Thursday Doors – When Is A Door Not A Door?

IMG_2594Sorry, I don’t have a snappy punchline πŸ˜€ Instead I have a door – or, to be more precise, a doorway. The door is long gone, the doorway bricked over and its only ornament a crown of green. But once there was a door here, probably nine hundred years or so ago.

IMG_2613This is the corner of St Mary’s Cathedral, Coventry, the first cathedral to exist in the city. The original monastery on the site was built in 1043 by Leofric and Godiva (yes, that Godiva), Earl and Lady of Mercia at that time. The cathedral was completed about two hundred years later, and remained there until the 16th century, when good old Henry VIII, busy dissolving monasteries around the country, ordered it destroyed.

IMG_2606In 1856, the Blue Coats School built a new school building on the site, incorporating part of the ruins in the base – this is what you can see here, the newer red brick contrasting with the ancient stones of the old cathedral. The rest of the cathedral was buried, gradually, only bits and pieces remaining above ground.

IMG_2616Then, in 1999, Time Team were invited to Coventry to excavate St Mary’s. The archaeology was so good that the TV show broke their rule of staying only three days on one site and stayed an extra day, eventually discovering a long-forgotten burial chamber containing the bones of one of Coventry’s first priors. A subsequent visit revealed more artifacts, and their excavation is preserved, the ancient cathedral site revealed once more.

This is my entry to this week’s Thursday Doors Challenge, courtesy of Norm 2.0. For more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s site and click the link.

 

37 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – When Is A Door Not A Door?

  1. Great pictures, Helen! I really need to get up to Coventry to explore. Haven’t been for years, except to the industrial areas…which isn’t quite the same.

    1. Thanks, Sue – there are some wonderful gems hidden around the town centre. The Guildhall is particularly fine – I took loads of photos there as well. It’s an interesting place to explore πŸ™‚ You never know, we might be there at the same time one day…

    1. Yes. It feels like the energy is blocked. Same with bricked up or boarded windows – it changes everything. There are entrances around the other side still open – part of the original crypt. It’s an interesting place – I have a photo of it years ago where most of it was still underground, you could just see the tops of the columns around the edges.

      1. For over a thousand years, the ancient evil remained walled up behind a blessed doorway at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

        In the summer of 2016, an overzealous archaeologist detected something behind the wall using electromagnetic sounding equipment…

      2. I like where this is going πŸ™‚
        …entering through the old crypt, the archaeologist made their way through the vaulted chambers, footsteps echoing as they headed deeper into the dark…

      3. We really should πŸ™‚
        … the smell grew stronger, but with a hint of something darker, like smoke from a funeral pyre. All at once the archaeologist was aware of the great weight of stone pressing down from above…

    1. Yes, it was awesome. They also came back for a follow-up visit, as it’s such an interesting site. I must find the photo I have from years ago showing it before they excavated it.

  2. Some great pictures. Especially the one taken of St Mary’s Cathedral, Coventry. It looks as though a person has been caught urinating on the walls and has been turned to stone as punishment. (or maybe I need a visit to specsavers?)

    1. Ha ha, that’s an excellent description – there might even be a story in it, The Curse of St Mary’s or something like that πŸ˜€. Thanks for your comment, glad you enjoyed the photos!

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