Welcome to St Nicholas Church in Leicester

History Section

19th Century 

At the beginning of the 19th century the church was in a very dilapidated condition. It had already lost its north aisle (1699) and later its spire.

1825 Because of the state of the church, plans were made for its demolition and replacement. Fortunately enough money could not be raised; not only would this lovely church have been totally destroyed, but drawings of the proposed new one show a design of almost unbelievable ugliness.

Instead, the pillar dividing the arches on the North side was removed and a huge brick arch, which we see today, was erected. Other repairs were made in brick to various parts of the church to make it structurally sound. A pulpit was placed against the west wall, and the box pews arranged to face it. The chancel had been used as a vestry, which was transferred to the porch. The altar remained at the eastern end of the south aisle. The main entrance to the church was by the medieval priest's door.

1875-6 A new north aisle was built to the design of Ordish and Traylen, local architects. The chancel was brought back into use and new seating installed. A remarkable feature is the pulpit, encircling the south west pillar of the tower. Said to be copied from one in Milan, it offers "immense scope to more energetic preachers"


1889 The north transept was built. It was intended to be part of a larger project involving a new chancel chapel. The transept has an eastern arch which remains bricked up, despite elaborate plans for vestry and parish room on the site made in the 1950s.

1891 The organ was built by Porritt, incorporating parts of an older instrument of 1830. A reredos was erected which was removed in 1975.

1898 The east end and the east half of the south wall were refaced and the aisle windows restored. In common with the other windows of the church they must have suffered a previous restoration, since in 1884 they contained crude intersected tracery of brickwork, plastered over.

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