• The Hall was bought by the council in 1925 and turned into a school for the children of the Braunstone estate until closing in 1996
  • Children loved the hall and grounds for nature walks and sketches and even the spooky cellars
  • The school and surrounding park were used during the war for air raid shelters and housed the local Home Guard and American soldiers

The hall becomes a school 

In 1925 Braunstone Hall and surrounding land was bought by Leicester Borough Council for £116,500. Some of the land was used to build the South Braunstone housing estate and the children from the estate needed a school. The Council Education Committee leased Braunstone Hall for £170 a year. In August 1932 the school opened for senior pupils but a year later became a primary school. The school was used for 64 years, closing in 1996. 

 

A classroom in 1996 - Braunstone History Group

A magical school 

Changes were made to the hall when it became a school although many original features stayed. The three floors were connected by decorative staircases. There were classrooms in the old servants’ quarters that ex-pupils remember being particularly spooky! The building wasn’t well suited to being a modern school; there were no classrooms for craft and art activities and not enough space to move equipment around. Despite this, former pupils remember it being a ‘magical school’. The grounds were used for nature walks and sketching. The Hall and grounds were places that fired pupil’s imaginations. 

Miss Hartley’s Recorder Class in 1954 - Braunstone History Group

The school during World War Two  

During the war, the school was open all day for local children. The school cellars were used as air raid shelters by pupils and teachers and the building was also used by the local Home Guard Unit. In 1944 soldiers from the American 82nd Airborne Division were housed in Nissen huts in the park. The American soldiers would give pupils doughnuts, fruit and chewing gum.  For a few years after the war some of the Nissen huts were used as an infant school.

Braunstone History Group are recording and collecting stories from the Braunstone area and have a centre based at the old school site. 

Visitor information
Public access to the park

Gallery

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.

Early 20th Century Leicester

(1910 – 1973) The diverse industrial base meant Leicester was able to cope with the economic challenges of the 1920s and 1930s. New light engineering businesses, such as typewriter and scientific instrument making, complemented the more traditional industries of hosiery and footwear manufacturing.

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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