October 04th, 2012 | Tags: Leicester, Leicester historical hotspots,

Delve into Leicester’s historical hotspots

Although a small city, Leicester has a fascinating history and one that is well worth exploring for both families and keen individuals looking to discover something about the past. We present a selection of historical hotspots you might want to explore when visiting this Midlands town.

When taking your historical journey through the city that is Leicester, the first stop should definitely be the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery. As suggested in the name, the museum located on New Walk has a variety of exhibitions on offer to history lovers as well as art fiends. The Museum is known for its Ancient Egypt exhibition, perfect for taking young children over to explore. The gallery includes a reconstruction of a typical ancient Egyptian cooking area and model mummies for the kids to interact with. The collection of genuine mummified bodies and ancient Egyptian artefacts keep the adults well occupied too. Another exhibit on at New Walk is the Dinosaur Gallery, including some very impressive Jurassic displays to awe both children and adults alike.

Another family friendly, but perhaps more historically rich, spot to visit in Leicester is the Jewry Wall Museum. The site, which can be found at St Nicholas Circle, features remnants of an ancient Roman public bath and is well known for being one of Britain’s tallest examples of Roman masonry. You are launched into another time with exhibits and artefacts such as an ancient helmet cheekpiece and intricate mosaics. It is a popular site for school trips of excitable children learning about the period, because visitors get the opportunity to walk amongst the walls of the public bath, helping you to really immerse yourself into this fascinating period.

To experience another, more 'recent' period in time, visit the Victorian upper middle class home, Belgrave Hall Museum and Garden on Church Road. The setting is particularly important for Leicester’s history because of its links with the textiles and hosiery industry. Built in the early 18th century by a merchant, a hosiery business was set up and operated in the hall by the Vanns family from the late 18th to the mid-19th centuries. Today, visitors can wander round the many wonderfully arranged rooms, and then walk through the attached Gardens, giving you the feeling of a genuine occupant of a stately home.

Moving from textiles to a museum of science and technology, the Abbey Pumping Station is also a must see in a discovery of Leicester’s history. The building itself opened in the late 19th century and played an essential role in sending Leicester’s sewage to its Beaumont Leys area to be treated. The impressive beam pipes, four of which have been restored, are back and working on select days of the year for members of the public to see in full steam.

The exhibitions paint a picture of Britain’s remarkable journey that began with steam and industry. Even better, the museum explores the history of Leicester’s public health, teamed with weirdly wonderful scientific facts about the workings of a lavatory, and a talking toilet! Furthermore, see the fully restored locomotive that rides on the Site Narrow Gauge Railway.

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