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Coventry is a city in central England. It’s known for the medieval Coventry Cathedral, which was left in ruins after a WWII bombing. A 20th-century replacement, with abstract stained glass, stands beside it. The collection at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum includes paintings of local heroine Lady Godiva. A statue of her, naked on horseback, is nearby. The 14th-century St. Mary’s Guildhall has a vaulted crypt.
From the early 12th century Coventry was divided into 2 halves. The northern half was controlled by the Prior (the head of the priory or small monastery). The southern half of Coventry was controlled by the Earl. However the Prior slowly lost his power. After 1265 he rented his half of Coventry to the Earl. Then in 1345 Coventry was given a charter (a document granting the townspeople certain rights). From then on The merchants of Coventry formed a town council and elected the mayor and magistrates. Ten years later, in 1355, the Prior gave up all his claims to Coventry.
At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 Coventry had a population of about 350. By the standards of the time, it was a fair-sized settlement. Coventry grew rapidly in the Middle Ages. By the late 14th century it had a population of 4,817. By the standards of the time, Coventry was a large and important town. By the end of the Middle Ages, the population of Coventry reached 6,500.
The main industry in the Medieval Coventry was weaving and dyeing wool. In Coventry, there were many workers in the cloth trade, drapers, tailors, dyers, and weavers. There were also fullers. They cleaned and thickened cloth by pounding it in a mixture of clay and water. In Coventry, there were also many leatherworkers like saddlers, shoemakers, and glovers. There were many other craftsmen in Coventry such as millers, bakers, butchers and bakers, blacksmiths, carpenters, coopers, cutlers and goldsmiths.