Ruins of St Michael, Coventry Cathedral

Change project:

Changing the Face of Coventry

Seventy years after the bombing, the ruins of the former Cathedral Church of St Michael, Coventry have begun to crack open and urgent help is needed to repair the fabric. The loss of the ruins is inconceivable, which led to their inclusion on the 2012 World Monuments Watch of the world’s most imperilled historic sites.

The atmospheric medieval ruins have become a spiritual beacon for the nation and an important landmark for the community. World Monuments Fund is now working in partnership with Coventry Cathedral to safeguard and reinvigorate this evocative place.

The project will protect the ruins, open the crypts beneath and display the faces in beautiful salvaged stained glass. Repairing, replanning and optimising the ancient fabric of the Cathedral Quarter will see that its character is restored and enhanced for a better future.

Phase 1
Urgent stabilisation works to prevent collapse

Target: £581,036

Raised to date: £351,420

Funds still required: £229,616

The need for preventative conservation has been highlighted recently by a large crack which has appeared in the south-west corner of the ruin. Since then the results of a five-yearly investigation into the condition of the ruins has confirmed that urgent repairs are needed in several areas to prevent further deterioration of the structure.

The first phase of these vital repairs is focused on these areas; work will include repairing crumbled masonry, providing coping to wall-caps and re-routing drainage.

Funding was secured to start work on the critical repairs to the South West corner, which will be completed by November 2012. Funding is still required undertake the remaining urgent work throughout the ruins.

A Vision for the Future

Target: £71, 510

Raised to date: £71,510

Funds still required: Now fully funded

To realise our vision, wide consultation needs to take place on how the ruins can be best conserved and how the space can be transformed. This will lead to a comprehensive Conservation Management Plan. This is essential to shape future phases of the project.

Specialist consultants have been commissioned to undertake detailed surveys to produce reports - Heritage Asset Analysis, Business Plan, Environmental Plan, and Learning Strategy - to understand fully the site and the opportunities. These important reports will help shape the future of the site, looking into sustainable options to secure its future alongside maximising the benefits to locals and visitors alike.

Unveiling Hidden Treasures

Target: £225,695

Raised to date: £181,505

Funds still required: £44,190

Make a donation

Coventry Cathedral is home to an amazing collection of medieval glass dating from the 15th century. This rare collection is thought to be the work of the city’s renowned medieval glass artist John Thornton. It reveals the faces of Coventry’s medieval forebears and gives a stunning insight into the incredible skill used in the making of stained glass.

The first phase of the highly skilled cleaning of the stained glass started in August 2012. WMF is partnering with the University of Lincoln’s conservation department and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum to showcase the activity throughout the summer in an exciting live ‘conservation in action’ to enable the public to view the previously unseen glass, watch the conservation in progress and meet conservators.
Further details are available at

Total Phase 1

Target: £878,241

Raised to date: £604,435 thanks to generous supporters

Funds still required: £273,806

The second phase of this scheme will focus on completing the programme of urgent repairs and revealing the hidden secrets of the crypt chapels beneath the ruins.


Image gallery

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1. The iconic ruins of St. Michael's, Coventry

1. The iconic ruins of St. Michael's, Coventry.


Coventry is famed for its three cathedrals.

The crack is clearly visible.