Magazine Gateway, Leicester
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.
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Magazine Gateway on Map
Sight Location: Leicester, England (See walking tours in Leicester)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:
Walking Tours in Leicester, England
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles