Historic archway added to ‘At Risk’ register

By Chloe Hewitt

A 15th century archway on the outskirts of the De Montfort University campus has been added to the ‘At Risk’ register.

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The archway has been closely inspected after the university repurposed the remains of Leicester Castle into its new business school.

Historic England added the Turret Gateway of Leicester Castle to its register for 2017 and it has been earmarked for repairs by Leicester City Council.

It joins the Grade I listed Magazine Gateway which sits in pride of place on the De Montfort University campus but is currently surrounded in scaffolding due to restoration works.

A council spokesman said: “We’ve had a full structural survey carried out on the Turret Gateway.

“The report from the survey shows work needs to be carried out to prevent water ingress and vegetation on the structure, and to re-point and replace stone that has degraded in a sympathetic manner.

“These repairs will be highly specialised work and we will go out to tender for a contractor to carry them out. Therefore we don’t know how much the work will cost at the moment.”

As one of the few remaining features of the ancient city, many people are keen to see it preserved. De Montfort University has even come under fire from some locals, who have blamed the university for the deterioration of this historic architecture due to its excessive redevelopment and expansions over the years.

Heena Pandit, a History student in their third year, said: “It would be a great shame to see the loss of the archway, and it must be protected.

“One of the many interesting things about DMU is the mix of the old and new architecture around the campus and it would be a great shame for future generations of students to miss out on it.”

Having been built in 1422-3, it acted as the main gateway to the inner bailey (outermost wall of a castle and the area within it) of Leicester Castle from The Newarke, which was a wall built around the outer castle bailey.

It is widely, though incorrectly, assumed that it was largely destroyed due to fighting in the city during the Civil War.

It actually survived that and stood until the 1830s when it was destroyed in a Chartist riot, when it was burnt down leaving what remains to this day.

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