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Lady Godiva Statue

Ponder the centuries-old legend about a local noblewoman when you view this equestrian statue located in a central Coventry shopping precinct.

The Lady Godiva Statue commemorates the 900-year-old myth of Godiva, Countess of Mercia. It gives an impression of an event that supposedly took place on Coventry’s market day when an aristocratic woman rode naked on horseback through the city streets.

Godiva was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, an infamous lord who imposed an oppressive tax on Coventry’s people in order to fund King Canute’s security. Godiva objected to Leofric’s actions but for him to stop he said that she’d have to ride naked on a horse. Leofric was confident that shy Godiva wouldn’t go ahead with the challenge; however, her hair was long enough to cover much of her body. Surprised by the miraculous incident, Leofric liberated the city from the taxes. 

A local benefactor commissioned the Scottish sculptor Sir William Reid Dick to design the statue. Unveiled in 1949, it formed part of the regeneration of the city after it was flattened by German bombings. It has a bronze representation of Godiva’s exposed body, and her long, flowing hair, sat in the sidesaddle position. The base of the statue is a rectangular stone plinth engraved with a brief description of the story. 

The statue originally looked toward the clock tower of Broadgate House so that it could be watched by a 17th-century fabled character called Peeping Tom. While the rest of the townsfolk stayed inside to respect Godiva, Peeping Tom is believed to have watched. Today the statue stands on the same axis as Coventry Cathedral. 

You can discover more about Lady Godiva at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. Its exhibition dedicated to the tale features paintings by Adam van Noort, David Gee and Sir Edwin Landseer. Above the southern entrance to the walkway on Hertford Street is a sculpture of Peeping Tom. 

Situated on Broadgate shopping precinct, the Lady Godiva Statue is about a 10-minute walk from both Coventry Train Station and Pool Meadow Bus Station. There are several metered car parks within walking distance.


Top Hotel Deals

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ibis Coventry Centre £44
ibis Coventry Centre

ibis Coventry Centre

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    2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Coventry, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of St Mary's Guildhall and Coventry University. Lady Godiva Statue and Coventry Cathedral are also within 15 minutes. Coventry Station is 7 minutes by foot.

    Britannia Hotel Coventry £30
    Britannia Hotel Coventry

    Britannia Hotel Coventry

       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Coventry City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Coventry Transport Museum and Coventry University. Coventry Cathedral and St Mary's Guildhall are also within 5 minutes. Coventry Station is 14 minutes by foot.

      Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Coventry £55
      Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Coventry

      Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Coventry

         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Coventry, this eco-friendly hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Coventry Cathedral, Coventry Transport Museum and Coventry University. University of Warwick and Ricoh Arena are also within 6 mi (10 km). Coventry Station is 10 minutes by foot and Coventry Canley Station is 26 minutes.

        Belgrade Plaza Serviced Apartments £79
        Belgrade Plaza Serviced Apartments

        Belgrade Plaza Serviced Apartments

        8 Sava House Upper Well Street, Coventry, England
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Coventry City Centre, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of West Orchards Shopping and Coventry University. Coventry Transport Museum and Lady Godiva Statue are also within 10 minutes. Coventry Station is 15 minutes by foot.

          Old County Court
          Old County Court

          Old County Court

             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Coventry City Centre, this apartment building is steps away from St Mary's Guildhall and Coventry University. Coventry Cathedral and Lady Godiva Statue are also within 5 minutes. Coventry Station is 12 minutes by foot.

            Designer City Centre Apartment
            Designer City Centre Apartment

            Designer City Centre Apartment

            18 Corporation Street Apartment 50, Coventry, England
               
              4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Coventry City Centre, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of West Orchards Shopping and Coventry University. Lady Godiva Statue and Coventry Transport Museum are also within 5 minutes. Coventry Station is 13 minutes by foot.

              Telegraph Hotel - Coventry £58
              Telegraph Hotel - Coventry

              Telegraph Hotel - Coventry

              157 Corporation Street, Coventry, England
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Coventry City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of West Orchards Shopping and Coventry University. Coventry Transport Museum and Lady Godiva Statue are also within 5 minutes. Coventry Station is 14 minutes by foot.

                Shortmove City Centre Studios - Self Contained, Wifi, En Suite Shower £94
                Shortmove City Centre Studios - Self Contained, Wifi, En Suite Shower

                Shortmove City Centre Studios - Self Contained, Wifi, En Suite Shower

                Coventry, ENG
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Coventry City Centre, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of West Orchards Shopping and Coventry University. Lady Godiva Statue and Coventry Transport Museum are also within 10 minutes. Coventry Station is 11 minutes by foot.