|Built by||William the Conqueror|
|In use||Law court|
|Official name||Leicester Castle and the Magazine Gateway|
|Designated||26 June 1924|
Leicester Castle is in the city of the same name in the English county of Leicestershire. 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. The Castle and the Magazine Gateway is a scheduled monument.
Leicester Castle was part of the medieval town defences, built over the Roman town walls. ft (12.2 m) high.The castle was probably built around 1070 (soon after the Norman Conquest in 1066) under the governorship of Hugh de Grandmesnil. The remains now consist of a mound, along with ruins. Originally the mound was 40
In 1173, Henry II's three eldest sons led a rebelled against him with support from several magnates, including Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester. During the conflict, Henry's forces laid siege to Leicester and burnt most of the town.The castle was then slighted (partially demolished) and parts of the ditches filled in.
Kings sometimes stayed at the castle (Edward I in 1300, and Edward II in 1310 and 1311), and John of Gaunt and his second wife Constance of Castile both died here in 1399 and 1394 respectively.Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, one of the leading captains in the early phases of the Hundred Years' War died at the castle on 23 March 1361.
It became an official royal residence during the reigns of Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI and Edward IV, but by the middle of the 15th century, it was no longer considered suitableand was used mainly as a courthouse; with sessions being held in the Great Hall. Apart from being used for Assize Courts, the Great Hall was also used for sessions of the Parliament of England most notably the Parliament of Bats in 1426, when the conditions in London were not suitable.
A section of the castle wall, adjacent to the Turret Gateway, has gun loops (holes) that were poked through the medieval wall to use as firing ports by the city's residents when Parliamentarian Leicester was besieged, captured, and ransacked, during the English Civil War by the main Royalist Field army under Charles I and Prince Rupert on 31 May 1645.The third storey of the Turret Gateway (known as 'Prince Rupert's gateway') was destroyed in an election riot in 1832.
In the 1880s, J. M. Barrie visited the assize courts regularly and spent many hours inside as reporter for the Nottingham Journal when the hall was being used as a court house.
Kenilworth Castle is a castle in the town of Kenilworth in Warwickshire, England which was founded during the Norman conquest of England; with development through to the Tudor period. It has been described by the architectural historian Anthony Emery as "the finest surviving example of a semi-royal palace of the later middle ages, significant for its scale, form and quality of workmanship". Kenilworth played an important historical role: it was the subject of the six-month-long siege of Kenilworth in 1266, thought to be the longest siege in Medieval English history, and formed a base for Lancastrian operations in the Wars of the Roses. Kenilworth was the scene of the removal of Edward II from the English throne, the perceived French insult to Henry V in 1414 of a gift of tennis balls, and the Earl of Leicester's lavish reception of Elizabeth I in 1575. It has been described as "one of two major castles in Britain which may be classified as water-castles or lake-fortresses...".
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, later sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from his namesake relatives, was a nobleman of French origin and a member of the English peerage, who led the baronial opposition to the rule of King Henry III of England, culminating in the Second Barons' War. Following his initial victories over royal forces, he became de facto ruler of the country, and played a major role in the constitutional development of England.
John of Gaunt was an English prince, military leader, and statesman. He was the third of the five sons of King Edward III of England who survived to adulthood. Due to his royal origin, advantageous marriages, and some generous land grants, Gaunt was one of the richest men of his era, and was an influential figure during the reigns of both his father, Edward, and his nephew, Richard II. As Duke of Lancaster, he is the founder of the royal House of Lancaster, whose members would ascend to the throne after his death. His birthplace, Ghent, corrupted into English as Gaunt, was the origin for his name. When he became unpopular later in life, a scurrilous rumour circulated, along with lampoons, claiming that he was actually the son of a Ghent butcher. This rumour, which infuriated him, may have been inspired by the fact that Edward III had not been present at his birth.
Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster, also spelled Katharine or Catherine, was the third wife of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, a son of King Edward III. She had been the Duke's lover for many years before their marriage. The couple's children, born before the marriage, were later legitimised during the reign of the Duke's nephew, Richard II. When the Duke's son from his first marriage overthrew Richard, becoming Henry IV, he introduced a provision that neither they nor their descendants could ever claim the throne of England; however, the legitimacy for all rights was a parliamentary statute that Henry IV lacked the authority to amend.
Bolingbroke Castle is a ruined castle in Bolingbroke Lincolnshire, England.
Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, KG was the fourth surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. Like many medieval English princes, Edmund gained his nickname from his birthplace: Kings Langley Palace in Hertfordshire. He was the founder of the House of York, but it was through the marriage of his younger son, Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, to Anne de Mortimer, great-granddaughter of Edmund's elder brother Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, that the House of York made its claim to the English throne in the Wars of the Roses. The other party in the Wars of the Roses, the incumbent House of Lancaster, was formed from descendants of Edmund's elder brother John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, Edward III's third son.
Earl of Leicester is a title that has been created seven times. The first title was granted during the 12th century in the Peerage of England. The current title is in the Peerage of the United Kingdom and was created in 1837.
Henry, 3rd Earl of Leicester and Lancaster was a grandson of King Henry III (1216–1272) of England and was one of the principals behind the deposition of King Edward II (1307–1327), his first cousin.
Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, Leicester, and Derby was a member of the House of Plantagenet. He was the second surviving son of King Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence. In his childhood he had a claim on the Kingdom of Sicily; however, he never ruled there. He was granted all the lands of Simon de Montfort in 1265, and from 1267 he was titled Earl of Leicester. In that year he also began to rule Lancashire, but he did not take the title Earl of Lancaster until 1276. Between 1276 and 1284 he governed the counties of Champagne and Brie with his second wife, Blanche of Artois, in the name of her daughter Joan, and he was described in the English patent rolls as earl of Lancaster and Champagne. His nickname, "Crouchback", may be a corruption of 'crossback' and refer to his participation in the Ninth Crusade.
The title of Earl of Lancaster was created in the Peerage of England in 1267. It was succeeded by the title Duke of Lancaster in 1351, which expired in 1361.
Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster was an English statesman, diplomat, soldier, and Christian writer. The owner of Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, Grosmont was a member of the House of Plantagenet, which was ruling over England at that time. He was the wealthiest and most powerful peer of the realm.
Constance of Castile was a claimant to the Crown of Castile. She was the daughter of King Peter, who was deposed and killed by his half-brother, King Henry II. She married the English prince John of Gaunt, who fought to obtain the throne of Castile in her name, but ultimately failed.
Joan of Lancaster sometimes called Joan Plantagenet after her dynasty's name, was the third daughter of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster and Maud Chaworth.
Groby Castle is situated in the large village of Groby to the north-west of the city of Leicester.
Events from the 1360s in England.
Monmouth Castle is a castle close to the centre of the town of Monmouth, the county town of Monmouthshire, on a hill above the River Monnow in south east Wales.
The Magazine Gateway is a Grade I listed building in Leicester. Now a solitary landmark alongside Leicester ringroad, it was originally the main gateway of a walled enclosure built around 1400, giving access to the religious precinct of The Newarke. The vaulted archway was open to traffic until 1905. The gatehouse rooms were variously used as a porter's lodge, guest accommodation, prison, militia building, and regimental museum. It is now a building managed by the Leicester Museum Service, and is generally only open to the public by arrangement.
The Newarke Houses Museum is a public museum in Leicester, England. It incorporates the museum of the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, and has a range of exhibits illustrating post-medieval and contemporary Leicester. The museum is close to the 15th century Magazine Gateway and within the precincts of the medieval 'Newarke', the 'New Work' of Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster. The museum stands in the middle of the De Montfort University campus.
Sir Walter Blount, was a soldier and supporter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. He later supported John's son and heir Henry Bolingbroke in his bid to become King Henry IV and in later battles against his enemies. At the Battle of Shrewsbury he served as the royal standard-bearer, was mistaken for the king and killed in combat.
The Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of the Newarke in Leicester, was a collegiate church founded by Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, in 1353. The name "Newarke" is a translation of the Latin "novum opus" i.e. "new work" and was used to distinguish the church from the older collegiate church of Leicester Castle, the Church of St Mary de Castro. Duke Henry enlarged his father's hospital foundation in the southern extension to the castle bailey and built the new church to house a holy relic, part of the Crown of Thorns given him by John II of France. The church became a place of pilgrimage. Leland visited it around 1540, shortly before its destruction during the Suppression of the Chantries. He described the church as "not very great...but exceeding fair."
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