Leicester – Cavendish House

Located on the Leicester Abbey site are the remains of Cavendish House. This property was constructed in the late sixteenth century from the stone taken from the abbey, which had been closed down as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The above photo is taken from what was once inside the property and it’s also the location of where the Abbey’s main gatehouse would have been located.

And from outside of the grand house, which had been purchased by William Cavendish (1593-1676), the first Earl of Cavendish, in 1613. In 1634, Cavendish spent £15,000 entertaining King Charles I, which would have been an enormous sum at that time. He must have been considerably annoyed when he wasn’t rewarded with any important job or role. He remained loyal though to the King and during the English Civil War, this property was the headquarters of Charles I before the Battle of Naseby in 1645. That battle was lost by the Royalists and Parliamentarians soon destroyed and set fire to Cavendish’s property.

And it has remained in this burnt out state since 1645. At the Restoration in 1660, Cavendish got most of his assets back, but this property was never rebuilt.

There are still blackened areas around the windows, evidence of the fire. Abbey House was constructed at the beginning of the nineteenth century to the side of this burnt out structure, but this section was never incorporated in. In the last few years there have been a few concerns about the stability of these ruins, but some money has been spent on ensuring that they’re protected.