The remnants of a medieval royal palace in Coventry city centre, the gatehouse of Cheylesmore Manor is at the heart of the city on New Union Street. The magnificent timber building it is one of the few remnants of Coventry's rich and important heritage.
The building used to be the only unfortified royal palace outside London and is now better known as the Register Office, being the oldest building in the country to hold that function.
It is thought that it was built for the Earl of Arundel in 1237. By 1320 it had passed to Queen Isabella, wife of Edward II, along with the lavish Cheylesmore Park that surrounded it. Her grandson Edward, the Black Prince, took possession of it after her. It was described as 'somewhat in ruin' in the 16th century and suffered from Coventry's lack of royal support in the Civil War period.
The building we know today is, in fact, only the gatehouse and parts of two cross wings to the original manor house. After restoration work, the building opened as a register office in 1968.