Urban Oases: Ruins of St Michael’s Cathedral, Coventry

The oldest parts of St Michael’s date from the early 14th century. Until given cathedral status in 1918, it was the largest parish church in the country with a towering 295ft spire; now only this and the basic framework remain, the roof having met its end with the first of many incendiary bombs that hit the building on November 14 1940. With Basil Spence’s proudly modern New Cathedral now looming over its crippled counterpart, the humbling experience of standing among these fragile remains becomes a positive one, of progress in the face of adversity.

This snippet was published as part of The Guardian’s Urban Oases supplement, July 2005  

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