About the Stoneygate Conservation Area

Stoneygate is one of the most handsome and architecturally interesting parts of Leicester. In 1978, it was designated a conservation area and in the same year, The Stoneygate Conservation Area Society was formed.

The Stoneygate Conservation Area, which also includes Clarendon Park, is made up of properties representing nearly two hundred years of the City’s history.

The oldest building is The Firs at 223 London Road which dates from the 1820s. The newest is the £20 million South Lodge Care Home at 307 London Road. South Lodge Care Home opened in 2010 but retains the façade of an earlier house built in the 1870s as a centrepiece.

In 1846, nine years after Victoria became Queen, there were ten houses in Stoneygate. All of them along London Road which was the main horse-drawn coach route between Leicester, Market Harborough and the capital.

By the time she died in 1901 there were hundreds. The last decades of the nineteenth century saw a building boom in Stoneygate which leaves the ones we have experienced in the shade.

Most historical houses and nearly all of Clarendon Park is Victorian development and Victorian building styles set the tone of the area. The ornate brick and stonework and elaborate individual features of buildings are typical.

Walking through the streets on a quiet evening, you can’t help but be impressed by the richness of detail and variety. In the grander parts like St Mary’s, Knighton Park and Ratcliffe Roads, there’s a sense of scale and openness. Architects and builders used to show off their skills on the outside; today they seem to save them all for the inside.

In a new house, the real talent is in fitting so many rooms and facilities into the available interior space. Much less time and effort is expended on the exterior design, and it shows. Very few people involved in the design of new housing developments expect future residents to walk the street and admire their neighbours’ architecture but the people who built houses in Stoneygate did.

The Work of The Stoneygate Conservation Area Society

People committed to the aims of the conservation area need a body to represent their interests, to engage in dialogue with the Council, to hold it to account for the developments that will inevitably take place and to ensure that it upholds its part of the deal. SCAS is the only group that does this.

The Stoneygate Conservation Area Society is committed to Stoneygate. We want to see it thrive as a place where people can live and work (and as a place to visit) but we also want to preserve and enhance its great visual legacy and protect it against careless development and other threats.

We stay alert to local issues and interact with our members (and members of the public) by

  • giving advice and information
  • producing and delivering a regular newsletter to our members
  • maintaining a website (www.stoneygateconservation.org)
  • arranging local walks and talks

Our May AGM (advertised on the website) is usually open to the public, features a guest speaker and is free. You don’t have to live in the Conservation Area to become a member, either. We welcome anyone who, like us, cherishes Stoneygate’s unique character.

Conserving the Character of Stoneygate

Whatever the political climate at the City Council and whatever their attitude to conservation, the Society has always been a watchdog and a mouthpiece for those who cherish the area’s uniqueness. There is a very practical side to our activities. Stoneygate will only remain special if we all, Council, property-owners, residents and landlords alike, sign up to the high standards and uphold the rules.

The creation of a Conservation Area makes us all co-custodians of the City’s heritage. It’s the owners who bear the costs but as long as the Council enforces the rules, everyone benefits from a virtuous cycle in which amenity values and property prices remain buoyant and a unique piece of Leicester’s heritage is retained for future generations and visitors to the City.