Having been brought up in Lincolnshire one would have thought that I would have visited Leicester – just 50 odd miles from my home town before I was 52 years old. In fact, I never had the need to go there until last October when my father was in the city’s hospital. I was then back just 2 months later for as my son was representing the Open University at a ‘Moot’ at Leicester University.
I don’t know when I shall next be back but I did enjoy 2 short visits to the town. On the 1st I took the opportunity to visit the Cathedral where in 2015 Richard III was laid to rest, after the discovery of his body in a car park nearby in 2012. The Cathedral is actually rather small as it was in fact originally just a parish church and consecrated as a Cathedral only in 1927. Having said that it is a delightful building with very helpful volunteers willing to answer questions. The highlight of course is the tomb of the King – polished Swaledale Limestone containing many fossilised sea creatures - but there is also plenty of interest around the whole building including the shroud that covered the kings coffin during the re-interment. Nearby there is a visitor centre but I shall have to leave this for another visit – mum was with me and no way was she entertaining the ‘steep’ (actually very reasonable) entry fee.
|Cover used at re-interment|
Firstly, there was the graveyard, which has a visitor centre though as the site is well signposted this is superfluous for most visitors. I wandered around here for a while. One particularly interesting feature was the site of a church -now gone but where the memorial stones within had once been were place metal replacements that marked the outline of the church. The characters memorialised were a distinguished bunch indeed but I was particularly interested to see the memorial to Albert Walter Harris (1874-97) who must have been one of the 1st professional racing cyclists.
|Albert Walter Harris - Pro Cyclist Memorial|
After wandering around the graveyard for some time I tramped over to the War Memorial behind the University and then to nearby streets which provided some very interesting building and ghost adverts from years gone by.
|War Memorial - Surely Lutyens?|
I would say that although Leicester is not really a tourist destination it is definitely worth stopping by for a look around there was certainly plenty of interest on my 2 visits.