Butt Close Lane

Butt Close Lane

The northern parts of Leicester had been devastated in an attack, ordered by Henry II, in 1173 and were hardly built on until the nineteenth century. The butts – targets for archery practice –  were set up in the open space just east of the town walls in what is now Churchgate. Butt Close Lane formed the southern edge of this big open space. It was here on Whit Sunday (now usually called Pentecost) in 1753 that John Wesley first preached in Leicester. He had been staying at Markfield and, at the invitation of John Coltman, rode over to Leicester in the evening. He recorded that congregation, drawn from all ranks of society, ran to hear him. They were, he said, attentive and serious.