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Leicester Secular Hall

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Coordinates: 52°38′10.77″N 1°7′43.97″W / 52.636325°N 1.1288806°W / 52.636325; -1.1288806 Leicester Secular Hall is a Grade II Listed Building built in 1881 for Leicester Secular Society by The Leicester Secular Hall Co. Ltd, all the shareholders of which were Secularists, led by Josiah Gimson a Leicester engineer and councillor who held the largest number of shares. Ownership of the Hall subsequently passed to the Leicester Rationalist Trust. The building is located in the centre of Leicester at 75 Humberstone Gate. It was designed by W Larner Sugden of Leek. The frontage contains five busts depicting, in chronological order, Socrates, Jesus, Voltaire, Thomas Paine, and Robert Owen.

History

The building of the hall was proposed in 1872 after G. J. Holyoake was refused the use of a public room for a lecture. George Bernard Shaw and William Morris are among the many radical thinkers who have spoken there.

Current Plans

There are ambitious plans in 2007, with assistance from heritage grants, to refurbish the building to meet modern standards including disabled access to the upper floors.

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