The City Rooms (Leicester)
|The City Rooms|
|Town or city||Leicester|
|Design and construction|
Outside in Hotel Street there is the statue of the Seamstress, although not intended to represent any particular person, it serves as a reminder of the importance the hosiery industry once played in Leicester. The Seamstress is shown putting a seam into a stocking and was sculpted by James Butler
The City Rooms is a Georgian building, completed in 1800. It would have become Leicester's first hotel but was not completed and the building was sold in 1799 with £3,300 still needed to complete it, and opened as the Leicester Assembly Rooms in 1800 and used for the first time on 17 September to house the visitors to the Leicester Races held at Victoria Park, with the ground floor being used as a coffee house and the upper floors for wedding receptions, banquets and balls. In 1817 it was adapted to become the Judges Lodgings when it passed into the hands of the County Justices, then becoming known as the County Rooms. When it passed into the ownership of Leicester City Council it was renamed again, to The City Rooms.
The ballroom which runs the whole width of the building on the first floor is the centerpiece. Decorated with paintings by Ramsay Richard Reinagle and figures in niches on the front of the building by John Charles Felix Rossi, representing the comic and lyric muses.
In 2005 The City Rooms received a careful two year restoration to bring the building back to life. For the first time in over 200 years since work began, The City Rooms is now being used as first intended. Comprising three lavishly decorated meeting rooms, the grand ballroom, a bar and four luxurious bedrooms.
- Heritage Gateway, ref. 188672
- Simmons, Jack (1949) "Notes on a Leicester Architect: John Johnson (1732-1814)", LAHS Transactions, Volume XXV, Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, retrieved 2010-03-04