Magazine Gateway, Leicester

Magazine Gateway, Leicester

The Magazine Gateway was built in 1410 and is one of Leicester's top attractions. It once served as an entrance to the Castle of Leicester, although it never had doors. The Gateway was principally ceremonial and was meant to impress visitors to the city. It also was the entrance to the Newark District, which was one of the best places in Leicester to live, as residents of this district could avoid taxes.

The original purpose of the gateway was to provide a grand imposing entrance into the religious collegiate precinct of The Newarke. In 1330 the Trinity Hospital had been established by Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster in an area along the south side the castle wall. His son rose to be Duke of Lancaster and further aggrandised the area by founding a new collegiate Church of the Annunciation of St. Mary which housed a holy relic claimed to be a thorn from Christ's Crown of thorns.

The Gateway was completed soon after 1400, at the same time as substantial walls which enclosed the college precinct. In 1967 The area was built over by the James Went building, and photographs suggest that until then, some of the walls remained up to a height of 3 metres (9.8 ft).

The 1960s inner ring road scheme resulted in the Magazine being stranded with busy carriageways running both sides of it, with the only access being via pedestrian underpasses. In 1969 it was made available to the Royal Leicestershire Regiment for use as the regimental museum. It continued in this purpose until 1996 when repair work and the limited accessibility of the three-story building brought that use to an end. The Regimental museum subsequently re-opened on the upper floor of the Newarke Houses Museum.

The unsatisfactory treatment of a grade I listed medieval building, set below the road level with traffic pounding past both sides, was finally addressed in 2007 with the filling in of the underpass. This allowed the street level on the west side to be brought back down to the same as the Magazine. The road was also shifted entirely to the east side of the gateway, and the area to the west pedestrianised, reuniting the gateway with the Newarke and creating a new open space for students at De Montfort University alongside the nearby Business and Law School.
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

Magazine Gateway on Map

Sight Name: Magazine Gateway
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