Leicester's pubs have always been more than mere watering holes. They are where businesses were created, battle plans drawn up and where murderers once faced up to their crimes.
Richard III spent his final night in Leicester at the Blue Boar in Highcross Street. Nathaniel Corah began his textile manufacturing empire, which employed thousands of Leicester people, at the Globe on Silver Street in 1815. Condemned prisoners on the way to the gallows at Red Hill were allowed a final drink at the Talbot Inn in Belgrave where there are still ghostly sightings, and at the Belper Arms in Newton Burgoland `Five to four Fred' makes his presence felt precisely at that time.
Other local taverns are frequented for specific purposes, such as those near the Leicester Royal Infirmary's Maternity Unit where fathers-to-be and new fathers steady their nerves or celebrate the arrival of their offspring. Now, in the Stoneygate suburb, there's even a Real Ale Classroom complete with blackboard and school bells where customers can be educated about beer.
Leicester Pubs is a `pub tour with culture', reflecting Leicester's history through the colourful stories of its inns and taverns.
Stephen Butt is a well-known local historian. After a career with the BBC, he now enjoys writing and research, with over twenty books in print combining local history with an interest in photography. Stephen's first degree was in Psychology and his MA degree is in English Local History. He has served as Hon Secretary of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society. He lives in Leicestershire.