1361 - john of gaunt

John of Gaunt

John of Gaunt inherited Leicester castle in 1361. John of Gaunt, the third surviving son of King Edward III, was one of the wealthiest noblemen in England. He is thought to have owned 30 castles across the kingdom. However, it was Leicester Castle that became his preferred residence and where he took his last breath in 1399. 

During John of Gaunt’s era the great poet Geoffrey Chaucer was a frequent visitor and also King Richard II and his queen were known to have been entertained with splendour in the Great Hall. John of Gaunt carried out numerous expansions and improvements to the castle, which helped turn it into one of the grandest in the land.  

The death of John of Gaunt saw the end to the Lancastrian Earls of Leicester.