You often do not realise the beauty that lies right before you. My friend from Switzerland for example, hardly ever took pictures of the beautiful mountains and landscapes that surrounded him until I looked at them in awe when I visited.
This weekend, I took the time to look at just how beautiful and historic Coventry was, and saw things I hadnt noticed until I looked at it with such tourist-like focus. I have always been proud of my city; it’s something that’s kinda instilled in us Coventrians but most of my pride lay within it’s latest developments and not it’s history.
What Lies Beneath?
However, what drew me to the town centre this week was something very old. Something that has been buried over hundreds and hundreds of years as Coventry built itself around and over it. I learned of the Medieval Undercroft that lies beneath our Herbert Art Gallery and so I went off to visit it.
I had the great privilege of being able to go exclusively with my own personal historian, Dom, as a guide! He is a good friend of mine who blogs about all things history – you can check out his theories here.
Exploring the Underground
Dom taught me about the origins of the Undercroft; when it would have been at ground level as a shop with it’s large open front windows and safes built into the walls; right through to when it became a cellar for those who would then live above it. I found it really interesting that Coventry has hundreds of rooms like this all beneath its centre! The town has seemed to move upwards throughout time, not just culturally but physically, meaning they are all buried beneath the surface…
… And you can visit too!
The Herbert are opening their doors to this underground hidden treasure in September and October! It’s completely free to get in but it’s only at certain times as it’s underneath the ground through locked doors, so make sure to check it out and book to go on your tour.
And remember – don’t touch the salt!