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31. Leicester (14) The King Richard III walking trail!

THERE IS MORE TO LEICESTER THAN YOU THINK!

From the Guildhall you can purchase a pamphlet of Leicester's

Richard III Walking Trail and the

Richard III, Leicester's Search for a King exhibition in the Guildhall.

The 'pamphlet guided' walk is well worth the trouble and many important points of  Leicester's medieval history will emerge. So, get the guide and a good pair of walking shoes and enjoy, thanks to the efforts of 'Visit Leicester' tourist organisation.

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1. BLUE BOAR INN

Richard III trail, Leicester: The trail starts in Highcross Street near the Travelodge (above), once the site of the Blue Boar Inn, and accompanied by the aptly named King Richard III pub higher up on Highcross Street (above right). It was at the Blue Boar Inn that Richard III spent his last night before meeting his fateful death on August 22nd 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Before the Battle of Bosworth, King Richard had his own bed brought from Nottingham Castle to the Blue Boar Inn.

 

The Jewry Wall archaeological site, part of the remains of the Roman public baths built between AD 145 and AD 170

Richard III walking trail, Leicester: Walking to the top of Highcross Street you turn right down St Nicholas Circle passing St Nicholas Church and the Jewry Wall (above) and Jewry Museum on your right. Passing over the River soar and the Richard III road you come to the site of Bow Bridge.

The Jewry Wall Museum, Leicester

More pictures and details of Leicester's Jewry Wall, Roman Baths, Museum & St Nicholas Church


2. BOW BRIDGE

Richard III trail, Leicester: The West Bridge (above) over the canal is an iron structure that replaced the medieval 'Bow Bridge' that Richard III would have ridden over on his way to Bosworth Field. The old bridge was demolished in 1861, but ironwork of the new bridge depicts the white rose of York and the Tudor rose, the White Boar emblem and Richard's motto 'Loyaulte me Lie' (Loyalty Binds Me).

Richard III trail, Leicester: From West Bridge you make your way along Richard II way up to the Castle Gardens.

More pictures and details of Leicester's Castle Park-Gardens, Grand Union Canal Bridge


3. RICHARD III statue, Castle Gardens

Richard III trail, Leicester: In Castle Gardens is a bronze statue depicting Richard III by the sculptor James Walter Butler (1980). The statue was commissioned by the Richard III Society and is sited near the park entrance on St Augustine Road.

Richard III walking trail, Leicester: From there you walk on out of Castle Gardens into Castle Street to pass by St Mary de Castro Church.

More pictures and details of Leicester's Castle Park-Gardens


4. St MARY DE CASTRO CHURCH

Richard III trail, Leicester: St Mary de Castro Church (above left), it is an interesting historic building and well worth a visit. It is believed that Richard III's body was briefly rested here after the Battle of Bosworth.

Richard III walking trail, Leicester: From St Mary de Castro Church you pass into Castle Yard through the medieval gateway on the right of the picture above.

More pictures and details of Leicester's  Interior of St Mary de Castro Church

and Castle Yard, Castle House, external architecture of St Mary de Castro Church


5. LEICESTER CASTLE

Richard III trail, Leicester: You can still see the remains of the motte, the hill built by the Normans to build the first castle, probably a wooded stockade structure.

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: The gateway into Castle Yard from Castle Street.

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: The cobble street in Castle Yard.

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: The site of Leicester Castle in Castle Yard. The highest roof you can see is that of the great hall of the medieval castle, which still survives after being finished by 1150. The original stone castle dates from the late 1060s and one of its previous noble families was the De Montfort family in the 13th century. Richard III often stayed at the Castle when visiting Leicester and another guest was Henry VII, the victor of Bosworth Field in 1485.

Richard III walking trail, Leicester: You leave Castle Yard and walk past the west end of St Mary de Castro Church and down Castle View, turning left into 'The Newarke'

Richard III trail, Leicester: The view back up Castle View to Castle Yard and the Church of St Mary de Castro.

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: In doing so you pass down through the Turret Gateway in Castle View

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: At the bottom of Castle View you turn left by the old house on the corner of Castle View and the Newarke House Museum follows on the left.

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: The old houses in The Newarke

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: The Newarke, looking up Castle View to Turret Gateway and beyond Castle Yard and St Mary de Castro Church.

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: Also in the Newarke is Trinity House, De Montfort University, starting off as an almshouse in ~1330 (actually called Hospital of the Honour of God and the Glorious Virgin and All Saints in the 14th century). Trinity House, medieval in origin, was once Trinity Hospital (so called from 1614) with the adjoining chapel - Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: At the end of the New Newarke road on your right is the Magazine Gatehouse: Did Richard III ride through the Magazine Gateway (above/below) before crossing Bow Bridge?

More pictures and details of Leicester's  Magazine Gatehouse

 

After passing the Magazine Gatehouse you cross the busy roads (including the Underpass) and enter Friar Lane and turn left into New Street.

 


6. GREYFRIARS

Richard III walking trail, Leicester: In the New Street area there are many reminders of where Richard III was finally buried - in the choir of the Franciscan Church within Greyfriars.

The Friary pub bar, Friar Lane, corner of Grey Friars and St Martins. After the battle Richard's body was conveyed to Leicester and put on public view before burial in the choir of the Franciscan Church in Greyfriars Priory. Almost no trace of the Priory survives BUT in 2012 the remains of Richard III were found beneath a car park.

 

Richard III walking trail, Leicester: From New Street you then walk forward, crossing the intersection of Peacock Lane and St Martin, towards Guildhall Lane

 


7. LEICESTER CATHEDRAL

Richard III walking trail, Leicester: Just before you reach Guildhall Lane, on your left is the Guildhall itself and on your right the west entrance to St Martins Cathedral Leicester.

More pictures and details of Leicester's  St Martin's Cathedral Church

Richard III trail, Leicester: You are kindly invited to pay your respects at the memorial stone to the memory of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral, and why not? was he really, by medieval standards of behaviour, any worse than many other English Kings?

 

Richard III trail, Leicester:

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: The south entrance to Leicester Cathedral.

 

Richard III trail, Leicester: The memorial stone to Richard III in the chancel of Leicester Cathedral.

 


8. THE GUILDHALL

Richard III trail, Leicester: The Guildhall is around 600 years old and houses the exhibition "Richard III: Leicester's Search for a King".

More pictures and details of Leicester's Medieval Guildhall

Richard III trail, Leicester: Images of the exhibition

"Richard III: Leicester's Search for a King"

The exhibition describes the life and times of Richard III, the Battle of Bosworth Field and exhibits various medieval artefacts recovered from Leicester and the battlefield.

The exhibition describes the search for Richard III ...

... and what has been found to shed light on his final days

Silver gilded boar badge found at Bosworth

The violent times of 'The Wars of the Roses'

Alabaster holy icon

Richard III was buried in Grey Friars church

Religious practice and the Grey Friars

DNA was extracted from the skeleton

DNA analysis - samples from surviving relatives

Comparison of the DNA samples

DNA examined to look for characteristic matching patterns

Did the bone DNA match the relatives? Answer YES !!!

Medieval floor tiles found in many medieval churches

Richard III's reputation! Hero or Villain ???

The 'climax' (if you can call it that! is the virtual image display of the skeleton of Richard III.

You can touch the screen for a full autopsy report on any of the poor man's many wounds!

So poor old King Richard III is finally 'captured' by the virtual electronic age!

You can pass from the exhibition to the White Rose Cafe

in the St martins House Conference Centre

The appropriately named White Rose cafe

The modern building contrasts with the Guildhall

 


Some odds and ends ?

The 18th-19th century Globe pub on the corner of some typical streets near the centre of Leicester, namely Carts Lane and Silver Street. Silver Street is an easterly continuation of Guildhall Lane. After completing the Richard III walking trail you might feel in need of some refreshment! The Globe has been serving fine ales and food since 1720, where quality ales were brewed using spring water drawn from its own well beneath the pub (the well is still in existence). Before becoming a public house, the Globe has had several interesting uses, including a cattle merchants and accommodation for women awaiting impending execution at the hands of the noose man in nearby Gallowtree Gate!

 


 

Index of LEICESTER pages De Montfort Hall, Victoria Park, War Memorials, Temples & 'domestic' buildings * Castle Yard, Castle House, external architecture of St Mary de Castro Church * Interior of St Mary de Castro Church * Newarke Houses Museum & Turret Gateway * Jain Centre, Magazine Gatehouse, Castle Park-Gardens, Grand Union Canal Bridge * St Martin's Cathedral Church * Medieval Guildhall * Wygston's House, St Margaret's Church & two Victorian Gothic Revival Churches * Jewry Wall, Roman Baths, Museum & St Nicholas Church * All Saints Church , Great Central & Leicester Railway Stations, Thomas Cook statue * New Walk and Sculptures * Holy Cross Church * Museum & Art Gallery * Clock Tower, Sporting sculpture, Leicester Market, Town Hall, Highcross Shops * Area around Orton square, East St Martins & Free Grammar School * National Space Centre & Abbey Pumping Station Museum * Knighton Village * Great Central Railway * The Leicester King Richard III trail! *

 

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