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
Leicester

     

`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

 

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
Leicester

 

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
Leicester

 

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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2003 Stephen Butt