Richard III's final resting place

by Helen Hooker June. 01, 2016 3232 views

King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenets, was King of England for just two years, until he was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. He spent his last night before the battle in Leicester and, after his death, was buried in the choir of the Franciscan Abbey of Greyfriars in the city. However, legend told that his body had later been exhumed and tossed into the River Soar and, presumably, lost forever. However, it was believed by some that his body remained where he had originally been buried, although the abbey had long since been demolished and replaced by other buildings.

In August 2012 an archaeological dig began in a car park, on the spot where it was believed the abbey once stood, in the hope of finding Richard III's grave. Fortuitously, on the first day the initial trench to be dug uncovered a pair of shin bones, although at this point it was unclear whether these were Richard's or not. Having dug a further two trenches it became clear the first one covered the choir of the abbey and further excavations were made to uncover the whole skeleton. The curvature of its spine suggested it could indeed be the King and his identity was finally confirmed in February 2013 after tests to compare DNA from the skeleton with that of Richard III's living descendants. He was finally laid to rest again in Leicester Cathedral in March 2015. We had to visit Leicester today (acting as chauffeurs for my Dad) so we took some time to visit the Cathedral while we were there. Of course the Cathedral's newest resident still draws quite a crowd so I struggled to get any decent architectural images, instead focusing on some closer shots of the building's royal connections.

The statue of Richard III outside Leicester Cathedral

Someone had left a solitary white rose beside his feet

King Richard III's final resting place inside the Cathedral. I had hoped to explore some different angles but there were so many people about I was lucky to catch this one solitary picture! I'll pop back another time if I'm back in Leicester sometime and try again.

I can never resist these old military flags which hang in the armed forces chapels of many Cathedrals

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There are 5 comments , add yours!
Kecskemétiné Nelli 3 years, 6 months ago

Wow, great tribute! I always thought the crooked spine was a myth but now that you mentioned it I looked it up and wow. Amazing story. Thank you. I learnt something new today.

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Stefan Fletcher 3 years, 6 months ago

Ah. Glad you went to see it. Fascinating. The statue doesn't seem to have a crooked back...

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Moira 3 years, 6 months ago

Great set of this historical King

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Marilyn Grimble 3 years, 6 months ago

Well worth your struggle - thank you Helen.

3 years, 6 months ago Edited
Gillian Parsons 3 years, 6 months ago

Better than a Car Park in his rightful place.......

3 years, 6 months ago Edited