St Martin’s Cathedral, Leicester

Leicester Cathedral was built from the 12th to the 15th centuries and much altered and restored in the 19th century.  Until 1927 when it was consecrated as Leicester Cathedral, it was the parish church of St Martin of Tours. It is now famous as the resting place of Richard III.
There was no obvious graffiti to be found in the nave, perhaps due to the over-enthusiastic restoration carried out by the Victorians. A dark bench against one of the columns in the south aisle has two possible Marian marks, either W or M depending their orientation.
The majority of the graffiti to be found on a casual visit is in the Katherine Chapel to the north of the chancel. A ledger slab, dated 1609, is mostly uncarved and has left ample scope for graffiti. Most of this is made of up names and initials, but there is a small compass drawn daisy wheel and a large set of concentric circles. The circles have the date 1756 carved over them, giving rare dating evidence that dates their creation tobetween 1609 and 1756. This is a broad range, but better than can be found for many similar marks.

There are a couple of pentagrams outside the north porch. They appear to be modern.

Report by Anthea Hawdon and Linda Wilson

We would like to thank the volunteers at Leicester Cathedral for their warm welcome. They answered all our questions and took two women shining lights on tombstones entirely in their stride!

Leicester Cathedral
2 Peacock Lane

Tourist Opening Hours
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
Sun 12:30pm-2:30pm

Search terms: circles (concentric), TH 1756, JMG 1987, Marian Mark, M, Cross, TJ, HW, DG, AG, HF, WT, pentagram, IW, 1707, cross hatching, star, ISH, Chas, saltire, Richard, John, WP, RH, EW, 1763, 1700s,1750s, 1609, 1600s, 1987, 1900s, 1980s