Leicester, England, United Kingdom

Prehistory | Roman | History : Medieval | Tudor | Stuart | Civil War | Industrial era | Early 20th century | History : World War II | Contemporary | Areas and suburbs | Economy | Textiles | Engineering | Economy : Retail | Food and drink | Culture | Landmarks | Transport : Air : Road : Bus : Cycling | Mainline rail | Great Central Railway | Waterways | Education

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Leicester is a city and unitary authority area in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and close to the eastern end of the National Forest. It is situated to the north-east of Birmingham and Coventry, south of Nottingham and west of Peterborough.

The associated urban area is also the 11th most populous in England and the 13th most populous in the United Kingdom.

Leicester is at the intersection of two railway lines: the Midland Main Line and the Birmingham to London Stansted Airport line. It is also at the confluence of the M1/M69 motorways and the A6/A46 trunk routes. Leicester is the home to football club Leicester City and rugby club Leicester Tigers.

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Prehistory Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England, with a history going back at least two millennia. The native Iron Age settlement encountered by the Romans at the site seems to have developed in the 2nd or 1st centuries BC. Little is known about this settlement or the condition of the River Soar at this time, although roundhouses from this era have been excavated and seem to have clustered along roughly 8 hectares (20 acres) of the east bank of the Soar above its confluence with the Trent. This area of the Soar was split into two channels: a main stream to the east and a narrower channel on the west, with a presumably marshy island between. The settlement seems to have controlled a ford across the larger channel. The later Roman name was a latinate form of the Brittonic word for "ramparts" (cf. Gaelic rath and the nearby villages of Ratby and Ratcliffe), suggesting the site was an oppidum. The plural form of the name suggests it was initially composed of several villages. The Celtic tribe holding the area was later recorded as the "Coritanians" but an inscription recovered in 1983 showed this to have been a corruption of the original "Corieltauvians". The Corieltauvians are believed to have ruled over roughly the area of the East Midlands.

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Roman It is believed that the Romans arrived in the Leicester area around AD 47, during their conquest of southern Britain. The Corieltauvian settlement lay near a bridge on the Fosse Way, a Roman road between the legionary camps at Isca (Exeter) and Lindum (Lincoln). It remains unclear whether the Romans fortified and garrisoned the location, but it slowly developed from around the year 50 onwards as the tribal capital of the Corieltauvians under the name Ratae Corieltauvorum. In the 2nd century, it received a forum and bathhouse. In 2013, the discovery of a Roman cemetery found just outside the old city walls and dating back to AD 300 was announced. The remains of the baths of Roman Leicester can be seen at the Jewry Wall; recovered artifacts are displayed at the adjacent museum.

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History: Medieval Knowledge of the town following the Roman withdrawal from Britain is limited. Certainly there is some continuation of occupation of the town, though on a much reduced scale in the 5th and 6th centuries. Its memory was preserved as the Cair Lerion of the History of the Britons. Following the Saxon invasion of Britain, Leicester was occupied by the Middle Angles and subsequently administered by the kingdom of Mercia. It was elevated to a bishopric in either 679 or 680; this see survived until the 9th century, when Leicester was captured by Danish Vikings. Their settlement became one of the Five Burghs of the Danelaw, although this position was short-lived. The Saxon bishop, meanwhile, fled to Dorchester-on-Thames and Leicester did not become a bishopric again until the Church of St Martin became Leicester Cathedral in 1927. The settlement was recorded under the name Ligeraceaster in the early 10th century.

Following the Norman conquest, Leicester was recorded by William's Domesday Book as Ledecestre. It was noted as a city (civitas) but lost this status in the 11th century owing to power struggles between the Church and the aristocracy and did not become a legal city again until 1919.

Geoffrey of Monmouth composed his History of the Kings of Britain around the year 1136, naming a King Leir as an eponymous founder figure. According to Geoffrey's narrative, Cordelia had buried her father beneath the river in a chamber dedicated to Janus and his feast day was an annual celebration.

When Simon de Montfort became Lord of Leicester in 1231, he gave the city a grant to expel the Jewish population "in my time or in the time of any of my heirs to the end of the world". He justified his action as being "for the good of my soul, and for the souls of my ancestors and successors". Leicester's Jews were allowed to move to the eastern suburbs, which were controlled by de Montfort's great-aunt and rival, Margaret, Countess of Winchester, after she took advice from the scholar and cleric Robert Grosseteste. There is evidence that Jews remained there until 1253, and perhaps enforcement of the banishment within the city was not rigorously enforced. De Montfort however issued a second edict for the expulsion of Leicester's Jews in 1253, after Grosseteste's death. De Montfort's many acts of anti-Jewish persecution in Leicester and elsewhere were part of a wider pattern that led to the expulsion of the Jewish population from England in 1290.

During the 14th century, the earls of Leicester and Lancaster enhanced the prestige of the town. Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster and of Leicester founded a hospital for the poor and infirm in the area to the south of the castle now known as The Newarke (the "new work"). Henry's son, the great Henry of Grosmont, 4th Earl of Lancaster and of Leicester, who was made first Duke of Lancaster, enlarged and enhanced his father's foundation, and built the collegiate Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of The Newarke. This church (a little of which survives in the basement of the Hawthorn Building of De Montfort University) was destroyed during the reign of King Edward VI. It became an important pilgrimage site because it housed a thorn said to be from the Crown of Thorns, given to the Duke by the King of France. The church (described by Leland in the C16th as "not large but exceeding fair") also became, effectively, a Lancastrian mausoleum. Duke Henry's daughter Blanche of Lancaster married John of Gaunt and their son Henry Bolingbroke became King Henry IV when he deposed King Richard II. The Church of the Annunciation was the burial place of Duke Henry, who had earlier had his father re-interred here. Later it became the burial place of Constance of Castile, Duchess of Lancaster (second wife of John of Gaunt) and of Mary de Bohun, first wife of Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV) and mother of King Henry V (she did not become queen because she died before Bolingbroke became king). John of Gaunt died at Leicester Castle in 1399. When his son became king, the Earldom of Leicester and the Duchy of Lancaster became royal titles (and the latter remains so).

At the end of the War of the Roses, King Richard III was buried in Leicester's Greyfriars Church a Franciscan Friary and Church which was demolished after its dissolution in 1538. The site of that church is now covered by King Richard III Visitor Centre (until 2012 by more modern buildings and a car park). There was a legend his corpse had been cast into the river, while some historians argued his tomb and remains were destroyed during the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. However, in September 2012, an archaeological investigation of the car park revealed a skeleton which DNA testing helped verify to be related to two descendants of Richard III's sister. It was concluded that the skeleton was that of Richard III because of the DNA evidence and the shape of the spine. In 2015 Richard III was reburied in pride of place near the high altar in Leicester Cathedral.

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Tudor On 4 November 1530, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was arrested on charges of treason and taken from York Place. On his way south to face charges at the Tower of London, he fell ill. The group escorting him was concerned enough to stop at Leicester to rest at Leicester Abbey. There, Wolsey's condition quickly worsened. He died on 29 November 1530 and was buried at Leicester Abbey, now Abbey Park.

Lady Jane Grey, who claimed the English throne for nine days in June 1553, was born at Bradgate Park near Leicester around 1536.

Queen Elizabeth I's intimate and former suitor, Robert Dudley, was given the Earldom of Leicester.

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Stuart After the Union of the Crowns, Prince Charles, later King Charles I, travelled to London with his guardian Alexander Seton. The royal party stayed at Leicester for three days in August 1604 at the townhouse of William Skipwith.

The Corporation of Leicester opposed the efforts of Charles I to disafforest the nearby Leicester Forest, believing them to be likely to throw many of its residents into poverty and need of relief. Sir Miles Fleetwood was sent to commission the disafforestation and division of lands being used in common. Riots destroyed enclosures in spring 1627 and 1628, following a pattern of anti-enclosure disturbances found elsewhere including the Western Rising.

Petitions challenging the enclosures were presented by the Corporation of Leicester and borough residents to the King and Privy Council. They were unsuccessful so petitioned the House of Lords in June 1628 who however supported Fleetwood but asked for proceedings made by the Crown against the rioters to be dropped. Compensation made to the legal residents of the forest was reasonably generous by comparison with other forests. The Corporation of Leicester received 40 acres (16 ha) for relief of the poor.

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Civil War Leicester was a Parliamentarian (colloquially called Roundhead) stronghold during the English Civil War. In 1645, King Charles I of England and Prince Rupert decided to attack the (then) town to draw the New Model Army away from the Royalist (colloquially called Cavaliers) headquarters of Oxford. Royalist guns were set up on Raw Dykes and, after an unsatisfactory response to a demand for surrender, the assault began at 3pm on 30 May 1645 by a Royalist battery opposite the Newarke. The town – which only had approximately 2,000 defenders opposed to the Royalist Army of approximately 10,000 combatants – was sacked on 31 May 1645, and hundreds of people were killed by Rupert's cavalry. One witness said, "they fired upon our men out of their windows, from the tops of houses, and threw tiles upon their heads. Finding one house better manned than ordinary, and many shots fired at us out of the windows, I caused my men to attack it, and resolved to make them an example for the rest; which they did. Breaking open the doors, they killed all they found there without distinction". It was reported that 120 houses had been destroyed and that 140 wagons of plunder were sent to the Royalist stronghold of Newark.

Following the Parliamentarian victory over the Royalist Army at the Battle of Naseby on 14 June 1645 Leicester was recovered by Parliament on 18 June 1645.

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Industrial era The construction of the Grand Union Canal in the 1790s linked Leicester to London and Birmingham. The first railway station in Leicester opened in 1832, in the form of the Leicester and Swannington Railway which provided a supply of coal to the town from nearby collieries. The Midland Counties Railway (running from Derby to Rugby) linked the town to the national network by 1840. A direct link to London St Pancras was established by the Midland Railway in the 1860s. These developments encouraged and accompanied a process of industrialisation which intensified throughout the reign of Queen Victoria. Factories began to appear, particularly along the canal and river, and districts such as Frog Island and Woodgate were the locations of numerous large mills. Between 1861 and 1901, Leicester's population increased from 68,100 to 211,600and the proportion employed in trade, commerce, building, and the city's new factories and workshops rose steadily. Hosiery, textiles, and footwear became the major industrial employers: manufacturers such as N. Corah & Sons and the Cooperative Boot and Shoe Company were opening some of the largest manufacturing premises in Europe. They were joined, in the latter part of the century, by engineering firms such as Kent Street's Taylor and Hubbard (crane makers and founders), Vulcan Road's William Gimson & Company (steam boilers and founders), and Martin Street's Richards & Company (steel works and founders).

The politics of Victorian Leicester were lively and very often bitter. Years of consistent economic growth meant living standards generally increased, but Leicester was a stronghold of Radicalism. Thomas Cooper, the Chartist, kept a shop in Church Gate. There were serious Chartist riots in the town in 1842 and again six years later. The Leicester Secular Society was founded in 1851 but secularist speakers such as George Holyoake were often denied the use of speaking halls. It was not until 1881 that Leicester Secular Hall was opened. The second half of the 19th century also witnessed the creation of many other institutions, including the town council, the Royal Infirmary, and the Leicester Constabulary. It also benefited from general acceptance (and the Public Health Acts) that municipal organisations had a responsibility to provide for the town's water supply, drainage, and sanitation. In 1853, backed with a guarantee of dividends by the Corporation of Leicester the Leicester Waterworks Company built a reservoir at Thornton for the supply of water to the town. This guarantee was made possible by the Public Health Act 1847 and an amending local Act of Parliament of 1851. In 1866 another amending Act enabled the Corporation of Leicester to take shares in the company to enable another reservoir at Cropston, completed in 1870. The Corporation of Leicester was later able to buy the waterworks and build another reservoir at Swithland, completed in the 1890s.

Leicester became a county borough in 1889, although it was abolished in 1974 as part of the Local Government Act, and was reformed as a non-metropolitan district and city. The city regained its unitary status, being administered separately from Leicestershire, in 1997. The borough had been expanding throughout the 19th century, but grew most notably when it annexed Belgrave, Aylestone, North Evington, Knighton, and Stoneygate in 1892.

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Early 20th century In 1900, the Great Central Railway provided another link to London, but the rapid population growth of the previous decades had already begun to slow by the time of Queen Victoria's death in 1901.

World War I and the subsequent epidemics had further impacts. Nonetheless, Leicester was finally recognised as a legal city once more in 1919 in recognition of its contribution to the British war effort. Recruitment to the armed forces was lower in Leicester than in other English cities, partly because of the low level of unemployment and the need for many of its industries, such as clothing and footwear manufacturing, to supply the army. As the war progressed, many of Leicester's factories were given over to arms production; Leicester produced the first batch of Howitzer shells by a British company which was not making ammunition before the war. After the war, the city received a royal visit; the king and queen received a march-past in Victoria Park of thousands of serving and demobilised soldiers. Following the end of the war, a memorial arch—the Arch of Remembrance—was built in Victoria Park and unveiled in 1925. The arch, one of the largest First World War memorials in the UK, was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who also designed the Cenotaph in London and is a grade I listed building. A set of gates and lodges, again by Lutyens, were added in the 1930s, leading to the memorial from the University Road and London Road entrances to Victoria Park.

In 1927, Leicester again became a cathedral city on the consecration of St Martin's Church as the cathedral. A second major extension to the boundaries following the changes in 1892 took place in 1935, with the annexation of the remainder of Evington, Humberstone, Beaumont Leys, and part of Braunstone. A third major revision of the boundaries took place in 1966, with the net addition to the city of just over 450 acres (182 ha). The boundary has remained unchanged since that time.

Leicester's diversified economic base and lack of dependence on primary industries meant it was much better placed than many other cities to weather the tariff wars of the 1920s and Great Depression of the 1930s. The Bureau of Statistics of the newly formed League of Nations identified Leicester in 1936 as the second-richest city in Europe and it became an attractive destination for refugees fleeing persecution and political turmoil in continental Europe. Firms such as Corah and Liberty Shoes used their reputation for producing high-quality products to expand their businesses. These years witnessed the growth in the city of trade unionism and particularly the co-operative movement. The Co-op became an important employer and landowner; when Leicester played host to the Jarrow March on its way to London in 1936, the Co-op provided the marchers with a change of boots. In 1938, Leicester was selected as the base for Squadron 1F, the first A.D.C.C (Air Defence Cadet Corp), the predecessor of the Air Training Corps.

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History: World War II Leicester was bombed on 19 November 1940. Although only 3 bombs hit the city, 108 people were killed in Highfields.

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Contemporary The years after World War II, particularly from the 1960s onwards, brought many social and economic challenges.

Urban expansion; central rapprochement Mass housebuilding continued across Leicester for some 30 years after 1945. Existing housing estates such as Braunstone were expanded, while several completely new estates – of both private and council tenure – were built. The last major development of this era was Beaumont Leys in the north of the city, which was developed in the 1970s as a mix of private and council housing.

There was a steady decline in Leicester's traditional manufacturing industries and, in the city centre, working factories and light industrial premises have now been almost entirely replaced. Many former factories, including some on Frog Island and at Donisthorpe Mill, have been badly damaged by fire. Rail and barge were finally eclipsed by automotive transport in the 1960s and 1970s: the Great Central and the Leicester and Swannington both closed and the northward extension of the M1 motorway linked Leicester into England's growing motorway network. With the loss of much of the city's industry during the 1970s and 1980s, some of the old industrial jobs were replaced by new jobs in the service sector, particularly in retail. The opening of the Haymarket Shopping Centre in 1971 was followed by a number of new shopping centres in the city, including St Martin's Shopping Centre in 1984 and the Shire Shopping Centre in 1992. The Shires was subsequently expanded in September 2008 and rebranded as Highcross. By the 1990s, as well, Leicester's central position and good transport links had established it as a distribution centre; the south-western area of the city has also attracted new service and manufacturing businesses.

Immigration Since World War II Leicester has experienced large scale immigration from across the world. Many Polish servicemen were prevented from returning to their homeland after the war by the communist regime, and they established a small community in Leicester. Economic migrants from the Irish Republic continued to arrive throughout the post war period. Immigrants from the Indian sub-continent began to arrive in the 1960s, their numbers boosted by Asians arriving from Kenya and Uganda in the early 1970s.

In 1972, Idi Amin announced that the entire Asian community in Uganda had 90 days to leave the country. Shortly thereafter, the Leicester City Council launched a campaign aimed at dissuading Ugandan Asians from migrating to the city. The adverts did not have their intended effect, instead making more migrants aware of the possibility of settling in Leicester. Nearly a quarter of initial Ugandan refugees (around 5000 to 6000) settled in Leicester, and by the end of the 1970s around another quarter of the initially dispersed refugees had made their way to Leicester. Officially, the adverts were taken out for fear that immigrants to Leicester would place pressure on city services and at least one person who was a city councillor at the time says he believes they were placed for racist reasons. The initial advertisement was widely condemned, and taken as a marker of anti-Asian sentiment throughout Britain as a whole, although the attitudes that resulted in the initial advertisement were changed significantly in subsequent decades, not least because the immigrants included the owners of many of "Uganda's most successful businesses".

Forty years later, Leicester's mayor Sir Peter Soulsby expressed his regret for the behaviour of the council at the time.

In the 1990s, a group of Dutch citizens of Somali origin settled in the city. Since the 2004 enlargement of the European Union a significant number of East European migrants have settled in the city. While some wards in the north-east of the city are more than 70% South Asian, wards in the west and south are all over 70% white. The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) had estimated that by 2011 Leicester would have approximately a 50% ethnic minority population, making it the first city in Britain not to have a white British majority. This prediction was based on the growth of the ethnic minority populations between 1991 (Census 1991 28% ethnic minority) and 2001 (Census 2001 – 36% ethnic minority). However, Professor Ludi Simpson at the University of Manchester School of Social Sciences said in September 2007 that the CRE had "made unsubstantiated claims and ignored government statistics" and that Leicester's immigrant and minority communities disperse to other places.

The Leicester Multicultural Advisory Group is a forum, set up in 2001 by the editor of the Leicester Mercury, to co-ordinate community relations with members representing the council, police, schools, community and faith groups, and the media.

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Areas and suburbs Suburbs and districts of Leicester include: • Abbey Rise • Ashton Green • Aylestone • Beaumont Leys • Bede Island • Belgrave • Blackfriars • Braunstone Frith • City Centre • Clarendon Park • Crown Hills • Dane Hills • Evington • Evington Valley • Eyres Monsell • Frog Island • Gilmorton • Goodwood • Hamilton • Highfields • Horston Hill • Humberstone • Humberstone Garden • Kirby Frith • Knighton • Montrose • Mowmacre Hill • Netherhall • Newfoundpool • New Parks • North Evington • Northfields • Rowlatts Hill • Rowley Fields • Rushey Mead • Saffron • Southfields • South Knighton • Spinney Hills • Stocking Farm • Stoneygate • St. Matthew's • St. Mark's • St. Peters • Thurnby Lodge • West End • West Knighton • Western Park • Woodgate.

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Economy Leicester has the second largest economy in the East Midlands, after Nottingham.

Companies that have their principal offices or significant sites in Leicester and the surrounding area include; Brantano Footwear, Dunelm Mill, Next, Shoe Zone, Everards brewing and associated businesses, KPMG, Mazars, Cambridge & Counties Bank, HSBC and Santander banking, Hastings Insurance, British Gas, British Telecom, Caterpillar (Inc.), Topps Tiles and DHL.

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Textiles The city has historically had a strong association with the production of textiles, clothing and shoes. While important companies such as Corah, Liberty Shoes and Equity Shoes have closed, companies such as Next and Boden are still active and ASOS and New Look manufacture in the city. Moreover, in recent years the higher transport prices and longer lead-times associated with globalised production in Asia mean some textile manufacturers are locating to the city.

There have long been concerns about the working conditions in this sector. Leicester's garment district is home to more than 1,000 factories employing as many as 10,000 workers. It has received fewer than 60 health and safety inspections and only 28 fire inspections since October 2017. HMRC has made just 36 visits checking on compliance with minimum wage legislation; it has issued penalties to fewer than 10 textile firms and claimed just over £100,000 in arrears relating to 143 workers. Research at the University of Leicester in 2010 and published in 2015 found there were 11,700 employees where 75-90% were being paid £3 per hour, which was less than half of the then legal minimum wage. In 2017 Peter Soulsby, Mayor of Leicester called together 40 regulatory organisations to coordinate a response. He aimed to make sure that Leicester had the highest standards of employment; that workers are properly paid, well trained and work in safe environments, In 2020 the HSE was alerted to COVID-19 non-compliance.

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Engineering Engineering companies include Jones & Shipman (machine tools and control systems), Richards Engineering (foundry equipment), Transmon Engineering (materials handling equipment) and Trelleborg (suspension components for rail, marine, and industrial applications). Local commitment to nurturing British engineers includes apprenticeship schemes with local companies, and academic-industrial connections with the engineering departments at Leicester University, De Montfort University, and nearby Loughborough University. Leicester was also home to the famous Gents' of Leicester clock manufacturers.

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Economy: Retail The city centre has two large shopping malls – Highcross Leicester and the Haymarket Shopping Centre. The Haymarket Shopping Centre opened in 1974 and has two levels of shopping, multi-storey parking for up to 500 cars, a bus station and is home to the Haymarket Theatre. Highcross Leicester opened in 2008 after work to redevelop "The Shires Centre" was completed at a cost of £350 million (creating 120 stores, 15 restaurants, a cinema, 110,000 m2 of shopping space).

St Martin's Square and the Leicester Lanes area has numerous designer and specialist shops; several of the city's Victorian arcades are located in the same neighbourhood. Leicester Market is the largest outdoor covered market in Europe.

Central Leicester is the location for several department stores including John Lewis, Debenhams.

The Golden Mile is the name given to a stretch of Belgrave Road renowned for its authentic Indian restaurants, sari shops, and jewellers; the Diwali celebrations in Leicester are focused on this area and are the largest outside the sub-continent.

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Food and drink Henry Walker was a successful pork butcher who moved from Mansfield to Leicester in the 1880s to take over an established business in High Street. The first Walker's crisp production line was in the empty upper storey of Walker's Oxford Street factory in Leicester. In the early days the potatoes were sliced by hand and cooked in an ordinary deep fryer. In 1971 the Walker's crisps business was sold to Standard Brands, an American firm, who sold on the company to Frito-Lay. Walker's crisps makes 10 million bags of crisps per day at two factories in Beaumont Leys, and is the UK's largest grocery brand. The Beaumont Leys manufacturing plant is world's largest crisp factory.

Meanwhile, the sausage and pie business was bought out by Samworth Brothers in 1986. Production outgrew the Cobden Street site and pork pies are now manufactured at a meat processing factory and bakery in Beaumont Leys, coincidentally near to the separately owned crisp factories. Sold under the Walker's name and under UK retailers own brands such as Tesco, over three million hot and cold pies are made each week. Henry Walker's butcher shop at 4–6 Cheapside sold Walker's sausages and pork pies until March 2012 when owner Scottish Fife Fine Foods ceased trading, although the shop was temporarily open and selling Walker's pies for the Christmas 2012 season.

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Culture The city hosts annually a Caribbean Carnival and parade (the largest in the UK outside London), Diwali celebrations (the largest outside of India), the largest comedy festival in the UK Leicester Comedy Festival and a Pride Parade (Leicester Pride). Belgrave Road, not far from the city centre, is colloquially known as "The Golden Mile" because of the number of Jewellers.

The Leicester International Short Film Festival is an annual event; it commenced in 1996 under the banner title of "Seconds Out". It has become one of the most important short film festivals in the UK and usually runs in early November, with venues including the Phoenix Square.

Notable arts venues in the city include: • Curve: Purpose-designed performing arts centre, designed by Rafael Viñoly, opened in Autumn 2008, • The De Montfort Hall • The Haymarket Theatre • The Little Theatre • The Y Theatre at the YMCA • The Peepul Centre, Designed by Andrzej Blonski Architects, the £15 million building was opened in 2005 and houses an auditorium, restaurant, cyber café, gym and dance studio for the local people, as well as being used for conferences and events. The centre has even been host to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other senior Labour Party figures for hustings during the deputy leadership contest. • Phoenix Square, which in 2009, replaced the Phoenix Arts Centre. • The Sue Townsend Theatre – which opened in the former Phoenix Arts Centre.

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Landmarks There are ten Scheduled Monuments in Leicester and thirteen Grade I listed buildings: some sites, such as Leicester Castle and the Jewry Wall, appear on both lists.

20th century architecture: Leicester University Engineering Building (James Stirling & James Gowan: Grd II Listed), Kingstone Department Store, Belgrave Gate (Raymond McGrath: Grd II Listed), National Space Centre tower.

Parks: Abbey Park, Botanic Gardens, Castle Gardens, Grand Union Canal, Knighton Park, Nelson Mandela Park, River Soar, Victoria Park, Watermead Country Park.

Industry: Abbey Pumping Station, National Space Centre, Great Central Railway.

Historic buildings: Town Hall, Guildhall, Belgrave Hall, Jewry Wall, Secular Hall, Abbey, Castle, St Mary de Castro, The City Rooms, Newarke Magazine Gateway.

Shopping: Abbey Lane-grandes surfaces, Beaumont Shopping Centre, Belvoir Street/Market Street, Golden Mile, Haymarket Shopping Centre, Highcross, Leicester Lanes, Leicester Market, St Martin's Square, Silver Arcade area.

Sport: King Power Stadium – Leicester City FC, Welford Road – Leicester Tigers, Grace Road – Leicestershire County Cricket Club, Paul Chapman & Sons Arena, Leicester Lions Speedway, Leicester Sports Arena – Leicester Riders, Saffron Lane sports centre – Leicester Coritanian Athletics Club.

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Transport: Air East Midlands Airport (EMA), at Castle Donington 20 miles (32 km) north-north-west of the city, is the closest international airport. The airport is a national hub for mail/freight networks.

Leicester Airport (LRC) is a small airport, some 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Leicester city centre; it does not operate scheduled services.

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Transport: Road Leicester is at the midpoint of the primary English north/south M1 motorway between London and Leeds, served by junctions 21, 21A and 22. This is where the M1 transects with one of the primary north-east to south-west routes, the M69 motorway/A46 corridor linking to the A1 and M6 motorway at Newark-on-Trent and Coventry respectively. The M42 motorway towards Birmingham Airport terminates in north-west Leicestershire, some 12 miles (19 km) west-north-west of the Leicester urban area. Leicester is at the nexus of the A6/(A14), A50, A47 and A607 trunk roads and A426 and A5199 primary routes.

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Transport: Bus Leicester has two main bus stations: St. Margarets and Haymarket, which was recommissioned in May 2016. The main bus operators for Leicester and the surrounding area are Arriva Fox County, Centrebus, First Leicester, Hinckley Bus (Part of Arriva Midlands), Kinchbus, Leicester Bus and Stagecoach Midlands.

The Star trak real time system was introduced in 2000 by Leicester City Council; it allowed bus tracking and the retrieval of bus times by text message or online. The system was discontinued in 2011.

There are three permanent Park and Ride sites at Meynells Gorse (Leicester Forest East), Birstall and Enderby; buses operate every 15 mins from all sites. The park and ride services are branded as quicksilver shuttle and are contracted to Roberts' Coaches from the City Council and County Council; buses use a purpose-built terminal near St. Nicholas Circle.

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Transport: Cycling National Cycle Network Route 6 passes through Leicestershire along with other secondary routes. The Leicester Bike Park is in Town Hall Square. Cycle Works Bike Mechanic Training Centre is in Wellington Street Adult Education Centre and former Central Lending Library.

Since 2021, the city has an electric bicycle sharing scheme, Santander Cycles Leicester. The scheme is a joint venture between Leicester City Council, the operator Ride On, Enzen Global as delivery partner and additional funding provided through sponsorship with Santander.

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Mainline rail The rail network is of growing importance in Leicester and, with the start of Eurostar international services from London St Pancras International in November 2007, Leicester railway station has gained connections at St. Pancras station to Lille, Brussels and Paris onwards.

Inter-city services are operated by East Midlands Railway providing connectivity on 'fast' and 'semi-fast' services to London, the south-east and to major locations in the East Midlands and Yorkshire; there are also local services operating within the East Midlands region. Trans-regional services to the West Midlands and East Anglia are provided by CrossCountry, enabling connections at nearby Nuneaton, onto the West Coast main line, and at Peterborough to the East Coast Main Line.

The 99 miles (159 km) from Leicester Railway Station to London St Pancras International on the Midland Main Line are covered in an average of 1h 25m during the morning peak, with journey times as low as 1h 06m later in the day. Transfers onto London Underground or Thameslink train services to London City or West End add another 15 to 25 minutes to the journey time; double that to Canary Wharf. The journey time to Sheffield is around one hour, with Leeds and York taking approximately two. Birmingham is 50 minutes away and Cambridge, via Peterborough, can be reached in around 1 hour 55m with further direct services available onto Stansted Airport in north Essex.

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Great Central Railway The decommissioned Leicester Central railway station is on the late Victorian Great Central Railway line that ran from London Marylebone northwards. Beeching cuts closed the route in the late 1960s. A preserved section, however, remains operational in the East Midlands centred on Loughborough Central railway station providing tourist services through central Leicestershire, passing Swithland Reservoir on to the Leicester North railway station terminus.

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Waterways Two navigable waterways join at Leicester: The Leicester Line of the Grand Union Canal links Leicester with London and Birmingham to the south. The Grand Union Canal joins the River Soar Navigation in Leicester, which links the city to the River Trent, and the Trent and Mersey Canal to the north.

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Education Leicester is home to two universities, the University of Leicester, which attained its Royal Charter in 1957 and was ranked 12th by the 2009 Complete University Guide, and De Montfort University, which opened in 1969 as Leicester Polytechnic and achieved university status in 1992.

It is also home to the National Space Centre off Abbey Lane, due in part to the University of Leicester being one of the few universities in the UK to specialise in space sciences.

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River Soar, Leicester, England 
River Soar, Leicester, England
Image: Adobe Stock dudlajzov #201599610

Leicester was ranked #286 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Leicester has a population of over 442,000 people. Leicester also forms the centre of the wider Leicester metropolitan area which has a population of over 745,000 people. Leicester is the #217 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 3.3698 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores. Leicester is ranked #500 for startups with a score of 0.367. It is estimated there are around 20,540 businesses in Leicester.

To set up a UBI Lab for Leicester see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Leicester has links with:

🇨🇳 Banan, China 🇨🇳 Chongqing, China 🇧🇬 Haskovo, Bulgaria 🇩🇪 Krefeld, Germany 🇳🇮 Masaya, Nicaragua 🇩🇿 Oran, Algeria 🇮🇳 Rajkot, India 🇫🇷 Strasbourg, France
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | Hipster Index | Nomad | StartupBlink

  • Joseph Goddard |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect Joseph Goddard is associated with Leicester. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1871.

  • Herbert Luck North |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Architect Herbert Luck North is associated with Leicester. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA) in 1907. 

  • John Douglas |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect John Douglas is associated with Leicester. Throughout his career he attracted commissions from wealthy landowners and industrialists, especially the Grosvenor family of Eaton Hall.

  • Harry Morley |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect/Painter/Illustrator/Engraver Harry Morley is associated with Leicester. Morley abandoned architecture, and became a painter, illustrator, and engraver.

  • Alfred Henry Paget |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect Alfred Henry Paget is associated with Leicester. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA) in 1892.

  • Paul Waterhouse |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect/Furniture Designer Paul Waterhouse is associated with Leicester. He was President of the RIBA from 1921 to 1923.

  • Samuel Needham |

    Architect Samuel Needham is associated with Leicester.

  • Samuel John Wathen Wigg |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect Samuel John Wathen Wigg is associated with Leicester. His design is illustrated in Designs for One Hundred Ideal £1,000 Houses.

  • John Paul Cooper |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect/Silversmith/Jewellery Designer/Painter/Illustrator John Paul Cooper is associated with Leicester. Cooper was one of the key figures in the British Arts and Crafts movement.

  • James Glen Sivewright Gibson |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Architect James Glen Sivewright Gibson is associated with Leicester. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA) in 1902.

  • Sydney Smirke |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect Sydney Smirke is associated with Leicester. He was Clerk of Works at St. James's Palace and Surveyor of the Inner Temple.

  • Henry Edward Farmer |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect Henry Edward Farmer is associated with Leicester. During World War One he was Chief Architect for Admiralty Control.

  • James Ransome |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect James Ransome is associated with Leicester. From 1902 to 1907 he was Consulting Architect to the Government of India.

  • Henry Langton Goddard |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect Henry Langton Goddard is associated with Leicester. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA) in 1904.

  • John Garrard Elgood |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect John Garrard Elgood is associated with Leicester. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA) in 1890.

  • Samuel Sanders Teulon |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect Samuel Sanders Teulon is associated with Leicester. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects (LRIBA) in 1835.

  • John Heald |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect John Heald is associated with Leicester. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects (LRIBA) in 1936.

  • Arthur Southcombe Parker |

    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect Arthur Southcombe Parker is associated with Leicester. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA) in 1903.

  • Percy Wells Lovell |

    🇮🇳 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Architect/Town Planner Percy Wells Lovell is associated with Leicester. During WWI, he formulated a plan for the post-war development of London.

Antipodal to Leicester is: 178.871,-52.634

Antipodal to: Leicester 178.871,-52.634

🇳🇿 Dunedin 170.474,-45.884 d: 19049.6  

🇳🇿 Christchurch 172.617,-43.517 d: 18900.9  

🇳🇿 Balclutha 169.75,-46.233 d: 19046.2  

🇳🇿 Canterbury 171.58,-43.543 d: 18869.6  

🇳🇿 Wellington 174.767,-41.283 d: 18715.6  

🇳🇿 Hutt 174.917,-41.217 d: 18711  

🇳🇿 Lower Hutt 174.917,-41.217 d: 18711  

🇳🇿 Masterton 175.664,-40.95 d: 18693.4  

🇳🇿 Upper Hutt 175.05,-41.133 d: 18704.2  

🇳🇿 Porirua 174.84,-41.131 d: 18700.4  

Bing Map

Option 1