From its origins dating back to Norman times of around the year 1150 the building of Leicester Castle Business School has a varied and interesting history.
DMU’s Leicester Castle Business School resides in the Great Hall of Leicester Castle, which is thought to be the oldest surviving aisled and bay-divided timber in Britain today.
We broke down the history of the globally renowned business school’s home.
1265 Leicester was given to Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, Derby and Leicester, the son of King Henry III.
1296 Edmund’s son Thomas inherited his titles. He lived in Leicester in great state and spent thousands on lavish entertainments, hosting King Edward I and Queen Isabel, and King Edward II.
1322 Thomas was executed after rebelling against the King. Leicester was badly damaged during the uprising. Thomas’s brother Henry Grosmont was made the 3rd Earl of Lancaster and Leicester.
1330 circa Henry retired from public life and came to live in Leicester Castle, as he was suffering from poor health. He hosted more royal visits, including Edward III and the queen. His main project was the development of Trinity Hospital, then known as the Hospital of the honour of God and the Glorious Virgin and All Saints and in special reverence of Our Lady. The four-acre site chosen bordered the castle precinct.
1345 Henry died and was buried in the hospital chapel at a lavish ceremony attended by the King and Queen and various bishops and magnates. He was succeeded by his son, also Henry, the 4th Earl of Leicester and Lancaster.
1351 Henry was ‘promoted’ to the title of Duke following successful military exploits in France. He founded the Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Marywhere DMU’s Hawthorn Building now stands.
1361 Henry died with no male heir, so the lands went to his daughter Blanche, wife of John of Gaunt.
1366 circa The younger son of King Edward III, John of Gaunt had acted as regent to his nephew Richard II. He was one of the most powerful and richest men in the country. He took the title of Duke of Lancaster and came to live at Leicester. Poet Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales, was a member of the household and is thought to have married in St Mary de Castro. The castle hosted more royal visits, this time Richard II and entourage, who enjoyed entertainments and hunting.
1394 John’s wife Constance, Queen of Castile (in Spain), died at the castle and was buried in the Church of the Annunciation.
1399 John died, but as his son Henry Bolingbroke was in exile, the lands were forfeit to the Crown. However, Henry returned to England and deposed his cousin Richard II, taking over the throne. From this date onwards the Duchy of Lancaster remained in Royal hands and the Lord of Leicester was the sovereign. A steward was appointed to oversee local affairs and the castle became more of an estates office than residence.
1425 Parliament was held at the Castle Hall, and Courts of Assize – periodic criminal courts that heard the most serious cases – continued to be held here.
1483 Richard III visited and stayed in the castle that was beginning to crumble, and later Richard famously stayed at the Blue Boar Inn before the Battle of Bosworth.
16th-17th C Visitors noted that the buildings were ruined and derelict. During the Civil War the area saw fighting as Prince Rupert, nephew of King Charles I, stormed the walls of the Newarke and took the city. However, only two weeks later the town was retaken for Parliament by Sir Thomas Fairfax. Under Cromwell the land was put up for sale but was reclaimed by the Crown on the Restoration of King Charles II.