For the last Heritage Sunday in the year, I went to visit the Great Hall of Leicester Castle.

castle view sign

The hall is contained in what is now the DMU Business School, you wouldn’t know from outside that it contains one of the oldest surviving wooden structures in England.

outer building

The hall was split in two and converted into a court in the 18th Century, you can still see the old rafters from inside.

After about 20 seconds looking at the wooden beams in the ceiling I’d seen all I needed to see. Besides the rafters there’s not much remaining of the old building.

In the middle of the southern courtroom is an enclosed staircase which leads to a corridor underneath the building.

corridor 1

This is where prisoners would be kept before trial.

corridor 2

After seeing the hall I crossed the road to Mary de Castro church. On the southern wall of the church is a door raised up from the ground, which leads to a winding staircase and what would have historically1 been a wooden gantry stretching across the top of the church. I don’t know any English churches today which still have an upper tier suspended above the congregation.

church interior

Historical interest aside, I have bought a cine-modded German lens and was keen to try it out with my new camera. The results are not good, these photos are hazy, blurred, badly exposed… not a successful experiment.

  1. I didn’t make note of any dates for this so just go with ‘medieval period’.