Giving a heritage gem back to the people

A charity spearheading the restoration of a jewel in Coventry’s heritage crown has received an early Christmas present from Allchurches Trust.

Historic Coventry Trust has benefited from a £125,000 grant towards restoring The Charterhouse, its walled gardens and grounds in Coventry.

The grant means Historic Coventry Trust is only £50,000 off its £8 million target towards opening a heritage visitor centre and educational attraction at the Grade I listed 14th Century Carthusian monastery, as well as creating the first 30 acres of a planned 70-acre Heritage Park.

The opening of the site is due to coincide with Coventry being UK City of Culture in 2021. It will also include creating interactive displays charting the extensive history of The Charterhouse, which was founded by King Richard II in 1385, recreating two monks’ cells set in the walled garden, restoring the coach house into a wedding and conference venue and launching a café.

Paul Playford, Grants Officer at Allchurches Trust, said: “The Charterhouse is one of Coventry’s historic treasures but, in many respects, it has been a hidden gem for too long.

“We’re delighted to support this project to restore it to its former glory, not only because it will preserve an important heritage asset for future generations but also because it will be returned to the local community, providing new leisure and learning opportunities and boosting wellbeing through some really exciting partnerships.”

Ian Harrabin, Chairman of the Historic Coventry Trust which is working with Coventry City Council on the ambitious project, said: “It is great news as we head into the festive break that we have been successful in our application for a £125,000 grant from Allchurches Trust.

“This sum will help towards preserving one of Coventry’s – and the UK’s – finest heritage properties because The Charterhouse is one of only two Carthusian Monasteries with significant remains in the UK, and its 15th and 16th century wall paintings are among our finest examples of medieval and Elizabethan art.

“The outcome of our work will leave a legacy for future generations because schoolchildren and visitors will find out more about this exciting period in history as well as having the opportunity to learn outdoors. The new heritage visitor centre will also strengthen our links with people living nearby because of the community facilities, activities, and employment and training opportunities that will be generated.”

Research shows the local economy will benefit by around £4 million annually from The Charterhouse. Work is due to start in the New Year.