Fact: Leicester is mentioned in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. According to Monmouth's pseudohistorical work a mythical king of the Britons King Leir founded the city of Kaerleir ('Leir's chester' – i.e. fortified town). Today the name of the city in the Welsh language is Caerlŷr.
Leir was supposedly buried by Queen Cordelia in a chamber beneath the River Soar near the city dedicated to the Roman god Janus, and every year people celebrated his feast-day near Leir's tomb.
William Shakespeare's King Lear is loosely based on this story and there is a statue of Lear in Watermead Country Park.