Leicester (or Ratae Corieltauvorum as it was once called) was important to the Romans. It was a strategic point where the River Soar could be crossed without drowning in mud and so well worth defending.
(This picture shows the Roman Jewry Wall and remains of the Roman baths.)
Fascinating Fact No. 2
The Anglo-Saxons established a market in High Cross. We now have a new and glitzy High Cross Shopping Centre not far from that original site.
Fascinating Fact No. 3
AND the Vikings, who preferred to set up a market of their own, did so on the same site where our Leicester market is today.
(This is Leicester Market, the biggest covered, outdoor market in Europe.
Fascinating Fact No. 4
The Guildhall was built by the local religious guilds. When Henry VIII abolished them, the Leicester Corporation bought it for their town hall.
It’s still in use today. You can visit the Victorian cells or stand in the Great Hall where the Tudor Mayors held huge banquets where indecent amounts of food were served up while the Leicester poor were most likely starving in the streets.
Fascinating Fact No. 5
With the Industrial Revolution came a need to improve our transport system. George Stephenson attended a meeting at Leicester’s Bell Hotel. (I remember that pub. It was opposite Lewis’s.) His son, Robert Stephenson worked on The Comet, Leicester’s first steam engine, and George brought it to Leicester on a canal boat and then drove it on its maiden journey from the brand new West Bridge station.