Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry uncovered mosaic part of city centre revamp

The recovered tiles Image copyright Coventry City Council
Image caption The tiles will now form part of the revamp of the Upper Precinct

Builders working on a multimillion-pound redevelopment of Coventry city centre uncovered a 150-year-old mosaic.

The tiles were originally from the White Lion Pub, which was demolished in the 1950s.

Archaeologists said the mosaic, uncovered in March, has "potential impact-damage from the Blitz" but is otherwise "beautiful".

Contractors are removing the tiles, which will be a feature of the of the revamped Upper Precinct area.

Councillor Jim O'Boyle, cabinet member for jobs and regeneration, said: "It is important to reflect as much as we can on Coventry's past and this is a thumbnail to something most people in our city have not seen."

Archaeologist Jade Franklin Kennedy told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: "We've had this dated by our specialist and it seems to be from the 1870s to the 1890s.

"There is a part missing but the area we have is in good shape."

Image copyright Coventry City Council
Image caption An artist's impression shows how Upper Precinct could look once the work is complete

A council meeting in March revealed the long-forgotten historic Naiad statue, commissioned in the 1960s by artist George Wagstaff, is also to be brought back to sit in the middle of the £11m works.

The piece was originally created alongside Civic Centre 2 before being moved to Lady Herbert's garden, where it was later vandalised.

"It was then put into storage but taken out and a couple of years later and put in Friargate," said Mr O'Boyle

"Once we progress with the work in Upper Precinct it will sit in pride of place there which is a really good place to go."

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