JOHN OF GAUNT’S CELLAR
Although the cellar is no longer open to the public, it is located adjacent to Leicester Castle’s Great Hall and is a historically important part of the Castle View area. John of Gaunt’s cellar was built just after his death in the 15th Century, and remains in excellent condition. It was reconstructed with the addition of the vault (the present roof), an extension at the north end, and a reconstruction of the southern façade. Elaborate, deeply cut graffiti carved in 1798 shows that the cellar was used as a prison during the Napoleonic wars.
James Thompson’s account of Leicester Castle, published in 1859, describes John of Gaunt’s cellar as, "a long, dark and damp chamber, the sides and roof of which are constructed of wrought stones. It is fifty feet from end to end, eighteen feet wide, and twelve feet high from the original floor, now covered over with accumulated earth and rubbish.”