The Destroyed and the New
I went to the football at Coventry today and as I was a bit early, I went into the city centre to see the two cathedrals; the destroyed mediaeval one and the new building created in the late 1950s to replace it.
The new one was designed by Basil Spence and is unusual in that it is aligned north and south, so that it is at right-angles to the old cathedral.
The sculpture is by Sir Jacob Epstein and portrays St. Michael’s victory over the devil.
The tower still functions as a bell tower, but only it and the walls remain after bombing of the 14th November, 1940. One notice on the walls said that one of the reasons it all came down, was that the heat was so intense the iron supports put in to make it stronger, twisted and destroyed the roof. So perhaps ancient builders did know a lot more than we give them credit for.
This is another piece of sculture by Sir Jacob Epstein. It is called Ecce Homo.
This is another of several pieces of sculture in the nave of the old cathedral. One poingnent piece was made by an 18 year old schoolbay, who lost his life in the war.
The inscription under the statue reads.
This is a second casting, in concrete of a statue at Blundell’s School in Devon. It was created by an 18 year old pupil, Alain John. The Headmaster, Neville Corton, later became Bishop of Coventry and on the death of Alain John, an RAF navigator, in 1943 at the age of 23, the statue was recast for Coventry as a memorial to those who lost their lives in the war.
As it was Sunday, I didn’t venture into the new cathedral, but I did take this shot of the window that effectively separates the new from the destroyed.
Let’s hope we do not see such destruction again. But I suspect we will!