Leicester Secular Society
for an inclusive and plural society free from religious privilege, prejudice and discrimination.
(established 1851)
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National Secular Society Affiliated Group
British Humanist Association Affiliated Group
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Friend of British Institute of Human Rights

Supporter of Uganda Humanist Schools Trust

Biffa Award 2013

Freethinker Magazine

Secular Hall

Over a 130 years ago Secular Hall was built as the home of Leicester Secular Society and has always played host to numerous organisations seeking a comfortable but economical place to meet. Our online calendar lists forthcoming lectures and meetings at the Hall and other selected events of interest. We are determined for Secular Hall to remain a venue of choice, but major regeneration work is needed.

As a previous President, Allan Hayes has said:

Secular Hall is one of the most significant Victorian buildings in the city. It deserves conservation as part of our architectural heritage and for the contribution that it can make to the regeneration of Humberstone Gate. This has been recognised by English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the City Council.

Many know it because of having attended the Leicester Karate Club, the dance classes of the ABC Ballroom and the activities of other organisations that have used the Hall, such as the

Red Leicester Choir

There is a shop on the ground floor of the building that was originally a secular book shop, then became the booking hall for coach trips and then reverted to a book shop. It is now occupied by a pick and mix sweet shop "Sweety Shakes"

As the home of Leicester Secular Society, the oldest secular society in the world, the Hall rises to national heritage significance: a place where the battle for human rights and equality has been fought, where William Morris, Charles Bradlaugh, Annie Besant, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell and Tony Benn plus many other campaigners have spoken.

Secular Hall is at 75 Humberstone Gate Leicester LE1 1WB


Documents and Plans

More about the Hall

Article from the Leicester Mercury on the completion of the Hall in 1881.
Article in Humanist Heritage.

Five busts by Ambrose Louis Vago decorate the façade

More about the busts.

Two old prints and a recent photo

Secular Hall - an early print
Secular Hall in 1900
Secular Hall in 2012

Josiah Gimson, the main benefactor, chose a young innovative architect, W Larner Sugden to design the Hall, which opened in 1881, 30 years after the foundation of the Society.

Other Resources

Leicester Secular Society Ltd
is a company
limited by guarantee.
Reg. 06292639.
Registered office: 75 Humberstone Gate, Leicester
LE1 1WB.

lsec.org.uk LeicesterSecularSociety.org.uk SecularHall.org.uk
are domain names of
Leicester Secular Society Ltd.

Ornate Lantern at Secular Hall

Page updated 11/2/2020.