people will do is stand in awe at the sheer scale of St Marys Cathedral, and how it dwarves not only Holy Trinity, which it literally hidden behind it from some angles, but also St Michaels Church, which would go on to become the Cathedral and then Cathedral Ruins.
Here’s hoping that a permanent place for it to be displayed will be found soon.
The map which appears at the start of the video forms part of the colouring book “Coventry’s Medieval Story”, by Peter R Wilford, available from the Herbert Museum.
3 thoughts on “The most useful thing to come out of lockdown – a model of Coventry in 1509”
Fantastic piece of work from my little brother who is passionate about Coventry and deserves all the credit that comes to him
This topic has always fascinated me as a child as we did it at school , still continuing to do so today and I’m 70 now