Leicester Castle and Castle Gardens, Leicester

Leicester Castle and Castle Gardens, Leicester

Leicester Castle is situated west of the city center, between Saint Nicholas Circle to the north and De Montfort University to the south. Leicester Castle was part of the medieval town defences, built over the Roman town walls. The castle was probably built around 1070 (soon after the Norman Conquest in 1066). A large motte and the Great Hall are the two substantial remains of what was once a large defensive structure. The hall is now encased in a Queen Anne style frontage.

In 1173, Henry II's three eldest sons led a rebelled against him with support from several magnates, including Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester. During the conflict, Henry's forces laid siege to Leicester and burnt most of the town. The castle was then slighted (partially demolished) and parts of the ditches filled. According to historian Sidney Painter, it was one of at least 21 castles demolished on Henry II's instructions

Kings sometimes stayed at the castle (Edward I in 1300, and Edward II in 1310 and 1311), and John of Gaunt and his second wife Constance of Castile both died here in 1399 and 1394 respectively.

It became an official royal residence during the reigns of Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI and Edward IV, but by the middle of the 15th century, it was no longer considered suitable and was used mainly as a courthouse; with sessions being held in the Great Hall. Apart from being used for Assize Courts, the Great Hall was also used for sessions of the Parliament of England most notably the Parliament of Bats in 1426, when the conditions in London were not suitable.

A section of the castle wall adjacent to the Turret Gateway has gun loops that were poked through the medieval wall to use as firing ports by the city's residents when parliamentarian Leicester was besieged, captured, and ransacked by the royalist army in the 1640s during the English civil war.

The Castle Gardens are located along the bank of the canal.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Leicester. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Leicester Castle and Castle Gardens on Map

Sight Name: Leicester Castle and Castle Gardens
Sight Location: Leicester, England (See walking tours in Leicester)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Leicester, England

Create Your Own Walk in Leicester

Create Your Own Walk in Leicester

Creating your own self-guided walk in Leicester is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Leicester Introduction Walking Tour

Leicester Introduction Walking Tour

Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England, whose history goes back almost two millennia. The Romans arrived in the area around 47 AD, during their conquest of southern Britain. Following the Saxon invasion, Leicester was then captured by Danish Vikings, in the 9th century.

The settlement was first documented in the early 10th century, under the name Ligeraceaster. At the time of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Historical Buildings

Historical Buildings

Leicester, a city in England's East Midlands, has a storied past that is vividly presented in its historical buildings. Valuable architectural monuments, they are the city's pride and as such enjoy special protection by the government.

Among such, Magazine Gateway stands as a testament to the city's medieval legacy. Originally part of its defensive walls, this structure now...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles