Robert James Lees - Leicester Landmarks

Robert James Lees


Leicester Landmarks 



Gladstone Vaults, Wharf Street

The Gladstone Vaults


On Leicester's famous and infamous Wharf Street, on the extreme left of this picture is the former pawn Shop in which valuable Lees family documents were found following the clearance of Eva Lees' home in the 1960s. This was originally built as two shops (the one on the right occupying the gateway to the former Leicestershire County Cricket Ground), by Isaac Barradale in 1880.

The adjacent building in the foreground (GE Motor Factors) was formerly the Gladstone Vaults (also known for a time as the Gaiety Palace of Varieties, the New Empire Theatre of Varieties, and from 1922, the Hippodrome). This was the theatre where John Merrick, the Elephant Man once appeared on stage under the aegis of showman Sam Torr, who owned the premises from 1883 until 1885.  The existing building was built by W.Hancock in 1892.


Rodona - Eva Lee's Leicester home

Eva Lee's home
Fosse Road South


`Rodona' in Fosse Road South, Leicester is where Eva Lees lived until her death. This house was located close to Lees' own home, further along the same road in a location now known as Fosse Road Central. It is said that this building was given to Eva, for her lifetime, by spiritualist friends of the family.


Lee Circle Spiritualist Church

The Lee Circle Christian Spiritualist Church in Leicester. Many of the present members remember Eva and Claude Lees


The Corn Exchange

The Corn Exchange


Leicester's famous Corn Exchange in the city's ancient Market Square is where Robert James Lees spoke at a public debate into Spiritualism in 1928. For over a century, the Market Square has been used as the location for public debate. Structurally, the building has changed little since then. After lying derelict for some years following a fire, the building has been refurbished and is now a wine bar.



Vaughan Way Spiritualist Church

Vaughan Way Spiritualist Church


Eva and Claude Lees attended this church in the 1960's. A large portrait of Lees is on display at the front of the church.  The church stands on the city's Central Ring Road in a prominent position, its design fully in keeping with the planning strategy of the time.


Lief's Pawn Shop, Wharf Street

The former Leif's pawn shop
Wharf Street


Wharf Street, Leicester is a street with a rich history. This curious building (27a and 27b) served as the area's pawn shop under proprietor Harry Leif, and for some time as a brothel, and most recently as the base for a removal business where a number of Lees family documents and scrapbooks were discovered. The left-hand section of the building was built across the entrance to the original Leicester Cricket Club pitch, hence it's numbering as 27a and b.


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visit  Leicester Research, our sister site.


2003 Stephen Butt