Congerstone - Gopsall Temple - Shackerstone - Congerstone

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Gopsall Hall could safely lay claim to being the grandest Georgian country house in Leicestershire with its size, grand pediment, impressive interiors and royal patronage. It was built in 1750 by Charles and John Jennens. It was sold in 1932 and the house was never to be a stately home again and was shut up until the Second World War when in 1942, it became the No 1 Radio Mechanics School of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) who used the house and estate as an experimental radar base until 1945. Sadly it was demolished in 1951 due to damage from requisition during WWII.

In the grounds are the remains of the famous temple. The temple's fame comes from its use by George Frederic Handel to compose one of the 18th Century's greatest pieces of music, 'The Messiah'. Handel was a frequent visitor to Gopsall Hall during the time of Humphrey Jennens, but it was Charles who developed a strong musical connection with their guest. In fact, Charles Jennens was a noted writer and acted as librettist, supplying the words not only to 'The Messiah' but also Handel's 'Saul', written in 1737. 'The Messiah' was premiered in March 1743 at Covent Garden in London in the presence of King George II, who reportedly rose to his feet at the 'Hallelujah' chorus. The organ played by Handel, which once graced the magnificent Gopsall Chapel, is now housed in Packington Church, Warwickshire.

England - Central England - Leicestershire - Canal Walk


Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Church, Flowers, Good for Kids, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Museum, Pub, Public Transport, Tea Shop, Wildlife, Woodland
1/19/2014 - Graham Brookes

Some step stiles so not suitable for larger dogs. Small dogs should be able to squeeze through fence rails.

1/19/2014 - Graham Brookes

Pleasant stroll through farm land and beside canal with some interesting history and steam railway. Better in dry weather as is muddy/slippery in damp conditions. Some step stiles so not suitable for larger dogs.

5/11/2012 - Walkingworld Admin

Our thanks to Roy Davenport for his update for this walk. May 2012. Adrian (Admin)

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21.8 Miles