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Lovingly refurbished Leicester Castle shines for visitors

The lovingly-restored Leicester Castle was the star of the show for history buffs as De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) played host to the latest open day in the Heritage Sundays series.

Landmark buildings threw open their doors at the weekend as crowds made up of all ages explored the architectural treasures of the DMU campus.     

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And the main draw was the medieval splendour of the Great Hall at Leicester Castle Business School, which has been brought back to life by DMU after lying empty for more than two decades. 

It was the first chance for members of the public to explore the sympathetically refurbished building, which dates back to the 12th century.

The castle had more than 200 visitors in just four hours – including a sold-out guided tour.

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Other DMU buildings which were open for the event were the DMU Heritage Centre in the Hawthorn Building, which showcases the ruins of the 12th century Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of the Newarke, the chapel in the Trinity Hospital and the tranquil herb garden tucked away behind. 

“The response from visitors was overwhelming,” said Elizabeth Wheelband, the co-ordinator of DMU’s Heritage Centre. “We knew it would be popular because we’d had a lot of enquiries beforehand but we didn’t expect to have that level of response.”

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“It was a wonderful atmosphere. People were telling us it was the perfect day out. We are very fortunate that our campus is situated in one of the most historically important areas of Leicester.

“We are lucky these buildings have been preserved and we are able to show them to the public. What I find particularly interesting about this area of Leicester is you can see the changes made to the buildings. At the castle, for instance, there’s a Victorian court room and a medieval timber ceiling. You can see the centuries pass by.”  

Posted on Thursday 1st June 2017

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