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Unlike Nottingham, which became restricted by its open fields which were not enclosed until 1845, Leicester was able to expand outside its original medieval enclave, first through the enclosure of the South Field.

Enclosure of the South Field
Enclosed for building by three common fields (East, South and North Fields), the borough was constrained in its building development. The Borough Council therefore established the South Fields Committee for its enclosure. As the freemen relinquished their rights in the South Field in return for Freemenís Common, the enclosure allowed the southward expansion of the built-up area. An Enclosure Act of 1804 was followed by the Enclosure Award of 1811. A high-class southern suburb resulted reflected in the polite Regency housing on Regent Road and opposite the Museum on New Walk as well as the Proprietary School (Museum). Further towards the borough, King Street Crescent comprised Leicesterís attempt c. 1820 to imitate the crescents of Bath and Buxton. The cottages such as Crescent Cottages were built in the 1830s opposite King Street Crescent. In Nottingham , the freemen refused to abandon their rights in the fields, but at Leicester an accommodation was achieved by which the freemen relinquished their rights in return for Freemen's Common.

The route
Subsequent to the enclosure of the South Field, urban development was allowed up Regent Road and Princess Road. By the late 1830s, the area intended for urban middle-class dwelling was populated enough for a Million Church to be erected as a new ecclesiastical district - Holy Trinity. The (Nonconformist) Proprietary School was introduced into the area in 1836 (now the New Walk Museum). Within a decade, consequently, the suburban area had begun to expand.

Its further development, however, was circumscribed by two restrictions:
  • in the 1840s, the Midland Railway line dissected the area, blighting the development; the line passed under the middle of Regent Road in its present location, although the terminus was the original Midland Station in Campbell Street (where the Post Office is now situated) (The London Road façade was designed by William Flint in 1892);
  • abutting up against the County Gaol (1828) and the Royal Infirmary (late 18th century) which had been directed to the South Field away from the borough and its inhabitants, but which the suburb quickly approached.