12A, 14 and 14A New Street


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
Leicester, LE1 5NE


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Statutory Address:
Leicester, LE1 5NE

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

City of Leicester (Unitary Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


Pair of houses built in the second half of the C18, then used as offices and later converted into student flats.

Reasons for Designation

12A, 14 and 14A New Street, a pair of houses built in the second half of the C18, then used as offices and later converted into student flats, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

* it is a good example of a mid- to late C18 town house with its rear bow window, splayed projecting end bays, and classical doorcases, combining to create a well-proportioned composition.

Historic interest:

* it is located within a significant historic townscape, developed within the precinct of the C13 Franciscan friary known as Greyfriars, and makes a notable contribution to its rich architectural character and historic evolution.

Group value:

* it is surrounded by many designated assets with which it has strong group value, especially the scheduled Greyfriars to the west, 11 and 13 New Street to the east, both Grade II listed, and 10 New Street to the south, also listed at Grade II.


Leicester is one of the oldest settlements in England and its origins can be traced back at least to the Iron Age. There is significant remaining evidence of the Roman settlement particularly on the east bank of the River Soar where the bath house and palaestra at Jewry wall represent the only standing remains of Ratae Corieltauvorum and one of the largest standing pieces of Roman civilian building in the country. However, there is little known of the settlement between the Roman departure and the medieval period. In the Middle Ages, Leicester became an increasingly important urban centre. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of the first motte and bailey castle in the late C11. This was later rebuilt in stone and the great hall survives containing one of the finest medieval interiors in the country. The city became closely associated with Simon De Montfort who became the Lord of the Town in 1281, and one of the city’s two universities is named after him. The town also became closely linked to the royal family through the earldoms of Leicester and Lancaster, which were joined under one person, Robert Beaumont, in the late C14. This led to further expansion and prosperity in the late-middle and early-modern periods.

The town also became a focus for religious devotion, with an area next to the Castle known as the Newarke, being the location for a collegiate church as well as other religious centres. After his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the body of King Richard III was brought to the town and buried in the church of the Greyfriars, a Franciscan abbey which tradition has it had been founded by De Montfort in the late C13. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey died at Leicester Abbey in 1530 on his way to face trial in London and was buried there. Other major individuals to be associated with the city include Robert Dudley, who was made Earl of Leicester by Elizabeth I.

The church of Greyfriars was destroyed in 1538, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The site was sold and a manor house built with an associated estate. Both the monastic buildings and the location of Richard’s tomb were lost by the late C17. The manor belonged to Alderman Robert Herrick and remained in the family until the early C18 when it was sold to Thomas Pares. The former Greyfriars precinct was then divided with a new thoroughfare, called New Street laid north-south across it. The street plan more generally continues to resemble that of the medieval borough, although street names have changed, with the boundaries of the precinct on the whole respected.

Throughout the early C18 the two parts of the estate were gradually parcelled and sold for development. It was in the Georgian period that the wider Greyfriars estate was developed, primarily as residences for the professional and polite classes. Many of the remaining buildings date to that period and are domestic in both scale and character. Industry did encroach at the fringes and commercial activities and industry such as hosiery appear on the 1888 map of the area. Latterly the area became the legal centre for Leicester and many of the buildings were converted into offices. The manor house was demolished in 1872 although its garden remained unencumbered of development, as did that of 17 Friar Lane. Both became car parks in the C20.

Leicester itself became an industrial centre following the construction of the Grand Union Canal, which linked the town to London and Birmingham at the end of the C18. By 1800 the population had reached over 17,000 and continued to grow throughout the C19. The first railway arrived in the 1830s and Leicester was linked to the mainline network by the 1840s, which allowed for significant industrial expansion. The major industries were textiles, hosiery and footwear. The size of Leicester increased dramatically at this time and many surviving medieval and early-modern buildings in the Greyfriars area were either replaced or refaced in brick. The C19 also saw the construction of several large schools in the area.

Although the city faced significant economic and social challenges in the C20 it remains a vibrant urban centre and is now known as one of the most culturally diverse cities in Britain. The Greyfriars area has been the focus of international attention and economic investment since the remarkable discovery of the remains of Richard III under a council car park in 2012 and his re-burial in the Cathedral in 2015. Resultant extensive research and archaeological investigation led to the scheduling of the former monastic site in December 2017 (National Heritage List for England entry: 1442955) and the renaming of the Guildhall/Cathedral Conservation Area to Greyfriars.

12A, 14 and 14A New Street was built in the second half of the C18 when New Street was laid out and the site was subdivided for development. It is shown on the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1888 as a pair of houses facing east onto New Street with a passageway between them. Number 12 has a long rear north range and number 14 has a small detached outbuilding which is built against the rear range of number 12. The building was later used as offices, certainly by the mid-C20 when it is labelled as such on the 1944 Goad map. It has since been converted into student flats and the outbuilding has been incorporated into the accommodation.


Pair of houses built in the second half of the C18, then used as offices and later converted into student flats.

MATERIALS: red brick laid in Flemish bond with brick dressings and a roof covering of slate.

PLAN: 12A, 14 and 14A New Street is positioned at the end of a row of terraced buildings facing east onto New Street. It has an approximately U-shaped plan consisting of the recessed main range and splayed side wings, with a rear wing on the north side of number 12A, incorporating the former outbuilding to number 14. EXTERIOR: the large three-storey building has a double pile plan with an M-shaped roof with tall brick chimney stacks and a moulded brick cornice. The recessed centre is five window bays wide flanked by splayed side wings. Two brick bands run across the façade just above lintel level. The fenestration on the ground and first floors of the recessed range consists of six-over-six pane sash windows set in flush casing with segmental brick arches and painted stone keystones. The second floor is lit by three-over-three pane sashes. The windows in the central bay above the passageway are false. There are two doors at the sides and a central passageway door, all in classical doorcases of simple but varied designs. Only the central doorway retains the Gothic bar tracery. None of the doors are original. The splayed wings have a single window to each floor on the sloped face, mostly pairs of four-over-four pane sashes.

The north return is lit on the right hand side by six-over-six pane sash windows on the ground and first floor. The rear elevation is dominated by a double-height bay window on the left hand side, lit on both floors by large multi-pane windows under brick arches consisting of stretchers.

INTERIOR: the interior has undergone various phases of alteration and remodelling during the building’s conversion into offices and student flats. It retains little historic joinery, fixtures or fittings other than a few ceiling cornices, moulded door frames, a semicircular arch alcove and several fireplaces. One fireplace has a wooden surround and moulded mantelshelf with a plain frieze and corner blocks suggesting the top of pilasters. Another has a wide surround with panelled jambs and a wide mantelshelf supported by consoles, all painted black. The semicircular arch inset is typical of the mid-C19. A simple staircase has a closed string, chamfered square newel posts with flat cap finials, and two slender turned balusters per tread. The cellar is brick-vaulted.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Morris, M, Buckley, R, Richard III The King under the Car Park, (2013)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, (2003)
S, Butt, Leicester Through Time, (2009)
A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 2 , accessed 1 May 2020 from https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/leics/vol2
Greyfriars Conservation Area Character Appraisal https://www.leicester.gov.uk/media/178043/greyfriars_conservation_area_character_appraisal.pdf
Greyfriars townscape heritage initiative https://www.leicester.gov.uk/your-council/policies-plans-and-strategies/planning-and-development/greyfriars-townscape-heritage-initiative/


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 16 Apr 2002
Reference: IOE01/06812/28
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Andy Haigh. Source Historic England Archive
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