Belgrave Hall is a Queen Anne-style Grade II* listed building in Belgrave. It is located on the northern edge of the city of Leicester.
It was built as a family home for Edmund and Ann Cradock in 1709 in the midst of 2 acres (8,100 m2) of walled gardens in Belgrave, Leicester. Only two years after its completion, both Edmund and Ann died, and it was then owned by the Simons family for 45 years, the Vann family for 78 years, (during which time they also built the nearby Belgrave House), the Ellis family for 76 years, and Thomas Morley for 13 years. In 1936 it was bought by Leicester City Council, at which point it became a museum. Recently, the Council made the decision to use the house and gardens as a heritage site rather than a museum, and it is now only open at certain times during the summer months. It is also available for private functions, such as weddings and ghost watches.
Belgrave Hall was built as a substantial family home between 1709 and 1713 by Edmund Cradock, a Leicester hosiery merchant, on a site adjacent to Belgrave Church. At the time Belgrave was a small village three miles from Leicester, between the roads to Loughborough and Lincoln, and Belgrave Hall set a trend for wealthy businessmen to build themselves out-of-town houses in the area. The house, fronting onto Church Road, is a three-storey building in an unadorned classical style, from blue and red bricks, laid in Flemish bond, creating a chequered pattern. There are lead rainwater heads with the Cradock family crest, some of which have a 1709 date and others with 1713. This unusually long construction period, along with brickwork and ground-plan irregularities on the south side, may imply a re-design or halt to construction while building was underway. The road frontage has imposing wrought iron gates which incorporate an ‘EC’ monogram leading to a recessed doorway, and a brick parapet which hides the three hipped gables of the roof, creating a very rectangular facade.
In 1999, Belgrave Hall became famous across the world when two ghostly figures were recorded on security cameras outside the Hall. The building remained of interest to ghost hunters long after this sighting was explained. The ISPR (International Society for Paranormal Research) examined the footage and decided the image was environmental in nature rather than paranormal, namely a falling leaf, but went on to ‘identify’ quite a few cold spots and ‘residual forces’. The team from Ghost Hunters International concluded it was most likely people with reflective jackets walking around. Living TV’s Most Haunted crew investigated here in 2003 with celebrity guests Vic Reeves and his wife Nancy Sorrell. Belgrave Hall was featured on the 26 June 2012 episode of Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.