If you are visiting the UK and want to experience the unique history of Medieval Britain make sure you add The Lord Leycester to your list of places to visit!
One of the most important examples of medieval courtyard architecture in England the collection of buildings that comprise The Lord Leycester are spectacular. Grade I listed and currently undergoing restoration the venue, often described as Warwick’s medieval gem, will be reopening to the public in Summer 2023.
Collected around the central medieval galleried courtyard are The Great Hall, where James I feasted in 1617, a Guildhall, The Master’s House, Chapel of St James and the Brethren’s Kitchen. Beyond these rooms you will also find the 500 year old Tudor garden set behind Master’s House.
Having been established by Robert Dudley in 1571 in its current guise as a home to military warriors, The Lord Leycester is still a home for military heroes and will reopen to visitors in the summer of 2023 following an extensive restoration and renovation project. (You can read about the once in a century project here)
Once reopened what can I expect from The Lord Leycester?
When visiting The Lord Leycester you will enter via the new ticket office through the medieval archway, taking in the stunning medieval frontage and front terrace area.
Your visit will then wind through the medieval galleried courtyard and up into the Guildhall, used by the Guilds to conduct business and meetings – their meeting table is still in the Guildhall today.
Through the Guildhall you will wander through the immersive exhibit of medieval and tudor history, including the new schoolroom exhibit. A nod to the time The Lord Leycester spent as home to Warwick School.
Now back down the infamous staircase, often used in film and television productions through the courtyard to the Master’s Dining Room where the most incredible of our artefacts will be on display.
In our 450 year history as a “hospital” in the medieval sense of a place of hospitality; in our case for wounded military warriors, we have welcomed over 400 men to live at the Lord Leycester. Known as the Brethren, these brothers are still very much a part of The Lord Leycester today, with private lodgings on site. Many of the brothers through the centuries have donated artefacts to add to our collection making it a varied and fascinating collection.
Your next stop will be The Great Hall, where James I dined in 1617 and the spectacular commemorative seal has been revealed after being hidden for decades behind a false wall. Now back with pride of place you can sit and enjoy the vaulted ceiling and atmosphere under the medieval ring lights and partake in some light refreshment from the café before heading on.
St James Chapel, sitting on top of Warwick’s West Gate complete with bell tower and a stained glass window by William Morris this peaceful sanctuary is where the Master and Brethren take daily prayers as instructed by Robert Dudley all those centuries ago.
From the Chapel you can walk along the medieval town wall, taking in spectacular views across the rooftops of Warwick and on into The Master’s Garden.
A place of tranquility the garden, established in the Tudor era, is home to a stunning magnolia, norman arch, 2,000 year old Nilometer, thatched summerhouse, listed greenhouse constructed from cedar and hugging the town wall plus a gazebo for quiet contemplation and inspiration enjoying views across the gardens back to the Master’s House.
There really is something for everyone to enjoy. The Lord Leycester will reopen to the public in summer 2023. Be sure to sign up below to keep in touch with our progress, grand reopening and future events programme.