The Guildhall, Leicester

The Guildhall, Leicester (must see)

The Guildhall in Leicester is a Grade I listed timber framed building, with the earliest part dating from circa 1390. The Guildhall once acted as the town hall for the city until the current one was commissioned in 1876. Although some parts are earlier, the majority of the building dates from the 15th century.

It is located in the old walled city, on a street now known as Guildhall Lane. It is a Grade I listed building, and the surrounding area, also including the Cathedral of St Martin's, is a conservation area, one of three in Leicester.

The hall was used for many purposes, including council meetings, feasts, as a courtroom, and for theatrical performances. The Guildhall was also used for banquets, festivals, and as a home for a priest who prayed for the souls of Guild members in the nearby St Martin's Church. The Guildhall was retained in use until quite late. It was not until 1876 that the Corporation moved to the new Leicester Town Hall. It was later used as a police station and school, before becoming a museum.

It is reputed that William Shakespeare appeared here in the late 16th century. In recognition of this, the television company, Maya Vision, brought the Royal Shakespeare Company to perform at the Guildhall as part of its 2003 series for the BBC, In Search of Shakespeare, written and narrated by the historian, Michael Wood. Part of the Shakespeare legend is that Shakespeare first came across the tale of King Leir whilst appearing at the Guildhall and this inspired him to write his own play King Lear. There is, however, no actual evidence to support this, although the legend of King Leir is associated with Leicester.

With five reported ghosts, the Guildhall is reputedly Leicester's most haunted building. Because of its reported hauntings, it has appeared on various TV programmes, including being investigated on the television show Most Haunted.
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 iTunes App Store or Google Play. 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

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

The Guildhall on Map

Sight Name: The Guildhall
Sight Location: Leicester, England (See walking tours in Leicester)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
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.
Historical Buildings

Historical Buildings

Leicester is a city in the East Midlands of England with a rich past. Valuable historical monuments in Leicester are under the special protection of the local government and are the pride of the city. Take this self-guided tour of central Leicester and admire the city's rich historical buildings.

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