Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Turret Gateway at Leicester Castle needs repair

Historic England has placed the Turret Gateway at Leicester Castle to its Heritage at Risk register for 2017, reports the Leicester Mercury.

It sounds as the though the city council has the repairs in hand, but I was interested by the quote from the chairman of Leicester Civic Society:
"It is, of course, just a fragment of a much larger four-storey gateway which controlled access to the castle. 
"It used to have a house above it and was very imposing. 
"It is widely, and incorrectly, assumed that it was largely destroyed in the fighting in the city during the Civil War. 
"Actually it survived that and stood until the 1830s. 
"It was destroyed in an election riot, a Chartist riot, when it was burned down leaving just what you can see today."
According to a pamphlet on the castle to be found on the University of Leicester site, it was destroyed in 1832.

That was a little early for the Chartists and the pamphlet says the cause was "an election squabble".

I suspect the gateway was ruined in riots connected with the passing of the Great Reform Act. The same sort of squabble that saw Nottingham Castle burnt down.

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