The Guildhall exterior

Click to enlarge images below:

Leicester Guildhall

About

Leicester Guildhall

The Grade I listed, timber-framed Guildhall has been at the centre of Leicester history for 630 years. Over the years it has been used as a court, town hall, venue for Shakespeare, prison, and now a museum and venue. Believed to be one of the ‘Most Haunted’ places in Leicester, uncover its ghostly stories.

Leicester is privileged to have one of the best-preserved timber framed halls in the country dating back 600 years 

The History of Leicester Guildhall

Leicester Guildhall is a historic building and the oldest building still in use in the city. It was Leicester’s first police station and between 1876 and the 1900’s and saw many unsavoury characters pass through its doors.

The Great Hall itself was built in about 1390 as a meeting place for the Guild of Corpus Christi (a small but powerful group of businessmen and gentry) and it’s also believed that Shakespeare performed here during Tudor times. Over the years it has had many uses, including housing one of the oldest public libraries and serving as the Town Hall. After restoration, the Guildhall was opened to the public as a museum in 1926.

The Guildhall Ghosts

Leicester’s Guildhall is known as the cities most haunted building having appeared in various television programmes, such as the well-known television show ‘Most Haunted’. There are known to be five ghosts in residence, including the mysterious white lady who makes her presence felt in the library. Although there are some that believe it’s not a white lady but a monk dressed in grey, which might be explained by the fact that there used to be the Old Grey Friars Monastery only 300 yards from the Guildhall.

There have also been sightings of a phantom dog and black cat ghost which have been seen in the courtyard and the Great Hall respectively.

If you dare, why not book yourself onto one of the haunted evenings held at the Guildhall, where you might just get up close and personal with a ghost!

Leicester Guildhall Today

Today, Leicester Guildhall is best known as an excellent performance venue, attracting acts from across the country. It’s also known as a museum where visitors can step back in time and come face to face with Crankie Gemmie and Emma Smith, two of Leicester's notorious pick-pockets who can be found lurking in the Victorian police cells. The museum is also home to the Medieval Leicester galleries. Through objects and activities, visitors can walk the streets of medieval Leicester and uncover a world both familiar and very different to our own!

Leicester Guildhall is available for private hire and is a historic and atmospheric venue for weddings, civil ceremonies, renewing wedding vows and naming ceremonies.

Add Leicester Guildhall to your Itinerary

Visitor Details

Key Information

Guildhall Lane, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 5FQ

Tel: +44 (0) 1162532569

Opening Times

Opening Hours: (1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday11:00 - 16:30

TripAdvisor

Related

Throne RoomKing Richard III Visitor Centre, Leicester City

Holiday Inn exterior eveningHoliday Inn Leicester, Leicester City

Space Suits at national space centre National Space Centre, Leicester City

Leicester CathedralLeicester Cathedral, Leicester City

interior of Abbey Pumping Station engines Abbey Pumping Station, Leicester City

Newarke Houses Museum & Gardens - See & Do in LeicesterNewarke Houses, Leicester City

Great Central Railway exterior bridgeGreat Central Railway, Leicester City

New Walk Museum & Art GalleryLeicester Museums

New Walk

Leicester - the City’s Story, Leicester City

wygstons house upstairsLeicester Old Town Restaurants, Leicester City

The Newarke, Leicester City

hotels in leicester Hotels in Leicester, Leicester City

man laughingLeicester Comedy Festival, Leicester City

art in leicester Art in Leicester, Leicester City

Wednesday, 16 October 2024 - Wednesday, 16 October 2024

The Keith James Songbook ' Word Paintings'The Keith James Songbook ' Word Paintings'
more info

Thursday, 13 June 2024 - Thursday, 13 June 2024

The Archive of DreadThe Archive of Dread
more info

Tuesday, 23 July 2024 - Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Historic Buildings Mythbusting by Dr. James Wright FSAHistoric Buildings Mythbusting by Dr. James Wright FSA
more info

Thursday, 30 May 2024 - Thursday, 30 May 2024

Castles and ClayCastles and Clay
more info

Tuesday, 9 July 2024 - Tuesday, 9 July 2024

Tuesday, 23 July 2024 - Tuesday, 23 July 2024

The Guildhall and the Cathedral Church of St. Martin  – The Herrick Connections TourThe Guildhall and the Cathedral Church of St. Martin – The Herrick Connections Tour
more info

Friday, 11 October 2024 - Friday, 11 October 2024

The Truth about Jack the RipperThe Truth about Jack the Ripper
more info

Sunday, 7 July 2024 - Sunday, 7 July 2024

Collection of old historic booksA Crown in Glory - A Talk by Eddie Smallwood
more info

Thursday, 25 July 2024 - Thursday, 25 July 2024

A child in a red dress with their parentsCops n Robbers
more info

Thursday, 1 August 2024 - Thursday, 1 August 2024

A child in a red dress with their parentsMedieval Mayhem
more info

Thursday, 8 August 2024 - Thursday, 8 August 2024

Wizard SchoolWizard School
more info

Thursday, 15 August 2024 - Thursday, 15 August 2024

Let's Get ArtyLet's Get Arty
more info

Thursday, 22 August 2024 - Thursday, 22 August 2024

Knights & MaidensKnights & Maidens
more info

Tuesday, 9 July 2024 - Tuesday, 9 July 2024

Kathleen Kenyon and the Jewry Wall by Mathew MorrisKathleen Kenyon and the Jewry Wall by Mathew Morris
more info

Tuesday, 16 July 2024 - Tuesday, 16 July 2024

Meet the Police - Free Family Fun Day!Meet the Police - Free Family Fun Day!
more info

Map & Directions

Facilities

Other

  • Uncover the story - A much-loved timber-framed landmark, Leicester Guildhall started life in 1390 when its Great Hall was built as a meeting place and banquet hall for the Guild of Corpus Christi. Over the next 600 years, it was extended and, amongst various uses, found a niche as the perfect host for performances and celebrations that provide a snapshot of English history. <hr> When Elizabeth I’s navy defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, the Guildhall was the venue of choice for the city’s celebrations. More than 50 years later, when England was in the grip of Civil War, Royalist troops attacked Leicester and looted the Guildhall. After their defeat at the Battle of Naseby weeks later, it was fitting that the thanksgiving dinner to mark Cromwell’s victory was held here. <hr> The 16th century saw a rise in the popularity of theatre, and one of the great playwrights of the day, William Shakespeare, is believed to have performed at Leicester Guildhall. In 1632, it became the city library – now the third oldest in the country – and other roles included town hall, court, police station and jail. With a new town hall commissioned in 1876, and the Guildhall deemed old-fashioned and gloomy, the threat of demolition loomed. <hr> Saved, renovated and protected by Grade I listed status, today it remains one of the stars of Leicester’s entertainment scene. Audiences are treated to musical concerts, plays, comedy gigs, craft fairs and exhibitions in a wonderfully atmospheric setting. <hr> In its daytime guise as a museum, its galleries chronicle medieval Leicester, the Mayor’s Parlour features late-medieval stained glass, and visitors can peer inside cells, where unsettling torture devices and a surprise guest lurk. <hr> Also hiding in the shadows are five resident ghosts, attracting TV’s ‘Most Haunted’ to investigate. Dare to take part in a haunted evening event, and maybe the spirits will put on an impromptu show for you.

Accreditations & Awards

What's Nearby

  1. Leicester Cathedral

    Leicester Cathedral is currently undergoing renovation and will reopen to the public on…

  2. King Richard III Visitor Centre

    The greatest lost-and-found story ever told. The discovery of King Richard III put the…

  3. The Big Difference Venue

    The Big Difference Venue is an independent music, comedy, arts venue and bar in the heart…

  4. Showcase Cinema de Lux

    Situated in the Highcross shopping complex in the centre of the city, Showcase Cinema…

  1. Treetop Adventure Golf

    Looking for an epic mini-golf adventure? Come and play Tropical Trail & Ancient Explorer…

  2. St Martin's Square

    St Martin’s Square is in a delightful spot, tucked between Silver Street and St Martin’s.…

  3. Jewry Wall Museum

    Jewry Wall Museum is currently closed for refurbishment. Check back here for details of…

  4. Angle Axe Throwing

    Axe Throwing! Its where you throw axes!

  5. Highcross Leicester

    Highcross offers an awe-inspiring mix of fashionable stores, stylish restaurants and a…

  6. Distillers Kitchen

    The Distillers Kitchen, is a new Gin School and exclusive venue as part of the 45 Bar…

  7. Firebug

    Opened in the summer of 2004, Firebug has fast become an essential part of Leicester’s…

  8. Green Dragon Square

    Whether you're attending an event, meeting up, or just finding a spot to enjoy your…

  9. Leicester Market

    With more than 800 years of history under its belt, buzzing Leicester Market is a…

  10. Leicester’s Theatrical Traditions

    Curtain up on a city with theatre in its blood

  11. Pubs with History

    High spirits at historic inns

  12. Lane 7 Leicester

    Forget everything you thought you knew about bowling alleys, because Lane7 is different.…

Previous Next

Search What's Nearby

Product Type
Proximity
Within miles

Guide Prices

Free entry

Flower Icon

Related Content

Explore further