t. Mary's was built shortly before its sister church in Lichfield with which it shared the diocese. Whereas our cathedral appears to have been a replacement for an earlier Saxon structure, Lichfield's current cathedral was a replacement for a slightly later Norman church, although this itself was built in place of earlier Saxon chapels.
The building of Coventry's cathedral is presumed to have begun soon after Robert de Limesey gained papal authorisation to move the Bishopric here in 1102 and the main structure of the church was estimated to be complete about 125 years later. Construction of Lichfield's cathedral began in 1195 and was finished in the 1330s - approximately a century after St. Mary's had been completed in Coventry.
However, many have quite reasonably speculated that our Coventry church may have had some similarity in design to the beautiful Lichfield Cathedral just 25 miles away and pictured externally and internally here.
When one visits Lichfield's Cathedral, and walk around to the front, the sight greeting you as you turn around is absolutely breathtaking. With Coventry cathedral's front being about 12 metres wider, one can only marvel at the sight that our medieval townsfolk would have been presented with every day!
Whatever features the two buildings might or might not have shared, it's certainly most probable that the view down the similarly proportioned nave and chancel of our Coventry church would have looked something like this....
St. Mary's Priory & Cathedral: Introduction
Comparison with Lichfield Cathedral
The Tower & Spires