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Leicester Abbey

Visited July 2022

Location Abbey Park, Leicester
Entrance Fee No 
Railway Station Nearby Leicester
Parking Yes 
Facilities Cafe, Toilets


The remains of Leicester Abbey are to be found in Abbey Park, a large area of green space towards the north of the city. The park was created on what was once land belonging to the abbey, which was given to the City of Leicester in 1925.

Up until this point the exact location of the abbey had been lost, but in 1925 excavations started and the remains were finally located.






Probably the most  important association the abbey had was with Cardinal Wolsey, who died there in 1530. He was on his way down to London to face treason charges as he had failed to secure a divorce for Henry VIII from his wife Catherine of Aragon. There is a statue of Wolsey in front of the cafe in the park to commemorate him, and his tomb is still there in the abbey remains.





There is only low walling left of the abbey, but it is enough to make out the original lay-out. The information boards at the site do a good job of explaining the remains, and inform us that once the abbey had a square kitchen building with an octagonal interior shape, much the same as the one which is still in existence at Glastonbury Abbey, and the replica which was built to house a dairy on St Michael's Mount. This would have been in keeping with the status of the abbey as being the richest in Leicestershire until the 15th and 16th centuries, when it had serious debts and was being run by corrupt abbots. 


The walling on the east side of the abbey precinct has survived and been retained as a feature in the park. Here you will find arches and doorways which were once part of the abbey; they make picturesque photo back drops.





It doesn't take too long to stroll around the remains of the abbey, but there is plenty to do in the park to make this a worthwhile site to visit. The River Soar runs through it, and is crossed by several bridges which give views of all the waterfowl living in it.


There is also a children's play area, a miniature railway, boating lake and plenty of space to run around. There is a cafe and public toilets. The city of Leicester also has many other attractions, check out Leicester Castle and the Richard III Visitor Centre while you are there!





More info:  Leicester Abbey

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