QE LeazeA Medieval High Street Springs to Life

Did you know that the Leaze in Wimborne, behind the Model Town, was once a bustling trading street, a Norman medieval suburb of Wimborne Minster?

As part of Wimborne History Festival, local historian Malcolm Angel conducted guided walks and talks of the site. To help make the site more visual students from Wimborne’s Queen Elizabeth School worked with artist Peter Margerum to create 12 trade signs to be temporarily positioned on the Leaze over the Festival Weekend.

Local historian and author Janet Seal visited the School, with Peter Margerum, to provide a historical context for the work. She outlined the type of businesses there would have been, from Fletchers and Cord Wainers, to Blacksmiths, Weavers and Potters. As the majority of people were unable to read in medieval times, these signs would have been a very visual depiction of the products or services available.

Using recycled materials, and giving the signs a contemporary modern twist, the QE students created some evocative artwork.

A new interpretation board details the history of the Leaze for visitors, it includes a wonderful illustration by local artist Pamela Shrubb – an artist’s impression of how the Leaze might have looked in the 14th century, when the Minster had just one tower!

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