Leicester is a great place to see some fantastic architecture. We implore you to lookup more often and pay closer attention to the buildings around you. Many of them will contain fascinating secrets in their design and remind us that we live in a culturally significant city. Here are some of our favourite Leicester buildings that we feel sum up the city.
This popular city centre meeting point reached its 150th birthday last July. Its designer, architect Joseph Goddard, was also responsible for many architectural sites in Leicester in the Victorian era. It features the four famous faces of Simon de Montfort, William Wyggeston, Thomas White and Alderman Gabriel Newton.
This is one of the best-preserved timber-framed halls in the country. It dates back over 600 years. It was restored in 1926 as a public museum. The Guildhall is now a popular wedding venue and hosts events from comedy night to ghost hunts. It was erected in around 1390 so has seen a lot in its time. It’s said to be Leicester’s most haunted building and even appeared on the tv show Most Haunted.
St Mary de Castro Church
Translated as St Mary of the Castle, this is an ancient parish church and the second oldest place of worship in Leicester. It has been a place of prayer for over 900 years and combines impressive interior architecture and intriguing history.
The history of this significant site goes back over 1000 years. The Great Hall of the castle was eventually transformed into a court. Outside the court was a grassy mound which is still there today. It was under this grass mound that bodies were buried after being executed in the Gallows outside the then court. It’s because of this that many ghost walks frequent the area. The Great Hall is now the residence of Leicester Castle Business School.
At just 10 years old, the theatre is the youngest building we list here but is held in high esteem nonetheless. Clearly a very different, exciting architectural addition to the Cultural Quarter, it won a RIBA award for its ‘world-class design’.
The history of 31 Rutland Street goes back to the 1800s. In the 1980s it was named the Operating Centre which contained a lost property, duty office, camera control centre, and a transport club with bars, snooker tables, and a dance hall. It closed in 1986. In 2003 the then-empty building was remodelled and expanded into the LCB Depot; a creative hub operated by Leicester City Council. It seeks to support, stimulate and develop the city’s creative industries. The £4.75 million LCB Depot building kick-started the regeneration of the Cultural Quarter and earned two RIBA awards.
Also known as the Blue Tower, this is Leister’s second tallest building standing at 82 meters with 22 floors. Infamous for its seemingly inexplicable colour scheme, the tower has been thought of by the locals as one of the ugliest buildings in the city centre. The blue, red and yellow colours were added in 2007 as a tribute to the developer’s home club of Chelsea. Since being built in the 1960s, it has been home to British Telecom and the Post Office. Its more recent refurbishment is now playing a major role in the regeneration of St George’s Retail Park.
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