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LEICESTER ABBEY

The remains of Leicester Abbey
LEICESTER ABBEY

Leicester Abbey was an Augustinian House, founded by the 2nd Earl of Leicester, Robert le Bossu, in 1143. It is famous for being the place where Cardinal Wolsey died on 29 November 1530, on his way south to face the wrath of his king, Henry VIII, and a charge of treason. Wolsey was also buried in the abbey, but his remains have never been found.  The abbey was dissolved on Henry VIII’s orders in 1538 and the stones were re-used to construct what became Cavendish House, a mansion acquired by the Earl of Devonshire, William Cavendish, where Charles I lodged before the Battle of Naseby in 1645.  Cavendish House was plundered and destroyed by Royalist troops after the battle.  Though a massive complex in its heyday, the exact location of the abbey was lost until the 1920s/30s. The lines of its walls are now marked by low stone walls and there is a memorial to Wolsey near what would have been the high altar of the abbey church.

Location/Address: Abbey Park Road
Leicester
County: Leicestershire
Post Code: LE4 5AQ
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: Leicester City Council website
Tip/Nearby: In Abbey Park, which includes gardens and leisure facilities
Primary Management: Local Authority
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