Whitefriars Gatehouse is a Grade II* listed building situate at 118 Much Park Street, Coventry. The 14th century sandstone structure originally served as the postern (outer) gatehouse to the Carmelite Whitefriars Monastery, remnants of which still stand off London Road in Coventry. It was later adapted into residential dwellings and, in the 1970s, it was adapted for use as a Toy Museum by the late Ron Morgan, who passed away in 2007. The building was subsequently subjected to an arson attack and restored by Coventry City Council. The Gatehouse now awaits a new lease of life.
Ron Morgan was a long term Labour member of Coventry City Council during the 1960s and 1970s, at the same time as working as a potter based in one of the ground floor rooms at Whitefriars Gate. Ron campaigned passionately for the preservation of Coventry’s heritage and helped restore Whitefriars Gate in the 1970s. Ron was involved with the Coventry Society, the city’s civic society, which helped form the Charterhouse Coventry Preservation Trust, later to become the Historic Coventry Trust.
Stuart Daniel, of the Historic Coventry Trust said “It is fitting that the Historic Coventry Trust with its strong links to the Coventry Society seeks to follow the good work of Ron, who himself was a Coventry Society member, to ensure that Whitefriars Gate is once again restored and reused for future generations.”
Historic Coventry Trust’s proposals for Whitefriars Gatehouse are to reintroduce residential units into the sandstone structure and to provide other residential and office space through sensitively designed new units adjoining and to the rear of the Gatehouse. The Trust has appointed Hawkes Edwards & Cave Architects of Stratford upon Avon to develop the proposals. The Trust will be working with Coventry University on this scheme which may include Landmark Trust style accommodation for academic and other visitors to the city.