Coventry Central Hall was erected in 1930-32 and was designed by C. Redgrave of Coventry. It is an impressive red-brick building in the Tudor style, with an original stone entrance arch surmounted by an oriel window and a small turret. The present glazed entrance atrium was added on the south-west side in 1991. Coventry Central Hall was built as part of the Central Hall movement with an aim to meet the needs of the people of the city.
The Central Hall opened on January 14 1932 with a inaugural service and dedication by the Mayor, Alderman Vincent Wyles, who welcomed the building of the new church and hoped to see a new spirit of co-operation develop between the city’s various Christian denominations. The Hall cost £38,000 to build and nearly £34,000 of this had already been raised. In 1940 the main hall provided 1,379 seats (now 840), and there were four school halls.
The church suffered very little during the November 1940 Coventry Blitz, but in the air raids of Holy Week, 1941, the Hall was heavily damaged, leaving several rooms in ruins, the floor tilted as though affected by an earthquake and a litter of masonry, glass and slate strewn all around. The tower was moved and twisted a few inches by a bomb blast. Throughout the war, the church remained open for both Sunday services and mid-week activities. Within two years of the Blitz, some of Britain’s best-known orchestras and artistes were drawing crowds to concerts at the Hall. A ‘Religion and Life’ campaign, sponsored by the Anglican and Free Churches, crowded the Hall night after night.
Around Coventry Central Hall there are various images that depict the life of the building. Please speak to a member of the team if you would like see these.