22 Millstone Lane


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
22 Millstone Lane, Leicester, LE1 5JN


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Statutory Address:
22 Millstone Lane, Leicester, LE1 5JN

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:


A former house dating to the C19 and now (2019) in use as a public house.

Reasons for Designation

22 Millstone Lane dating to the turn of the C19 and C20 is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural Interest:

* for the vivid medieval/renaissance flair to the building, providing, through the use of masonry dressings and oriel window, an elegant and distinctive elevation on the streetscape; * as a well-executed and detailed domestic building later converted to a public house, with surviving high quality features of particular note are the Art Nouveau staircase and stained glass screen in the lobby.


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 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 at this time. 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 King 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 (see List entry: 1442955) and the renaming of the Guildhall/Cathedral Conservation Area to Greyfriars.

22 Millstone Lane is now in commercial use as a public house. The building does not appear on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey (Leicestershire, 1888) but is present by the 2nd Edition in 1904 indicting the building dates to the 1890s or early 1900s. It has been offices since the early C20. On the 1938 GOAD map the building is shown to be offices of the British Assurance Company. By the time of the 1961 map it is shown simply as offices. Information provided by the current occupant indicates the building has formerly been used by a veterinary surgeon, and by a fabric merchants.


A former dwelling dating to the 1890s and now in use as a public house.

MATERIALS: the building is constructed of red engineering brick with freestone masonry dressings and a slate roof.

PLAN: the building is nearly square on plan.

EXTERIOR: the building is of two storeys with a tall attic. The ground floor of the front elevation has a tripartite mullioned window with small leaded panes and a shield in a larger pane in the upper central panel. There is a large oriel window above at first floor resting on sweeping masonry corbelling. The main entrance is to the right hand of the ground floor with a modern single-leafed door under a rectangular small-paned fan light. There is a mullioned two-light window above at first floor level. A plinth is composed of courses of blue brick with red brick above and it is topped with a masonry course. The modern timber signage extends the width of the elevation between ground and first floors. There is an ashlar masonry eaves course and a cornice which is detailed with moulded panels and supported by simply detailed consoles. The roof is tall and steeply pitched. Quoins of ashlar masonry define the door and window openings and the sloped cills are also of ashlar masonry. There is a tall brick stack on the left gable end with dentiled detailing around the top. The rear elevation faces a small court and has a single storey flat-roofed conservatory extension which is not of special interest. There are two modern projecting bay windows to the first floor. The side, gable, elevations have an eaves course, otherwise they are blind and mostly obscured by neighbouring buildings.

INTERIOR: beyond the front door is an entrance lobby which leads to a round headed timber-lined arch leading to the main bar area, and to the stairs. There is a deeply-recessed timber panel and multi-pane glass screen with art-nouveau floral and foliate decoration. The staircase rises through the centre of the building and has a timber ballustrade with decorated newel posts and balusters in the form of carved and incised hearts, and turned finials and pendants. The interior of the ground floor and first floor have been refurbished but the plan form remains evident. There have also been later alterations to the attic to form a duplex manager flat. This space was formerly a studio and has a large projecting skylight in the roof.


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 19 February 2019 from https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/leics/vol2
Greyfriars Conservation Area Character Appraisal , accessed 19 February 2019 from https://www.leicester.gov.uk/media/178043/greyfriars_conservation_area_character_appriasal.pdf
Greyfriars townscape heritage initiative , accessed 19 February 2019 from 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.

The listed building(s) is/are shown coloured blue on the attached map. Pursuant to s1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) structures attached to or within the curtilage of the listed building but not coloured blue on the map, are not to be treated as part of the listed building for the purposes of the Act. However, any works to these structures which have the potential to affect the character of the listed building as a building of special architectural or historic interest may still require Listed Building Consent (LBC) and this is a matter for the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to determine.

End of official listing

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