Leir of Leicester: The archaeology behind the legend

We have recently had a couple of enquires about the link between King Leir and the Jewry Wall and thought we would take a closer look. ULAS Project Officer Mathew Morris investigates… One of Leicester’s most enduring legends is that of King Leir, the tragic king made famous by William Shakespeare’s titular play. Leir was a…

A Roman water tank at Jewry Wall Museum

Last autumn, a small team of archaeologists from ULAS found themselves burrowing beneath the floor of the once-bustling Jewry Wall museum in the heart of Roman Leicester. Site director Jennifer Browning reports: This was the site of the Roman town’s public baths and was the first large-scale archaeological excavation in Leicester, undertaken by Kathleen Kenyon…

Life and Death on the Waterside

Over the last five years, ULAS has been busy investigating Leicester’s waterside, a large area of the historic city centre stretching 400m along the east bank of the River Soar and the Grand Union Canal from Bath Lane to Frog Island. A once busy area, characterised by manufacturing, it has suffered decline over the last…

Festival of Archaeology 2019

Festival of Leicestershire and Rutland Archaeology 2019 programme of events announced! Saturday 29th June – Sunday 28th July, 2019 The programme for the 2019 Festival of Leicestershire and Rutland Archaeology – the biggest Festival of its kind in Britain- has been announced. Throughout the four weeks of July more than 90 events will be held…

Unique Iron Age shield found by Leicester archaeologists

The 2,300-year-old bark shield is the only one of its kind ever found in Europe A unique bark shield from the Iron Age has been discovered by archaeologists from the University of Leicester, the only one of its kind ever found in Europe. The shield, which measured 670 x 370mm in the ground, was found…

Kathleen Kenyon and the Jewry Wall

This year is the 80th anniversary of the final year of Kathleen Kenyon’s seminal excavations at Jewry Wall. For International Women’s Day, we take a moment to reflect on the significance of her work in Leicester… Kathleen Kenyon (1906-78) was a gifted archaeologist and pioneer of excavation methodology who made an important contribution to our…

Summer Roundup: Leicester Excavations

This summer (2018) ULAS has been extremely busy on many archaeological projects, here’s a roundup of our key discoveries from three large excavations in Leicester, producing some significant new Roman and medieval discoveries. The Waterside project A major redevelopment of north-west Leicester is the Waterside project. In advance of redevelopment a series of archaeological evaluations…

Stibbe Roman mosaic to go on public display for first time

Free exhibition showcasing Leicester’s Roman past will take place at BBC Radio Leicester studio between 16 – 27 July University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) in partnership with BBC Radio Leicester are putting on public display for the first time, the newly conserved ‘Stibbe’ Roman mosaic. The FREE exhibit has been organised as part of…

New film reveals challenges behind lifting and conserving a Roman mosaic

A new film produced by the University of Leicester showcases how archaeologists successfully lifted and conserved a Roman mosaic found in Leicester. During the winter of 2016/17, archaeologists from University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) excavated a large site in Leicester, on the corner of Highcross Street and Vaughan Way next to the John Lewis car…

Castle Hill Community Dig Blog 4: Season 2 is about to start!

Well, a year has come and gone and it is September again which means Season 2 of our Castle Hill Community Dig is about to start! Last year was a huge success. The medieval archaeology proved to be far better preserved than anyone imagined. We dug three trenches, investigating the outer bank and ditch of…