In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Coventry like this:
Coventry, parl. and mun. bor. and market town, N. Warwickshire, on the Sherbourne and Radford Brook, 18 miles SE. of Birmingham and 94 NW. of London by rail -- parl. bor., 6448 ac., pop. 46,563; mun. bor., 1430 ac., pop. 42,111; 3 Banks, 6 newspapers. Market-day, Friday. C. is an ancient city (the bishopric, founded in 656, was in 1121 united to the see of Lichfield), with numerous fine old churches, schools, and hospitals. It derives its name (Conventre, or convent town) from a priory built (or rebuilt) in 1043 by Leofric and his wife Lady Godiva, of whom there is a curious and well-known legend. ...
Of its fortifications (dismantled at the Restoration, the town having espoused the side of the Parliament), two gates and some portions of the wall still remain. C. was early celebrated for its mfrs. In the 15th century it was noted for its woollens; then for its dyeing; then for its weaving of camlets, shalloons, &C. At present its staples are ribbons, silk, and watches; but it has also woollens, carpets, cotton, art metalwork, and ironfounding. Numerous fairs are held, and are generally well attended. The bor. returns 1 member to Parliament; it returned 2 members till 1885.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Coventry has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Coventry. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Coventry and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Coventry in Warwickshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 05th March 2015
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