The Newarke

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The Newarke

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The Newarke

In the heart of Leicester’s oldest area, The Newarke’s story includes Romans, Saxons, Kings, playwrights, Cavaliers and Roundheads. It was where Geoffrey Chaucer was married, Henry VI was knighted, where the first English Parliament was held and where King Richard III’s body laid after his death at Bosworth Field.

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The Newarke, Leicester, LE2 7BY

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  • Uncover the story - Take a walk around Leicester’s ancient quarter, The Newarke, where 2,000 years of drama has played out amongst its collection of historic sites. From a museum housing one of the world’s largest shirts to the path taken by a berobed King Richard III, the costumes of the players are as intriguing as the stories themselves. <hr> Created from two Tudor homes, Newarke Houses charts the social history of Leicester, and includes clothing that belonged to 53-stone Daniel Lambert, who put himself on display to Georgian audiences as ‘the greatest curiosity in the world’. <hr> Tales of the English Civil War take centre stage outside in the museum gardens and within the Magazine Gateway, a store for gunpowder and weapons. Discover walls bearing scars of the muskets used by Roundheads, battle-ready in their metal helmets and leather tunics, to fend off Cavalier troops resplendent in their plumed uniform headdresses. <hr> For a front-row view of what was once a Saxon town, climb the Castle Motte, probably built in 1068 on the orders of William the Conqueror. From this earth mound, look down to St Mary de Castro, the church where a doublet-clad Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales, married, and where child king Henry VI was knighted among much theatrical pomp and ceremony. <hr> At the same time, the English Parliament was held at Leicester Castle’s Great Hall, when instead of swords being worn, the players in this medieval drama were armed with bats. <hr> Discover the full story of The Newarke in De Montfort University’s Heritage Centre, where in the basement stand two arches once part of the Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was in this spot that King Richard III’s battle-torn body was put on public display as the final act in the story of his defeat in battle.

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