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  • In 1950 the City Council approved the layout of the new Eyres Monsell housing estate on land purchased from Mrs Sybil Eyres-Monsell
  • With materials and skilled workers scarce, a mixture of brick and concrete houses were built. Tenants could choose brown or green for their front door
  • Today, Eyres Monsell has approximately 11,230 residents and 4,669 homes

Leicester’s housing crisis

Leicester had a housing shortage before the Second World War and with little new building during the War, it got worse. By the late 1940s, Leicester had a housing crisis with thousands of people still living in town centre slums. In 1950 the City Council approved the layout of the new Eyres Monsell housing estate. The land was purchased from Mrs Sybil Eyres-Monsell. She had previously sold land to the Council to build the Saffron Lane Estate in 1923.

Ambitious plans

Plans were made for 2,300 homes including three and four bedroomed houses, flats and bungalows. The new estate would also have schools, playing fields and a health centre. With materials and skilled workers scarce, a mixture of brick and concrete houses were built. The new ‘Easiform’ construction method was fast and cost-effective. Grey concrete walls were painted cream and tenants could choose brown or green for their front door. The first two houses were completed in 1951 and another 470 in 1952. 

Eyres Monsell 002
Glenhills Boulevard on the Eyres Monsell Estate, 1959

Creating a community

In 1962 a Community Centre and nearby playing area was built on Hillsborough Road. 1964 saw the opening of a boys’ club on Whitteney Drive and St Hugh’s Anglican and St John Bosco Catholic churches. Two years later a working men’s club was opened. A new shopping arcade opened in 2013 on the site of the Invincible pub and Sturdee Road Health and Wellbeing Centre opened in 2019. Today, Eyres Monsell has approximately 11,230 residents and 4,669 homes.

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Roman Leicester

(47- 500) A military fort was erected, attracting traders and a growing civilian community to Leicester (known as Ratae Corieltauvorum to the Romans). The town steadily grew throughout the reign of the Romans.

Medieval Leicester

(500 – 1500) The early years of this period was one of unrest with Saxon, Danes and Norman invaders having their influences over the town. Later, of course, came Richard III and the final battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought on Leicester’s doorstep.

Tudor & Stuart Leicester

(1500 – 1700) The wool trade flourished in Leicester with one local, a former mayor named William Wigston, making his fortune. During the English Civil War a bloody battle was fought as the forces of King Charles I laid siege to the town.

Georgian Leicester

(1700 – 1837) The knitting industry had really stared to take hold and Leicester was fast becoming the main centre of hosiery manufacture in Britain. This new prosperity was reflected throughout the town with broader, paved streets lined with elegant brick buildings and genteel residences.

Edwardian Leicester

(1901 – 1910) Electric trams came to the streets of Leicester and increased literacy among the citizens led to many becoming politicised. The famous 1905 ‘March of the Unemployed to London’ left from Leicester market when 30,000 people came to witness the historic event.

Modern Leicester

(1973 – present day) Industry was still thriving in the city during the 1970s, with the work opportunities attracting many immigrants from all over the world. While industry has declined in recent years, excellent transport links have made Leicester an attractive centre for many businesses. The City now has much to be proud of including its sporting achievements and the richness of its cultural heritage and diversity.

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