Monday, 20 July 2020

Uncovered mosaic to be part of Coventry city centre revamp

source - BBC News

Uncovered mosaic to be part of Coventry city centre revamp

Back to Coventry again now for more good news on the heritage front with the remarkable discovery, during regeneration of the city centre, of a two century-old mosaic that was once part of a long-demolished public house The White Lion Inn.

The White Lion Inn, Smithford Street – from murderous deeds to philanthropic endeavour

source - Coventry Telegraph

Having survived being buried under a shopping precinct for over 65 years, not to mention making it through World War Two and the Coventry Blitz with only minor damage, the future of this rare piece of local history seems to be assured with the council rightly seeking to preserve it by incorporating it into the design of the new shopping centre.

The attitude of the councillors involved is a welcome one and I am pleased to see that they recognise the importance of this small piece of prewar history and the necessity of preserving it for generations to come.  It is perhaps because Coventry suffered so badly during the war that this attitude is so prevalent, as Councillor O'Boyle's comment shows.  With so much of the city's buildings destroyed on the night of the 14th-15th November 1940 (and much of the city rebuilt postwar) anything that has survived through to today is of special importance and I can well imagine that finds like this will be taken to the hearts of Coventrians who will no doubt be engaged by this rare glimpse into their city's past.

I for one am also delighted that this charming-looking mosaic is to be made part of a modern redevelopment in such a sympathetic way, as well as noting that a later 1960s-era statue is also to be restored to the Upper Precinct once the regeneration is complete.  What with this and Coventry Rebuilt virtual history app previously mentioned on this blog it would seem that the history of Coventry is in safe hands and destined to show future generations in both Coventry and around the world the past times of this noted city.

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