Yesterday was lovely and sunny, so we decided to do the walking tour around old Leicester. We got a bus into the city centre and set off on the designated walking trail. There are interest boards along the way telling of the various periods in Leicesters history. The discovery of Richard the third has created much interest, and the city has done alot to encourage visitors.
Leicester’s clock tower
View from the Motte by Leicester castle
The tour starts at the site of the Blue Boar Inn. Nothing left today as now a Travelodge. At sunset on the 20th August 1485, Richard arrived in Leicester with his army, staying overnight at the Inn. The next morning he rode out of the city over the old Bow bridge on his way to fight Henry Tudor, in what became known as the Battle of Bosworth. The last battle of the War of the Roses.
Statue of Richard outside the cathedral
Alot of photo’s taken today along the route which depicts scenes that Richard would have known.
The Guildhall. It dates back to medieval times, and would have been a building of importance in Richard’s time. The great hall was built in 1390, and would have been used by influential businessmen. In 1563 it became Leicester’s town hall. It escaped demolition in 1876, and in 1926 was completely restored.
Turret gateway probably built in 1423. It separated the Newarke religious precinct from Leicester castle. Richard would have used this gateway when visiting the castle. It is possible that following his death his body would have been brought into the precinct through this gateway.
Trinity hospital now part of de Montford university. By the time of Richard it had been providing care for 150 years. The hospital was rebuilt in 1776. This photo is the surviving medieval stone chapel.
The Magazine gateway would have been the entrance to the religious precinct, and was once called the Newarke gateway. It was called the Magazine gateway in reference to it’s use during the English Civil War as a gunpowder and weapons store. King Richards corpse would have passed through this gateway on the way to Greyfriars where he was buried.
St Mary de Castro church built within the fortified enclosure of Leicester castle. It is likely that Richard would have worshipped here when visiting the castle. He may even have prayed here the day before setting off for Bosworth.
Leicester castle looks very modern, but it’s facade is 17th century; this is hiding the 12th century structure that Richard would have been familiar with and he probably would have visited the castle on several occasions.
Leicester cathedral entrance. The Normans began the construction 900 years ago. It was enlarged between the 13th and 15th centuries and became the civic church. In the late 19th century the church was restored and the tower built including the addition of a 220ft tower. When the diocese of Leicester was re-established in 1926 the church was hallowed in 1927 as Leicester cathedral. It is now the final resting place of Richard.
On 22nd August 1485 after fighting bravely to defend his crown, Richard was killed in battle and Henry Tudor became King of England. Richard’s naked body was slung over a horse and brought back to Leicester. Once in Leicester his body was displayed before being buried in Greyfriars by the monks there. He was 32 years old, and had been King for 2 years. He was the last English King to die in battle. The Battle of Bosworth was the last charge of knights in full medieval armour. Richard was the last of the Plantagenet Kings. His death signalled the end of the medieval period.
Richards tomb made from Swaledale fossil stone, sitting on Irish black granite. The coat of arms is made from semi-precious stones.
The pall cloth that covered Richards coffi
Opposite the cathedral is the new King Richard 111 visitor centre, this has been created around the poignant place where his remains were found. The centre also tells the story of Richards life and death; and of how the dig to find his remains came about.
visitor centre exhibit
We partook of a 20 minute show in the Guildhall about Richard, which was free to enter and very enjoyable. We then had a look around inside.
Clock inside the Guildhall courtyard
Unfortunate’s put in jail. This building was a police station in the 1800’s
We had a very interesting day, lunch out and walked our legs off. The grandchildren have been at a holiday club this week so peace and quiet reigns!