St Mary's Guildhall, Bayley Lane

Entry: free
Opening hours: 10am to 4pm, Sunday to Thursday
Contact: 024 7683 3328
Read reviews of more Coventry attractions

Best bit: Timetravel - you walk down corridors first used 700 years ago
Worst bit: Not being allowed to try the suits of armour on

Probably one of the finest buildings of its kind in the UK.
The original Guildhall arose in the thirteen hundreds and was completed over the next century.
From the gated courtyard, up the staircase and onto the minstrel gallery overlooking the great hall, visitors can experience a sense of participation in the building’s colourful history.
Here, the gentle but mentally sick Henry VI brooded and organised resistance to his cousin’s attempt to take over his kingdom in the Wars of the Roses.
Later, Mary Queen of Scots, who claimed the English throne, is said to have been imprisoned here, as a safeguard that she might form the focus of a French invasion.
In one of the rooms there is a table on which an arrest warrant for William Shakespeare is said to have been signed. According to a plaque he fled the county after being caught poaching.
Godiva’s restaurant in the vaulted basement offers both full meals and snacks.

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