St Nicholas' Church, Leicester

St Nicholas' Church, Leicester
St Nicholas' Church, Leicester

St Nicholas and the Jewry Wall

Coordinates: 52°38′6.53″N 1°8′27.29″W / 52.6351472°N 1.1409139°W / 52.6351472; -1.1409139
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Broad Church
Dedication Saint Nicholas
Parish Leicester
Diocese Leicester
Province Canterbury
Vicar(s) Canon Barry Naylor
Organist/Director of music Ian Imlay
One of two Anglo-Saxon windows inside the church

St Nicholas' Church is an Anglican parish church, and the oldest place of worship, in Leicester, England.



It is situated next to the Jewry Wall, the remnant of the city's Roman baths. To the east is the site of the Roman forum.

Today, the church lies just outside the city's inner ring road. Despite being some distance from the campus, it is the official church of the University of Leicester.


Parts of the church fabric certainly date from circa AD 880, and a recent architectural survey suggested possible Roman building work. The tower is Norman. By 1825 the church was in an extremely poor condition, and plans were made for its demolition. Instead, it was extensively renovated between 1875 and 1884, including the building of a new north aisle. Renovation continued into the twentieth century.


The organ was built in 1890 by the local firm of J. Porritt, and incorporates pipework of an earlier organ by an unknown builder dating from the 1830s. In 1975, the organ was cleaned and overhauled by J. W. Walker & Sons at a cost of around £4,500, and has continued to be refurbished periodically since then.


  • Ian Imlay 1960 - current


The church has three bells, dated 1617, 1656 and 1710, that had been taken down from the tower in 1949 and replaced by one big bell. As part of the millennium celebrations, the three bells were rehung at a total cost of £5,848, paid for by an appeal. Because the tower is not very strong, they were re-hung for stationery chiming (not swung). The smallest bell, which was cracked, was repaired, and all three bells were taken away to Hayward Mills Associates Bell Hangers of Nottingham. They were returned to the church in July 2002, and were rung to welcome Queen Elizabeth II on her Jubilee Visit to Leicester.

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