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The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and some conventual buildings at the Whitefriars, Coventry

Charmian Woodfield with contributions by Chris Caple, John Cattell, Geof Egan, Helen Howard, Philip Kiberd, Helen List, Graham Morgan, James Rackham, Stephanie Ratkai, Charles Tracy, Hugh Willmott, Paul Woodfield
Publication Year:
413pp. Includes 167 figures, maps, plans, drawings, photographs, 24 pages in colour, 12 tables. With additional material online (Figure 38).
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


Excavations carried out in the 1960s on the site of the Carmelite Friary at Coventry, England, revealed the lost church, of unexpected size and splendour, adjoining the standing cloister E range. It was founded in 1342 by Sir John Poulteney, a pre-eminentmerchant and Draper, and Lord Mayor of London. The report includes the first detailed examination of the standing E claustral range by the Royal Commission on Historic Monuments, probably the finest medieval friary claustral range to survive in N Europe. This is augmented by historical illustrations, many here published for the first time. There is also a study of the exceptionally fine surviving choir stalls, with the arms of several later London mayors, which originally seated up to 90 friars. These were set above acoustic chambers in the choir to amplify their singing. Only three other sets of friary choir stalls are known to exist in Britain. An attempt is made to reconstruct the appearance of the friary in its 10 acre (c.4ha) precinct in the 15th century, including the highly unusual architectural expression of the chapter house; the reredorter and the gate houses. Comparative plans of other Carmelite houses in Britain and Europe are illustrated for comparison, some for the first time.