Leicester Cathedral

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Leicester Cathedral

About

Leicester Cathedral

Leicester Cathedral is one of the few places outside of Westminster or Windsor to see the tomb of a British monarch. After the incredible story of the discovery of the remains of King Richard III gripped the world, 600 million people worldwide saw the last English King to die in battle be laid to rest in dignity.

Leicester Cathedral lies at the heart of Leicester's Old Town.

The cathedral is open for visitors and all are welcome within its doors. From the fine stained glass to the story and tomb of King Richard III, explore over 900 years of history in this peaceful and beautiful building. 

The tranquil Cathedral Gardens surround the cathedral. A quiet space in the heart of the city, the gardens are made up of areas of lawn, flower beds, seating areas and a water feature. The gardens are also home to two pieces of public art: the iconic bronze statue of King Richard III, commissioned by the Richard III Society in 1980, and the sculpture 'Towards Stillness' – an installation representing a timeline of the King's life, especially commissioned for the occasion of his reinterment.

Please note that the cathedral operates as a place of worship and prayer. The tomb of King Richard III is not accessible during services, and the cathedral closes during the mid-day Eucharist as well as occasionally for special services. If you are travelling a long way we suggest you call ahead to ensure the cathedral will be open.

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Visitor Details

Key Information

Peacock Lane, Leicester, LE1 5PZ

Tel: +44 (0)116 261 5357

Opening Times

Opening hours (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)
DayTimes
Monday - Saturday10:00 - 17:00
Sunday12:30 - 14:30
Bank HolidayOpen

* The opening times listed are the times when the tomb of King Richard III is accessible to visitors. The cathedral may be closed for special services. For details of all services, please see the Leicester Cathedral website.

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Map & Directions

Facilities

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  • Uncover the story - On 21 August 1485 Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England, rode from Leicester to confront Henry Tudor at Bosworth Field. The following day he returned a king slain, his body unceremoniously stripped of armour and slung on horseback for all to see. <hr> In 2015, some 530 years later, and three years after his remains were found beneath a city centre car park, Richard III made that same journey to Bosworth and back to Leicester, but this time it was his coffined remains, set upon a gun carriage, which invited silent reflection. <hr> Processing through the crowd-lined streets to Leicester Cathedral, Richard’s remains were welcomed at a service of contemplation. This then heralded a three-day lying-in-repose period, attracting 20,000 pilgrims eager to pay their respects. <hr> More crowds gathered outside on 26 March as an impeccable service of reinterment took place. The contrast with his first burial, conducted in haste at Greyfriar’s Friary, could not have been starker. The televised service, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, attracted over 600 million viewers, and so with this, the last English king to die in battle, was reinterred with the dignity befitting his status. <hr> Today, visitors reflect on a man of deep faith, who as king introduced sweeping reforms and was committed to creating a fairer society. Woven through this narrative is the Richard of Shakespearean lore; the archetypal villain and murderous tyrant. So much to consider as visitors regard a strikingly modern tomb of Swaledale fossil stone, set atop a Kilkenny marble plinth and carved with the King’s motto – Loyaulté Me Lie – and a coat of arms delicately constructed from semi-precious stones. <hr> In contrast to the modest tombstone, placed by Henry VII on Richard’s grave in 1495, this memorial is a poignant link to England’s most controversial medieval monarch, bringing to a close an incredible story just 100 metres from the site of his original burial.

Accreditations & Awards

Awards

  • Visit BritainWe're Good to Go We're Good to Go 2020
  • Regional and MiscellaneousWTTC Safe Travels WTTC Safe Travels 2021

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