Until the early 18th century Belgrave was a mostly agricultural area. Situated in the north of Leicester it was a wealthy village where rich businessmen built grand houses to escape the squalor of the nearby city.
The ancient parish of Belgrave also included the chapel of Birstall and South Thurmaston which later separated in the 19th century. The church of St Peter’s is the oldest building in the Belgrave Hall Conservation Area and parts of it can be dated back to the 12th century. The church was much smaller originally from its present structure. There is still evidence of the original building; for example three finely carved seats in the south aisle of the church. There is also a Leper’s window or squint window which would have been added in the Middle Ages to allow the leprosy stricken to attend services without entering the church. The church was said to be en route to a leper colony which was founded in Leicestershire village Burton Lazars in 1135 by Roger de Mowbray.
The church was enlarged by Roger de Belgrave at the beginning of the 13th century.
The church has been closed for services for some years but occasionally opens for local heritage days. It is currently for sale with planning permission for a number of uses including a gallery/museum or for residential use.