Last 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.It features statues of four famous “sons of Leicester”: Simon de Montfort, William Wigston, Thomas White and Gabriel Newton.
Also 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.
In 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.
In 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.
King 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.
Leading 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.