Originally to be part of the Caledon class of light cruisers there were significant changes to the design so they became the Ceres class. There were two ships of the Ceres class authorized for construction in October 1915. The other three were authorized in 1916. Orders were placed in March to April 1916.
The HMS Coventry and HMS Curacoa were completed without control towers.
Treaty Restrictions and Conversion
The 1930 London Naval Treaty stipulated that the British would have to retire several cruisers so it was decided to convert the Ceres class to anti-aircraft cruisers. In 1934 initial design work began.
HMS Coventry and HMS Curlew were the first to be converted and would serve as prototypes for the conversion of the rest of the ships.