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Stratford has Anglo-Saxon origins, and developed as a market town during the medieval period. The original charters of the town were granted in 1196, making Stratford over 800 years old.
It is likely that Coventry grew from a settlement of the Bronze Age near the present-day city center. It has been a place of worship for 1,000 years. It suffered severe bomb damage during World War II, most notoriously from a massive Luftwaffe air raid known as the "Coventry Blitz" on 14 November 1940. Firebombing on this date led to severe damage to large areas of the city center and to Coventry's historic cathedral, leaving only a shell and the spire. The decision to rebuild the cathedral was taken the morning after its destruction. Rebuilding would not be an act of defiance, but rather a sign of faith, trust and hope for the future of the world. The Cathedral's Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation continues to provide spiritual and practical support in areas of conflict throughout the world.
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