Listed property made available in Coventry

One of Coventry’s “hidden architectural jewels” – and a building of national importance – is being offered for sale.

The Charterhouse, situated just off the London Road, is a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Monument which has been used by City College since 1989.

But soon the building will no longer needed by the college, and is being offered for sale for educational use.

David Penn, managing director of City-based agents Shortland Penn + Moore which is marketing the property, said: “This is, simply, one of the most historically impressive and important buildings in the city and is of national interest.

“There are around 500,000 listed buildings in the UK, and only two per cent of them have Grade 1 status.

“Yet I would think that the majority of people who live in the city or the thousands that drive past its entrance every day do not even realise it exists.

“Quite rightly because of its historical importance, there are restrictions on its use but we are very confident that we will be able to find a buyer who will be fully sympathetic to its amazing past.”

The building, which lies just yards off the main London Road, was originally part of the Carthusian Priory of St Anne, founded in 1381.

King Richard II laid the foundation stone of the Priory which was partially demolished after the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII.

But significant parts of the medieval building remain. The property includes the original Priors lodging, dating back to the 15th century, and 16th century half-timbered buildings which were added when it was used as a private house.

Original moulded stone fireplaces and some original stone tracery and stone corbels still exist along with wooden panelling, believed to date from Elizabethan times.

But the most celebrated features of the building are the medieval wall paintings which depict the crucifixion, and paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries which feature early renaissance motifs.

It became a private house until 1940 and had been used as an old people’s home and an arts centre before being transferred to the college.

Penn added: “The status of the building means that all the major features must be retained and it is unlikely that any extensions would ever be allowed.

“The City College Coventry has successfully used the building for training as there is a mix of teaching rooms and meetings rooms as well as warden’s accommodation, which is currently occupied, stretching to more than 12,000 sq ft.

“The property is subject to a charitable scheme which restricts the use to ‘the promotion of education and an appreciation of the arts’ and we are anticipating that is where much of the interest will come from.

“Buildings are often described as unique but in more than 20 years as a surveyor this is unquestionably the most interesting building I have ever worked with. It is quite amazing.”