The Estate and the Park
James Winstanley bought the estate in 1649 for £6,000 and
the family became influential in the area. In 1775 Clement Winstanley
commissioned the building of Braunstone Hall. The family also established
the park, which today is 168 acres of open parkland, ancient spinneys,
wooded areas and meadow land. By the hall there is a walled garden,
originally the kitchen garden for the family, which was described
in 1792 as having 'hot houses of considerable magnitude, and the
garden planted with choice fruit trees'. It was re-designed and
opened to the public in 1983.
Various Winstanleys held positions of responsibility and power
over the next two hundred and seventy five years. The hall was extended
in 1911, only a few years before it was compulsory purchased by
the Leicester Corporation. As well as the estate being affected,
local allotment holders found their land was being built on too.
Having protested to no avail, the Winstanleys sold the estate for
£116,500 and Braunstone Park was opened to the public in the
1930s. The hall became a school until it closed in 1996. The hall
also had a reputation for being haunted, but what has happened to
the many ghosts is unclear.
Click on the thumbnails below to see larger pictures
Estate and Park