1194-1487: 11 Kings of England have travelled along King Street
From 1194 for the next 300 years eleven out of the 15 Kings of England travelled along King Street when they visited Melton Mowbray most choosing to stay overnight with the Lord of the Manor of Melton, Lord de Mowbray. The de Mowbray’s were a powerful family in medieval England and had a Castle in Melton Mowbray.
in 1313 John de Mowbray built a new manor house set back from the Market Place where his royal guests would lodge. The manor house still exists at the top of King Street albeit with a Victorian Shop front. The building is Grade II* Listed. This medieval house is best viewed from the back.
The first King recorded as having visited Melton Mowbray was Richard I, the Lionheart, on the 5th of April 1194 on his way back from Nottingham where he had successfuly captured the Castle and so ended the rebellion of his brother John. Richard was accompanied to Melton by King William of Scotland pleading unsuccessfully for the restoration of the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland and Lancashire to the Kingdom of Scotland.
Richard I was followed by Kings John, Henry III, Edwards I, II and III, Henry IV and VI, Richard III and finally Henry VII in 1487. The 4 kings not recorded formally as having visited Melton Mowbray are Richard II, Henry V, Edward IV and finally Edward V who reigned for only 2 months being murdered aged 12 years old in the Tower of London.
King Street Project
To commemorate these Royal visits tourists would be encouraged to walk in the footsteps of our medieval kings via a series of brass plaques, shaped as footprints and placed amongst the cobblestones of King Street from the Market Place upwards in ascending order. The plaque would have the name of the king and the date of the visit. These could be accompanied by portraits of the kings and explanation on a nearby wall. The sign ‘King Street’ should be amended to say King Street – Former Great North Road 1194-1487.