Back to "On the Road"

Leicester · May 28-31, 2008
St. Mary De Castro · The Cathedral · Victoria Park & the War Memorials

St. Mary De Castro, founded 1107; it's a complicated building, extended in the thirteenth century, with a tower and spire added in 1400. The pews are from the 15th century. John of Gaunt worshipped here, and some think that Chaucer was married in this church. John Wycliffe preached here and Henvy VI was knighted in this church in 1426.
The seats behind the pastor (right side) are 13th-century; seats in the adjacent aisle are a century earlier, Norman.

Much to see here, but very difficult to photograph. The altarpiece, above right, is from 1899; the roodscreen is from 1855, but the fabric and the major alterations are very old, and much else is also medieval, rich and dark, as the pews above.

Outside the church:

Leicester Cathedral
The window above the high altar is a memorial to World War I; the bottom row shows Joan of Arc, Mary, Jesus with weeping angels, Mary Magdalene, James, and St. Martin of Tours.
At the west end of the Great South Aisle is St. George's Chapel, the memorial to The Royal Leicestershire Regiment, also "The Tigers" (the name taken by the Leicester football team). This is an immense memorial that includes several wars.

The dead from World War I are listed on the brass plaques below the large granite tablets, which list the dead of the Boer War.
This cross was taken from the burning cathedral in Ypres by a member of the Regiment

Saturday morning in Victoria Park, a lovely mist rising off the grass.

Nothing was better than this dog, seen mid-air (lower right) as he wheels around on the white ball he was about to catch (it's by his right back leg). He raced after it and snatched it out of the air almost every time, then hauled it back to his friend and waited eagerly to tear after it again.


There are three war memorials in Victoria Park (perhaps more?). The largest is the memorial to the Royal Leicester Regiment, the Bengals, one of the most imposing I have seen I the UK; it makes one think of the Menin Gate or, from some angles, Thiepval (but both are much larger, of course)

This small memorial to women who died in World War II seems to be heart-shaped. The stone is at the top of Peace Walk.
Looking down Peace Walk.

Near the London Road entrance to the park is this memorial to men of the 82nd Airborne Division who were stationed at Leicester before D-Day.

The gates to the park were given in honor of the mayoress in 1914.

London Road: The great old face of Leicester

The house of Tanky Smith, the Leicester detective famous for his disguises, some of them commemorated on the facade.