Leicester castle – in which Leicester Castle Business School students learn from inspirational professors – was last used as a courthouse until its closure in 1992. Until now, the castle’s Great Hall has been left vacant. De Montfort University’s Leicester Castle Business School was created and established within the grand building in March 2016.
In the more recent years of its history, most of Leicester Castle’s building were leased out or demolished. It’s the Great Hall of Leicester Castle that has remained an influential building in Leicester to this day now known as Leicester Castle Business School.
We broke down the history of the globally renowned business school’s home.
1695 A brick frontage was added and, in keeping with the court function, the area outside known as Castle Yard held a gallows for executions.
1770 Preacher John Wesley addressed a large crowd of people there. Special functions such as balls and concerts were sometimes held in the hall.
1821 The hall was divided into two courts, one for criminal cases and one for civil cases, with a grand jury room upstairs.
1858 A cell block was added and further adjustments included offices and barristers’ rooms.
1875 The site (excluding the buildings) was purchased by the county.
1883-84 Writer James M Barrie, author of Peter Pan, worked for the Nottingham Journal and was known to spend many hours at Leicester Castle reporting on trials.
1888 County justices bought the hall from the Crown ending the royal connection to the castle.
1919 the famous Green Bicycle murder case was heard in the criminal court. The victim was a young woman called Bella Wright who was shot. Witnesses saw her with a man on a green bicycle. Ronald Light was tried but acquitted.
1926 The area between the castle and the river was used as a rubbish dump until it was converted into Castle Gardens.
1992 The courthouse closed.