Today we go back to the fourteenth century and take a look at the Guildhall. This small but perfectly formed corner is about as far as you can get from hustle and bustle of the city centre although it’s just a short step away.
Built around 1390 for the Guild of Corpus Christi, a small but powerful group of businessmen and gentry, the Guildhall is one of the finest timber framed halls in the country. Between about 1495 and 1875 it served as the Town Hall and in 1632 the Town Library was set up in the East Wing. It was opened as a museum in 1926.
It currently houses a small temporary exhibition about the discovery of Richard III’s remains which were excavated near by.
The statuette is a bronze figure of Ethelfloeda, Queen of Mercians, daughter of Alfred the Great who repelled the Danes from Leicester in 918 AD. In fact it is a replica of one that surmounted a drinking fountain in Victoria Park which was stolen in 1978.
The Great Hall was also used as a court house and there are cells underneath where you can see a gibbet. Gibbeting was was the practice of publicly displaying the bodies of executed criminals inside a cage as a warning to others.
Fascinating. I've read about Gibbets but never saw one. I would so love to see these buildings in person. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment. A lot of the city is quite run down and the current economic climate hasn't helped but there are signs of hope. It's starting to dawn on the powers that be that it's the old slightly quirky buildings that give the place some character.ReplyDelete
The Guildhall is beautiful - I've been to a few events there, most recently a Christmas craft fair last December - it's a great venue. I keep meaning to check out the Richard III exhibit - I'll do it before it finishes as I've heard it's really good! Nice photos, Sally!ReplyDelete
Fascinating! This makes me want to write a story set there. :)ReplyDelete
Now you've said that, so do I. Thanks.Delete
Beautiful! I love it. I'm seriously going to have to come back and dive into your fascinating details. This is the stuff AWESOME is made of.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your commentDelete
this is so lovely---i adore that period!ReplyDelete
I'm not sure I'd want to have lived back then but it's a lovely place.Delete
Wow, that's really cool looking. I really want to go visit it!ReplyDelete
Happy A through Z blogging!
It is pretty cool. ThanksDelete
The houses and streets makes me feel like I've just come out the time machine. It's very pretty, except for the last one. I don't think I would have liked to see a body rotting there.ReplyDelete
Father Dragon Writes
They say the past is a different country.Delete
Thanks for dropping by.
Very interesting... I haven't seen many places from then.ReplyDelete
Stopping by from the A-Z Challenge!
Thanks for stopping by.Delete
Hi, Im a fellow a-z blogger, just stumbled across your site. I'm from nottingham, I've not been to Leicester much so find your blogging really interesting. I've added you to my daily blogs list. I love old architecture which I don't really see much where I am in irvine, California at the moment. I think i need to venture out more. There must be some old buildings somewhere!ReplyDelete
Thanks for dropping by. You may not have anything in California quite as old as the Guildhall but there's always something if you know where to look. And of course you do have the weather and the amazing scenery.Delete
Good post Sally - I recently took a tour of the Guildhall, its very interesting.ReplyDelete
I went on a historical walk around the city, and learned twenty one year old Leicester man, James Cook became the last person to be gibbeted in England.
On the 10th of August 1832 he faced the gibbet for the murder of John Paas, after death, his body was tarred, left to dry, then re-dressed and put into the gibbet, it was then put up in a prominent position in the city to serve as a grim reminder to local towns folk, sometimes bodies were left for well over a year!
From the prisoner’s point of view although their death would be no worse, being gibbeted was a major additional punishment as it was widely believed that one could not go to heaven without a body at this time.
The story of the gibbet is quite fascinating I think...
It's amazing how recently some of these practices lasted. I'm never sure how much information to put in. I know one or two of my blogs have been a bit fact heavy (something I'm trying to remedy) but people seem to be fascinated by this kind of stuff so thanks for passing on the information.
The A-Z Challenge is definitely a learning process.