Coventry’s Old Grammer School

Master stonemasons are giving one of Coventry’s most treasured buildings a long-overdue facelift.

Dozens of time-worn window traceries and blocks at the Old Grammar School, in Hales Street, are being repaired or replaced.

The work is part of a £1.5million restoration of one of the city’s oldest buildings, itself part of a multi-million pound Lottery-funded improvement of the transport museum next door.

As well as the replacement of crumbling stones, some are being refaced while others are simply being turned around so the weather-beaten side is hidden from view.

Gary Hall, chief executive of Coventry Culture, which manages Coventry Transport Museum, said: “The new stonework looks absolutely amazing.

“There’s still a lot of work to do, including on the bell tower which was in a very poor state.”

The two stonemasons are part of a team of 12 workmen overseeing the project, which will include a brand new entrance in Silver Street, designed to look like an old shop front.

The Grade I listed Old Grammar School began life as a hospital in the 12th century with the surviving building its 14th century church. At the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century it was passed to John Hales, who changed it to a school named after King Henry VIII.

In 1885, Henry VIII School moved to its current site in Warwick Road and the Hales Street building was put up for sale. It was taken over by trustees and given to Holy Trinity parish for use as a church hall, but was badly damaged by a bomb blast in 1941. It was Grade I listed in 1955.