Leicester, the county town of Leicestershire, is a municipal, parliamentary, and county borough on the Soar, a tributary of the Trent, 22 miles S.E. of Nottingham, and 20 N.E. of Rugby. It returns two members to Parliament, and has sent two since the time of Edward I. Its central position, its three railways, and facility of water transit, have led to great commercial activity, the great industries being hosiery-making, the manufacture of pegged and riveted boots and shoes, iron-founding, and the manufacture of elastic webbing, sewing-cotton, and lace. There are several good churches, that of St. Martin having a spire 218 feet high, an old town hall with 15th-century carving and glass, municipal buildings, corn exchange, museum, opera house, school of art, and Wyggeston Hospital Schools, originally founded 1513. The Victoria Park, Abbey Public Park, and Spring Hill Park are recreation grounds, and the New Walk is shaded by trees. Leicester is of great antiquity, and is said to be the Roman Rates, many remains of pavements, bricks, urns, etc., having been found. There are traces of the Norman castle, dismantled by Charles I., and the ruined 12th-century Abbey was the place of Wolsey's death. At the Blue Boar Inn Richard III. slept the night before his death. A memorial tower commemorates Simon de Montfort and other worthies, and there is a statue of Robert Hall.