Belgrave Hall Guided Tours

Family Friendly
Lectures & Tours
27 March - 25 September 2024
11:30 - 15:30

Free Event

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Event Description

Enjoy a free guided tour, booking essential

Belgrave Hall Guided Tours

Free guided tours of the wonderful Belgrave Hall and Gardens are available on the following dates. Learn about the history of the buildings and the families that lived there:

March 2024

  • Wed 27th March - with Carole

April 2024

  • Sat 6th April - with Erica

  • Sun 7th April - with Mark

  • Wed 17th April - with Carole

May 2024

  • Wed 1st May - with Carole and Jane

  • Wed 8th May - with Mark

  • Wed 22nd May - Carole and Jane

June 2024

  • Sat 1st June - with Carole

  • Wed 26th June - with Carole and Jane

July 2024

  • Sat 6th July - with Carole

  • Sun 7th July - with Mark

  • Wed 10th July - with Mark

  • Wed 17th July - with Carole

August 2024

  • Sat 3rd Aug - with Erica

  • Sun 4th Aug - with Mark

September 2024

  • Sat 7th Sept - with Carole*

  • Wed 11th Sept - with Carole and Jane *

  • Wed 25th Sept - with Carole

* These tours are part of Heritage Open Day's and will be specialised tours.

History of Belgrave Hall

Belgrave Hall was built as a family home for Edmund and Ann Cradock in 1709. Only two years after its completion, both Edmund and Ann died, and it was then owned by the Simons family for 45 years. The Vann family for 78 years. The Ellis family for 76 years, and Thomas Morley for 13 years.

Two acres of gardens at the back of the Hall are open to the public on Wednesdays and the first full weekend of every month during summer season, which runs from April to September. These retain features first laid out by John Ellis in 1850, with formal garden features, walled kitchen gardens and glass houses. Former outbuildings have been converted to craft workshops. The formal gardens contain statues and monuments from 'lost' Leicestershire Gardens, such as the memorial to Edward Holdsworth from Gopsall Hall.  Four statues remain from an original collection of 16 that were bought by the Vann Family some time before 1790. These appear to have been a diverse collection of mythological subjects bought in Italy by Colonel Hewitt of Stretton Hall and bought from his estate by the Vanns.

Of the four that remain, two are in the formal gardens, and may be Throsby's 'Ceres' and 'Hercules'. The other two stand inside what were once the gates to Belgrave House, now part of Belgrave Gardens, and are both statues of the Greek god Telamon, but may be what Throsby describes as the two Emperors.

John Ellis took possession of Belgrave Hall in 1847, when he was 58, with a wife and seven daughters. Ellis was a key figure in getting George Stephenson to take on the building of a line from Leicester to the Swannington coalfields, which was completed in 1833. He was a Quaker and reformer, and in 1836 Ellis had become a Town Councillor. In 1840 he had attended the World's Anti-Slavery Convention. By 1845 as a director of the Midland Railway, he had overseen the merger with the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway. In 1849 he became chairman of the Midland Railway and represented Leicester in Parliament between 1848 and 1852. John Ellis died in 1862, and his wife and five of his daughters stayed on at Belgrave Hall.

The 'Belgrave sisters' played a leading role in various Leicester institutions and hosted literary and social events at the Hall. They supported the suffragette movement, and Charlotte Ellis was on the 'Leicester Board of Guardians' for nine years, administering the town's poor law relief from 1892. The sisters valued the gardens and grounds.

For more than sixty years the Belgrave Garden gave a very special kind of pleasure to all those connected with the Belgrave home. The Ellis sisters were described as, "public spirited citizens, beloved and looked up to in Belgrave and Leicester. Their home was one of culture and refinement. Margaret, the last of the daughters, died in 1923, 76 years after the family had arrived.

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