Monday, 25 October 2010


Built in 1390 as a meeting place for the Guild of Corpus Christi (a group of wealthy bourgeoisie) the Guildhall in Leicester has survived a lot of history. The original building was extended and two wings were added in the 15th Century. In the 16th Century wandering dramatic companies put on performance and it is reputed one of these was the company of the famous playwright William Shakespeare.  In 1632 the town library was installed here.

The building  survived the English Civil War despite the city walls being breached by the Royalists and the guildhall being looted of the towns archives, mace and seal.

The 19th Century saw it containing a courtroom, a police station and town council.  When a new town hall was built and the council moved out the building became dilapidated and it was nearly demolished, happily instead in 1926, after renovation, it was opened as a museum.  Today it is once again used as a performance space and there will be various Halloween events taking place this month.  A building of this age just has to have ghosts doesn't it?  Quite a collection,  a white lady, unlocking doors and moving furniture who has a liking for the large bible kept on the table in the library which she opens.  Footsteps walking across the roof space where the Victorian police officers used to sleep, a cavalier and ghostly dog.  A perfect place for Halloween.

The sender of the card sent it from Nottinghamshire but Leicester is her home town and tells me The Guildhall is one of the oldest buildings in the town. She had run out of 1st class stamps so sent it 2nd class with an amusing hand written 'via air mail' note on it. The post office definitely ignored that piece of whimsy for it took 10 days to get to me.  The ying and yang of the post system, I sent a card to Germany recently that only took 2 days.  

Thank you Rach. The card travelled north for 154 miles (157k).       

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