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12 Iconic Buildings to explore in Leicestershire

Leicestershire

Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands, being within the East Midlands. Leicestershire takes its name from the city of Leicester located at its centre and administered separately from the rest of the county. The ceremonial county – the non-metropolitan county plus the city of Leicester – has a total population of just over 1 million, more than half of which lives in the Leicester Urban Area.

1620s House and Garden at Donington le Heath

This rare and beautiful house is a surviving example of a family home which was built in the 13th century and then modernised in the 17th Century, one of the oldest houses in Leicestershire. It was once owned by a relative of one of the Gunpowder plotters, and is now managed by Leicestershire County Council. All the rooms are fully furnished as they might have been at the time and the mixture of original and replica furniture and household objects can be touched and used - with one exception.

Ashby de la Zouch Castle
Ashby de la Zouch CastleSouth St, Ashby-de-la-Zouch LE65 1BR, UK

Ashby de la Zouch Castle was the purpose-built seat of one of the most powerful men in late 15th-century English politics, William, Lord Hastings. Constructed on the site of an older manor house, two large towers and various smaller buildings had been constructed by 1483, when Hastings was executed by Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

Belgrave Hall
Belgrave HallChurch Rd, Belgrave, Leicester LE4 5PE, UK

Belgrave Hall is a lovingly restored 18th-century former family home that has retained much of its traditional architectural character including original period features and detailing. It was commissioned for hosiery merchant Edmund Craddock and his wife Anne. Later it became the home of William Vann, High Sheriff of Leicestershire. Visitors can explore the surrounding gardens on special event days.

Belvoir Castle
Belvoir CastleGrantham NG32 1PE, UK

Belvoir Castle is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland. The family have lived at Belvoir in an unbroken line for almost a thousand years. The Castle visitors can see today dates from 1832 and is regarded as one of the finest examples of Regency architecture in the country. The estate surrounding the castle contains formal gardens and woodland, all with stunning views. The latest garden restoration programme brought the lost plans of Capability Brown to fruition.

Bradgate House
Bradgate HouseNewtown Linford, Leicester LE6 0HE, UK

Bradgate House is a 16th-century ruin in Bradgate Park, Leicestershire, England. Once a magnificent Tudor mansion and the birthplace of Lady Jane Grey, the tragic 'Nine Days Queen'. The 16th-century ruins are nestled in the heart of Bradgate Park, near the village of Newtown Linford in Leicestershire, central England. The construction work of the large mansion was started by Thomas Grey, 1st marquis of Dorset, in 1499, and it was finally finished by his son in 1520.

Kirby Muxloe Castle
Kirby Muxloe CastleOff Oakcroft Ave, Kirby Muxloe LE9 2AP, UK

This beautiful mansion was built for Lord Hastings, who was dramatically seized and executed by Richard III in 1483. Hastings’ descendants still believe they have a direct line to the throne of England. The castle was rectangular in design, 245 by 175 feet across, and would have comprised four corner towers, three side towers and a large gatehouse, all protected by a water-filled moat; the centre of the castle would have formed a courtyard.

Leicester Abbey
Leicester AbbeyLeicester LE4 5AP, UK

Leicester Abbey was founded in 1138-9 as an abbey of Augustinian canons by Robert ‘le Bossu’ , the second Earl of Leicester. But it is one of the least known of the Midland monasteries because of the almost total destruction. The Abbey's prosperity was boosted through the passage of special privileges by both the English Kings and the Pope. These included an exemption from sending representatives to parliament and from paying tithe on certain land and livestock.

Leicester Castle
Leicester Castle7 Castle View, Leicester LE1 5WH, UK

It is the oldest surviving aisled and bay-divided timber hall in Britain. It still retains some of its original 12th-century timber posts. The complex is situated in the west of Leicester City Centre, between Saint Nicholas Circle to the north and De Montfort University to the south. A large motte and the Great Hall are the two substantial remains of what was once a large defensive structure. The hall is now encased in a Queen Anne-style frontage.

Meridian Leisure Park
Meridian Leisure ParkLubbesthorpe Way, Braunstone Town, Leicester LE19 1JZ, UK

Meridian Leisure Park is a prime destination for bowling, cinema, fitness, and dining. The state-of-the-art Vue multiplex cinema at Meridian Leisure Park with nine screens is the perfect place to see all the latest movie blockbusters. There are also so many options for dining and so more.

National Trust - Stoneywell
National Trust - StoneywellWhitcroft's Ln, Markfield LE67 9QE, UK

Stoneywell is an arts and crafts house set in the beautiful Leicestershire countryside, cared for by the National Trust since 2012. It was built in collaboration with Detmar Blow in 1899 for Ernest's brother Sydney Gimson as a summer residence, and along with much original furniture, it remained in the Gimson family for over a century. As part of a highly influential vernacular movement, it has become well known within Arts and Crafts circles.

Old John Tower
Old John TowerBradgate Park, off Sharply Hill, Leicestershire LE6 0AL, UK

Old John Tower is an iconic folly at the highest point of Bradgate Park, a former medieval deer park north of Leicester. The tower is one of the most famous landmarks in Leicestershire and looks down over the ruins of Bradgate House, a Tudor mansion that was the birthplace of Lady Jane Grey. The tower was adapted in the mid-19th century by the seventh Earl to serve as an observation tower for the practice circuit he laid out for his horses, along with the building of a stable block lower down th

The Clock Tower
The Clock Tower3 E Gates, Leicester LE1 5YA, UK

Clock Tower, one of the city´s best known and most iconic landmarks was built originally as a solution to traffic congestion on the site of the town´s former hay and straw market in 1868. It was built mostly in Ketton stone with a base of Mountsorrel granite, and incorporates column shafts made of polished Peterhead granite and serpentine.

Map of Iconic Buildings to explore in Leicestershire