Leicester The Essential
Leicester was the capital of the legendary Lear's kingdom, the seat of 8C East Mercian bishops, and one of the five Danelaw towns (with Derby, Lincoln, Nottingham and Stamford) in 865, the time of Viking invasions. Later, William I built a castle here, whose castellans were Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. The medieval city prospered thanks to the hosiery trade. More recently, a university and newer industries have enhanced Leicester's position.