Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Hugglescote Ladies Find Out About Leicester's Long History

I recently gave a talk to Hugglescote and Coalville Women’s Institute about Leicester’s Place in English History.

Their meetings are in the little St. James’s Church Hall at Snibston.

People generally are unaware that Leicester is one of England’s oldest towns, and in this talk I try to underline that point, showing that all through English history there has been an involvement from Leicester and the surrounding area.

I talk about Roman times, when Leicester was first a frontier town and later a regional capital. The Fosse Way, one of the most famous Roman roads, runs through Leicester on its way from Lincoln to Exeter via the Cotswolds.

Other periods which I speak of include the Danish occupation, when Leicester was one of the Five Boroughs of the Danelaw, and the Plantagenet period, when Leicester was destroyed on the orders of Henry II in the aftermath of a disastrous rebellion.

John of Gaunt lived at Leicester Castle; John Wycliffe was Rector of Lutterworth; Geoffrey Chaucer was married at St. Mary de Castro Church, where Henry VI was knighted; and of course Richard III was buried in Leicester, having been killed in battle near Market Bosworth.

Charles I laid siege to Leicester during the Civil War, and Thomas Cook laid the foundations of modern tourism with his momentous excursion from Leicester to Loughborough.

I enjoyed giving the talk to the Hugglescote ladies, and thank them for their hospitality.