city in Leicestershire, East Midlands, England

Leicester (audio speaker iconpronunciation ) is a city in the East Midlands region of England and it is the county town of Leicestershire.

City and Unitary Authority Area
City of Leicester
Montage of places in Leicester: (clockwise from top-left) Jewry Wall, National Space Centre, Leicester War Memorial, Central Leicester, Curve theatre, Leicester Cathedral and Guildhall, Welford Road Stadium, Leicester Market
Coat of arms of Leicester
Semper Eadem
Location within Leicestershire and England
Location within Leicestershire and England
Coordinates: 52°38′06″N 1°08′06″W / 52.63500°N 1.13500°W / 52.63500; -1.13500
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionEast Midlands
Ceremonial countyLeicestershire
Admin HQLeicester City Centre
FoundedAD 50
as Ratae Corieltauvorum by the Romans
City Statusrestored 1919
 • TypeUnitary authority, City
 • MayorSir Peter Soulsby
 • LeadershipElected mayor and cabinet
 • Unitary authorityLeicester City Council
 • List of MPs
 • City and Unitary Authority Area28.31 sq mi (73.32 km2)
 (2005 est.)
 • City and Unitary Authority Area288,000 (Ranked 20th)
 • Urban
 • Metro
772,400 (LUZ)
 • Ethnicity
(June 2007 estimates)[1]
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Area code0116
Grid Ref.SK584044
ONS code00FN
ISO 3166-2GB-LCE
Distance to London102.8 mi (165.4 km)

In the 2011 census the population of Leicester was about 330,000. The city is also the 11th largest by population in England and the 13th largest in the United Kingdom.[2]

History and Society


Leicester is about 2,000 years old and was called Ratae Corieltauvorum when it was founded by the Romans. After the Romans had gone and the Anglo-Saxons settled there, the town of Leicester was founded and named after the River Soar (then called Leire) and "cester" meaning the Roman ruins. Much later, after the invasion by the Danes, Leicester was within the area under Danish rule and one of the fortified "Five Burghs". In early modern times it became a centre of the manufacture of boots, shoes and knitted clothes such as socks.

Since 1926 there has been a Church of England diocese of Leicester and in 1927 the Church of St Martin became Leicester Cathedral. As well as different forms of Christianity, many other religions have followers in the city including Islam and Hinduism. The UK census in 2001 showed that 17.4% of people in Leicester said that they had no religion.

Leicester has a wide variety of people from other countries, including many from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Leicester also has communities of people from the Caribbean, Somalia, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iran, Poland and many other countries. Many of these communities have their own community organisations. As well as English about 70 other languages are spoken in the city.

Leicester is well known for having residents from many different cultural backgrounds. People who believe that they are having problems because of racism can get help from The Race Equality Centre.

Government and politics


Leicester has three MPs: Jon Ashworth (Leicester South, Labour), Liz Kendall (Leicester West, Labour) and Claudia Webbe (Leicester East), Independent.

On 5 May 2011, Sir Peter Soulsby became the first directly elected Mayor of Leicester. He is called the City Mayor. Leicester also has a Lord Mayor for ceremonies.

Leicester City Council has 54 councillors. At the moment there are 30 from the Labour party, 17 Conservatives, three from the Green Party, three Liberal Democrats and one Independent. Leicester is divided into 21 wards for local government which include the city centre and many suburban areas.

Services and facilities


Leicester has a very large covered outdoor market. The market has been in the same place for 700 years. The city also has two shopping centres: Haymarket and the much larger Highcross.

Leicester has several museums. The biggest and best known is the New Walk Museum.

The city has many parks, including Abbey Park and Victoria Park. There is also a botanical garden in Oadby, which is a town south of Leicester.

Leicester has a race course, which is also in Oadby.

There are two hospitals in the city (Leicester General Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary) and one just outside the city (Glenfield Hospital).

The city is the home of Leicester City F.C. the Leicester Football Club who are also known as the Foxes. Leicester is also home to a rugby club called the Leicester Tigers. It also has a cricket team for adults and juniors called Leicestershire CCC (county cricket club).

Leicester has two universities: the University of Leicester and De Montfort University. It also has several further education colleges, the largest one is Leicester College.

There are two bus stations: Haymarket and St. Margaret's (which is also a coach station). The train station is on London Road. Leicester is about 75 minutes from London by train.

Many trade union branches in the city and county are members of Leicester and District Trades Union Council.

The local newspaper is called The Leicester Mercury.

Other websites



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Neighbourhood Statistics". Archived from the original on 2008-12-07. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  2. "United Kingdom: Urban Areas". Citypopulation.de. Retrieved 20 October 2015.