Leicester Abbey (Leicester)
Leicester Abbey was an important and prosperous religious foundation near the ancient town of Leicester.
It was an Augustinian monastery, founded by Robert le Bossu, Earl of Leicester, in 1143.
Cardinal Wolsey, who had been called to London in disgrace, only reached Leicester Abbey before he died in 1530. He is buried at the Abbey.
The precinct was surrounded by a wall of stone and brick, much of which survives. A long stretch beside the road is known as Abbot Penny's Wall. It was constructed of brick, with a diapered design, in the 15th century, and is the earliest known use of brick for this purpose. Other parts of the wall were built in stone by Abbot Clowne in the 14th century.
Leicester Abbey was surrendered to the Crown in 1538, at the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Cavendish House was built on the site in 1600, but burnt down by Charles I's fleeing troops, after the Battle of Naseby in 1645.
The conjectural plan of the Abbey was marked out on the lawns in the 1930s. More recent excavations have shown that the conjecture was largely correct.
Today, the site of the historic Leicester Abbey is the very beautiful Abbey Park.