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image for Historic Site item typeTop Hat Terrace at Leicester

Historic Site

Greyfriars Monastery Wall

Greyfriars Monastery Wall

Contact

Leicester TIC

Address

LE1 1AG

Details

Francis 'Tanky' Smith became Leicester's first private detective in 1864 when he retired from the Borough Force.

Tanky was a master of disguise, and by mingling incognito with the criminal element in the town's inns and taverns, reputedly did much to decrease the level of crime.

Tanky invested his money in land and in Top Hat Terrace on London Road, which was designed by his architect son, James Francis Smith. The Terrace has 16 carved heads, each representing Tanky Smith in one of his many disguises. A Blue Plaque is located at Top Hat Terrace, 113-117 London Road.

Directions

See location of Leicester on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SK 591066  Lat: 52.65401 Long: -1.12762

Leicester is accessible from junction 21 of the M1 and from all of the major A roads in Leicestershire.