Type of Venue






Or Venue Name


image for Historic Site item typeTop Hat Terrace at Leicester

Historic Site

Greyfriars Monastery Wall

Greyfriars Monastery Wall


Leicester TIC




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.


See location of Leicester on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: SK 588044  Lat: 52.63442 Long: -1.13246

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