Welcome to the Architecture section
The pages of this section are dedicated to Leicester’s greatest works of architecture from the city and the surrounding county.
Through the buildings and monuments of our ancient city, we tell the story of the town, the city and its peoples.
You will find that this section is split into four main categories: Historical Buildings and Monuments, Halls and Hotels, Places of faith and worship and Modern Architecture.
Our aim is to portray the image of Leicester and Leicestershire through man’s most vigorous activity: his desire to build. It is through the built environment that we can explore the intricate history of our local area, it’s peoples and the changes that have taken place in taste, fashion, style and economy over the past twenty centuries.
Our journey through the world of buildings emphasises the amazing mixture of architecture, both old and modern, that can be found in our city and county. That journey tells us about the growth and development of Leicester’s population, its art, the tastes of its people and the evolution of their wealth and aspirations.
It is difficult to cover every location in Leicestershire, there are just so many buildings that are worthy of our interest. The first section is concerned with the buildings and monuments that are most visually compelling, or those that come with an interesting or unusual history.
Please feel free to recommend any edifices or places that we have missed. Included in this first section, we have covered as any as we have been able to. It is one of the delightful aspects of online publishing, that there is no such thing as a ‘finished website’. We can add to, amend or even detract from our material. Please feel free to come back to this section to see if it has changed.
See this fascismile copy of the Architecture Section front page (requires PDF reader.)
The County of Leicestershire
Covering an area of 832 square miles, the county of Leicestershire shares it’s borders with Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire. Located between all of these historically important counties, it is not surprising that Leicestershire’s residents can sometimes feel that their county is insignificant, in the wider scheme of things.
With the home of Robin Hood just up the M1, the impressive Warwick Castle not too far away and the rolling dales of The Peak District within an hours drive, what does Leicestershire really have to offer? We aim to show that, in the Midlands, our county can hold up its historical head against all our neighbouring counties.
In terms of history and with much respect to it’s neighbours, Leicestershire’s heritage could inspire an extensive library.The Battle of Bosworth took place here in 1485, proving to be one of the most important conflicts in English history. The county is widely acknowledged as the birthplace of fox hunting, with Hugo Meynell (the father of fox hunting), originally a resident of Quorn. Stilton and Red Leicester Cheese are produced here, along with the famous pork pie of Melton Mowbray. Thomas Cook gave birth to the tourism industry from here and some even regard it as being the birth place of the potatoe crisp. These icons are widely known as being the quintessence of Englishness.
The City of Leicester
What did the Romans ever do for us? In their march north, they stopped off at the place that was the home of the Coriletavi, the celtic tribe that had been here long before the Roman invasion. The settlement of Ratae Corieltauvorum was an important vantage point in the province of Britannia. Little is left today but the Jewry Wall, still to be seen and a major visitor attraction. Some of Leicester’s most notable natives include Richard III of England (who is reputed to have been killed and buried here), George Fox, Lady Jane Grey, Thomas Cook, Richard and David Attenborough, Mary Linwood, Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man) and Daniel Lambert. Why stop there! What about Gok Wan, Graham Chapman, Bill Maynard, Una Stubbs, Joe Orton, C.P. Snow, Sue Townsend … oh and did I hear someone say Gary Linekar?
Many people do not even know where Leicester is and half the world’s population do not even know how to pronounce it, but ours is a city rich in history, sports stars, rock stars, writers, poets, entrepreneurs, scientists, figures in history and the buildings that shaped their fortunes and their stories.