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Consecrating the cathedral in 1962.

YESTERDAY saw the 54th anniversary of the opening of Coventry Cathedral.

The Queen and her sister Princess Margaret were among the high profile guests at the consecration on May 25, 1962.

Last year the cathedral was voted the UK's third leading landmark in a project which aimed to identify 21 iconic sites that defined 21st century Britain. The joint project between the Independent newspaper and British Airways' inflight magazine, High Life, saw the cathedral finish third in the list. It was selected ahead of St Paul's in London, as well as tourist icons such as the London Eye and Edinburgh Castle.

The cathedral finished behind The Eden Project in Cornwall, which was voted the leading UK landmark, and Sir Antony Gormley's Angel of the North sculpture.

A decade after the old cathedral was bombed in 1940, a competition was launched to rebuild it.

| How the But the winner, Sir Basil Spence, insisted the ruins should be left as an iconic garden of remembrance, with a new structure built alongside it, featuring the impressive tapestry of Christ by Graham Sutherland The foundation stone of the new cathedral was laid by the Queen on March 23 1956.

The unconventional spire (known as a fleche) is 80 feet tall and was lowered onto the flat roof by a helicopter, flown by Wing Commander John Dowling in April 1962.

Following the consecration, Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, composed for the occasion, was premiered in the new cathedral on May 30, 1962.


| How the Telegraph covered the event

| The Queen is escorted by the Provost of Coventry Cathedral, the Very Rev HCN Williams and followed by Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon

The consecration service at Coventry Cathedral on May 25, 1962

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 26, 2016
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