Friends enjoy tour of Leicester

Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2016


On 19 April 2016 the National Churches Trust and the Leicester Historic Churches Trust welcomed 40 Friends of the National Churches Trust to Leicester.

The Archdeacon of Leicester, the Ven. Dr. Tim Stratford, began the day by extending a warm welcome to Leicester.

The tour started at St Mary de Castro, the city’s second oldest church, dating from 1107. It was awarded a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant in 2012 to rebuild its spire. Warden Frank Gallagher explained the past, present and future of “the jewel of Leicester's churches" which stands within the precincts of the Royal Castle of Leicester.

After lunch, the tour moved to the King Richard III Visitor Centre. A renovated former school metres from where Richard III was discovered in 2012, there was time to explore its fascinating story of the life, death, and discovery of one of England’s most controversial kings.

The final stop was Leicester Cathedral, dedicated to St Martin of Tours, the Roman solder who shared his cloak with a beggar in an act of compassion. Tour guides led a fascinating tour of the cathedral, including the medieval hammerbeam roof, fourteenth century carvings, and glorious Victorian glass. A focal point was, of course, the tomb of King Richard III, made from fossil stone from Yorkshire as befits the last King of the House of York.

Friends were also able to see the new jewel-like stained glass windows by Thomas Denny in St Katharine’s Chapel, which use the story of Richard III to reflect on the human experience of family, journey, betrayal, and death.

It was particularly good to welcome local members of the Professional Trades Directory, stained glass designer Rachael Aldridge from Aldridge Glass and blacksmith Dan Liggins, from Black Dragon Forge.

I had a very enjoyable day and cannot fault anything. Informative and very interesting indeed. The thought that must have gone into this, congratulations all round. Hilary King


Brilliant day; brilliant programme; brilliant lunch in good accessible venue; this was a blueprint for future events, their style and contentSusan Lovell