IMG_2618 - 2013-06-11 at 15-54-25Last week I spent a few hours having a wander around the city of Leicester in the East Midlands. Above is the Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower in the central shopping district of the city.IMG_2613 - 2013-06-11 at 15-53-38It features statues of four famous “sons of Leicester”: Simon de Montfort, William Wigston, Thomas White and Gabriel Newton.

IMG_2634 - 2013-06-11 at 16-00-23This is the town hall.

IMG_2398 - 2013-06-11 at 14-36-54Leicester was once a walled city and this was the main gateway into the Newark district, built around 1400. It is called the Magazine Gateway because of its use as an armoury in the 16th century.

IMG_2402 - 2013-06-11 at 14-38-07Here you can see remains of the walls of Leicester Castle. Within is the Church of St Mary de Castro.

IMG_2421 - 2013-06-11 at 14-43-21The Church of St Mary de Castro was founded in 1107. The tower dates from the early 15th century. The church is thought to be the place where Geoffrey Chaucer married Philippa Roet.

IMG_2410 - 2013-06-11 at 14-41-11Also within the castle complex is this building – the Great Hall, with a frontage built in 1695, the building itself has been in continuous use for more than 800 years and still has some of the original timbers inside.

IMG_2440 - 2013-06-11 at 14-46-48In the castle gardens stands a statue of King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet kings before those Tudors took over. Richard died in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, which is not far from Leicester. The night before the battle he stayed at an inn in Leicester.

IMG_2447 - 2013-06-11 at 14-51-35In the morning he set off over the bridge that was once at this river crossing, the Bow Bridge. According to legend, an old woman told Richard “where your spur should strike on the ride into battle, your head shall be broken on the return”. When leaving for Bosworth, his spur supposedly struck a stone on this bridge. When his corpse was carried back to Leicester, his head is said to have hit the same stone.

IMG_2564 - 2013-06-11 at 15-36-24King Richard III’s body was buried hurriedly in the Grey Friars monastery. Over the centuries the location of his grave became lost. His body was only rediscovered in August 2012 by a group of archaeologists from the University of Leicester when they excavated a car park.

IMG_2463 - 2013-06-11 at 15-00-00The site is covered by this marquis but I was not allowed to enter the car park to take any closer photographs.

IMG_2461 - 2013-06-11 at 14-59-01This is Leicester Cathedral, where Richard III’s remains are going to be re-interred.

IMG_2515 - 2013-06-11 at 15-20-22The nave.

IMG_2471 - 2013-06-11 at 15-09-50A memorial stone to Richard III.

IMG_2517 - 2013-06-11 at 15-20-52Next door to the cathedral is the medieval Guild Hall.

IMG_2527 - 2013-06-11 at 15-23-01This was the Mayor’s Parlour. The building is open to the public and is now used for various displays and exhibitions.

IMG_2534 - 2013-06-11 at 15-24-44The Hall.

IMG_2579 - 2013-06-11 at 15-38-20There is also an exhibition about the discovery of Richard III’s remains.

IMG_2645 - 2013-06-11 at 16-06-03Leading out of town towards the University of Leicester is this wonderful pedestrianised street called New Walk. It isn’t that new though, as it was designed and laid out in 1785. It was very pleasant to perambulate.