Researchers find strong evidence for medieval church in Leicester where monarch was buried
Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 31 August 2012
Downloadable images available from https://www.dropbox.com/sh/562xi0k8nqhrgzq/iScFdHlg1H
Greyfriars project: The Search for Richard III Media portal (with more information and video): http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/media-centre/richard-iii
The search for the remains of King Richard III is exceeding our expectations, according to researchers leading the dig in Leicester.
Briefing the press (L-R): Philippa Langley (Richard III Society), Richard Buckley and Richard Taylor (University of Leicester), and Councillor Piara Singh Clair.
Archaeologists from the University of Leicester, who are leading the dig in association with Leicester City Council and the Richard III Society, have found a wealth of evidence about the site where the king was buried.
The team have so far excavated two 30-metre trenches in the Leicester City Council car park which is believed to cover the Greyfriars site where Richard was taken after meeting his end at the Battle of Bosworth.
A medieval roof tile, discovered on site. This form of tile would have been restricted to high-status buildings, adding to our confidence that we are on the site of the Friary.
Among the findings so far are medieval window tracery, glazed floor tile fragments, part of what may be the Greyfriars cloisters walk and a section of wall which they believe could have belonged to the Greyfriars church.
The team believe that the church is the most likely location for a monarch’s burial place – and the next step will be to dig another trench with the aim of intersecting the church itself.
Medieval remains uncovered on site.
Richard Buckley, Co-Director of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services, said: “Today, what we are saying is that we have found the Greyfriars and have uncovered tantalising clues as to the location of the church.
“It has gone about as well as we could hope for. We aim to dig a contingency trench over the weekend to see if these walls are the church. If this is the case we can point to the area where Richard III might have been buried.
“The search for Richard goes on - it is still a long shot, but the archaeological work we have done so far is revealing more about the archaeology of the Greyfriars area than we ever knew before. In that respect, whatever the outcome - whether we find Richard or not - this work is an advance in terms of helping us to tell the story of the city of Leicester. I am delighted that the University of Leicester is playing a pivotal role in the telling of that story.”
Philippa Langley, of the Richard III society, said: “We are in the right area. We have started to get a sense of where Richard’s body may have been brought. I did not think we would be where we are now at the start of the dig. I am totally thrilled. For me, the whole dig is now coming to life.”
The dig is being filmed for a forthcoming Channel 4 documentary to be aired later this year.
Regular updates will follow over the coming days.
• Richard Buckley, University of Leicester Archaeological Services: email email@example.com
• Philippa Langley, Richard III Society, email: firstname.lastname@example.org