The story of Coventry
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Historically part of Warwickshire, Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 12th largest in the United Kingdom. It is the second largest city in the West Midlands region, after Birmingham.
TIME has brought many changes since old Drayton thus vaunted the stateliness of Coventry. The walls, the cross are gone, and of the twelve stately gates, but two remain. Gone, too, is the splendid conduit in the Cross Cheaping, S. Nicholas' Hall in the West Orchard, meeting-place of the Corpus Christi guild; and S. Nicholas' Church, out to the north beyond Bishop Street, which fell to ruin soon after the Reformation. But the "proud pyramidès," the "three spires," remain yet, and give greeting to all who approach Coventry, dominating the flat midland country for many a mile, changing their relative position as the spectator moves, and their colour in the shifting lights. Highest and fairest of all—so "the Archangel," says Fuller, "eclipseth the Trinity,"—is the nine-storied belfry of S. Michael's, tower, octagon and spire, a wonderful example of symbolism of design and harmonious disposal of ornament. The tower, begun in 1373, was the gift—says tradition—of the men of the Botoner family, the spire of its women, not the least among the many noteworthy achievements that in Coventry history are linked with a woman's name.