Belgrave Hall is a Queen Anne-style Grade II* listed building on the northern edge of the city, used as a Leicester Museum. It was built as a family home for Edmund and Ann Cradock in 1709 in the midst of 2 acres (8,100 m2) of walled gardens in Belgrave, Leicester. After only 2 years its completion, both had died, and it was then owned by the Simons family for 45 years, the Vann family for 78 years, (during which time they also built the nearby Belgrave House), the Ellis family for 76 years, and Thomas Morley for 13 years. In 1936 it was bought by Leicester City Council, and has been a museum ever since.
After Margaret's death, the Hall was sold to Thomas Morley, a Leicester hosiery manufacturer, and in 1936 it was sold for £10,500 to the Corporation of Leicester, who opened it as a museum and public gardens. The museum was furnished to present a moderately well-to-do eighteenth and early-nineteenth century household. The furniture came from a wide variety of sources, some of it, such as the lion-mask chairs and settee in the Drawing Room, from much grander settings than this. A refit in 2005 added more details about the servants quarters and shows the contrasting lifestyles of an upper-middle-class family and domestic servants in Victorian society.
On the opposite side of the road is the parkland running down to The River. This was at various times the gardens for Belgrave Hall and Belgrave House, but is now known as Belgrave Gardens, and is open to the public. Two acres of gardens at the back of the Hall are open at the same times as the museum. These retain features first laid out by John Ellis in 1850, with formal garden features, walled kitchen gardens and glass houses. Former outbuildings have been converted to a small 'craft village'of six workshop units. The formal gardens now also contain statues and monuments from 'lost' Leicestershire Gardens, such as the memorial to Edward Holdsworth from Gopsall hall.
In 1999, Belgrave Hall became famous across the world when two ghostly figures were recorded on security cameras outside the Hall. The building remained of interest to ghost hunters long after this sighting was explained. The ISPR (International Society for Paranormal Research) examined the footage and decided the image was environmental in nature rather than paranormal, namely a falling leaf, but went on to 'identify' quite a few cold spots and 'residual forces'. The team from Ghost Hunters International concluded it was most likely people with reflective jackets walking around. Living TV's Most Haunted crew investigated here in 2003 with celebrity guests Vic Reeves and his wife Nancy Sorrell. Belgrave Hall was featured on the 26 June 2012 episode of Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.