"Whatever happened to Leicester's History?"

Ref: C2340838

We will be looking at Leicester at various stages of its history and trying to understand why, walking around the town today, so little of this has been preserved. Starting with Roman times through to the "modernisation" vogue during the 1960s and 70s we will attempt to build up a picture of what has vanished over the centuries and also try to establish reasons for this apparently blatant disregard for the town's heritage. We will also try to build up some mental "snapshots" of the town at various stages in its development and recent study moves to place a lot more emphasis on the town's past.

Course aim

To understand why Leicester, although a historic town, has managed to preserve so little of its physical heritage compared to, for example,Warwick, and how we can get an idea of what the town was like at its various stages of development.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • No previous experience needed - just an enthusiasm for local history.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Provide reasoned explanations as to why Leicester has preserved so little of its heritage compared to many other historic towns.
  • Utilise a range of evidence to show what historical sites have been preserved although not necessarily always appreciated: eg: Leicester Castle, Jewry Wall.
  • Evaluate the motives/reasons behind the apparent disregard for Leicester's history and heritage at various stages of the town's development.
  • Construct a series of mental pictures of the town at various stages in its history using evidence like maps, verbal descriptions and illustrations.
  • Provide examples of historians and archaeologists over the years who have tried to counteract the trend of destruction and also consider aspects like the recent campaign to save the Bowstring Bridge.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • It is not an expectation that you will undertake work/study outside of the sessions but any research that you can by way of individual follow up will be valued and appreciated.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided
  • A learner pack will be provided each week so no extensive note taking will be needed, but a ring binder to keep the learner packs in plus a notepad to note down incidental things would be useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

"Whatever happened to Leicester's History?"


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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