Untidy Grave Beneath a Car Park


♛ King Richard III Research ♛

The academic publications about the research results begin with:
‘The king in the car park’: new light on the death and burial of Richard III in the Grey Friars church, Leicester, in 1485
by Richard Buckley, Mathew Morris, Jo Appleby, Turi King, Deirdre O’Sullivan, Lin Foxhall
(The full article in “Antiquity” No. 87 (2013), p. 519 – 538, is available here and is fully accessible worldwide as a pdf-file.)
The research comes to the same result as the early mentions of King Richard III’s burial, e.g. by Polydores Vergil, who said that Richard III was buried “without any pomp or solemn funeral“.
Some of the results revealed in the article are:

  • King Richard III was buried in a hastily dug up grave.
  • The grave had an untidy ‘lozenge’ shape, where the bottom was much smaller than it was at ground level.
  • The king’s head was propped up against one corner of the grave, which suggests that the gravediggers had made no attempt to rearrange the body once it had been lowered into the grave.
  • There were no signs of a shroud or coffin in the grave.
  • The grave of King Richard III in the previous aspects is very untypical for a grave of that time and is in stark contrast to the other medieval graves found in Leicester, which were neatly dug in the correct length and with vertical sides.
  • The form of the grave might indicate that the gravediggers were either in a hurry or had little respect for King Richard III.
  • Someone might have stood in the grave to receive his body, which his body position in the grave rather to one side than placed centrally might suggest.
  • There is evidence to suggest King Richard III’s hands may have been tied when he was buried.
    The article further contains speculations about the layout of the friary, based on the finds in and around the grave of King Richard III.
    The team feels confident to have identified parts of the eastern range, the chapter house and the eastern end of the church, including the transition between the choir and the presbytery.
    For archaeology to find a named individual is rare enough, but for academics to work closely with non-specialists, enhances the rarity of this “public archaeology project initiated by Philippa Langley“. The article expresses this as follows:

    The Grey Friars Project has been unusual in the nature of the collaboration between professional and academic archaeologists, an amateur group (the Richard III Society) and the City of Leicester. However, this also means that the project has addressed two different but overlapping sets of research questions, not all of which specialists would routinely ask. […]
    What is somewhat different from the ways in which archaeological professionals and amateurs have generally worked together is that in this case the non-specialists played a role in shaping the intellectual frameworks of the project, although the final project design (including how questions could appropriately be asked of the evidence), and the execution of the project in practical terms remained in the hands of the archaeologists.

    Further research results, like the full outcomes from the bone analysis and DNA tests, will be published in subsequent papers in “Antiquity”.
    New excavations at the Grey Friars site will be executed in July 2013 and are hoped to clarify details around the disposal of the body.

    ♛ King Richard Everywhere ♛


    • The York Press: Visitors flocking to see Richard III ‘tomb’, by Mike Laycock (23.05.2013) – Unfortunately not the real one as designed and planned by the Richard III Society. Nothing is decided in that regard yet. – The Richard III Museum in York created its own shrine for King Richard III which draws visitors.

    • ThisIsLeicestershire.co.uk: Tour follows Richard’s journey from fight to finding, by Leicester Mercury (23.05.2013) – A forgotten king starts to noticeably change a city. Royal theme tours to Bosworth.

    • The Spectator: Bosworth, by Chris Skidmore – review, by Leanda de Lisle (25.05.2013) – Can’t really say the review convinces me of the value of the book. Accusing King Richard III of the murder of his nephews while no new evidence turned up in the meantime just seems an attention grabbing argument for a historian, though possibly a better one for a politician. But I will say no more and will hold back judgement till I had a chance to read the book.
      The new information included in the book about King Richard III’s gruesome death through the wounds found in the examination of his bone injuries certainly extends the knowledge about the Battle of Bosworth.

    • BBC Radio 3: BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival of Ideas (23.05.2013) – Apply now to join this Radio 3 – show with Mark Ormrod (University of York) and Helen Castor (author of “She-Wolves”) about King Richard III in York (The Ron Cooke Hub) on 16 June 2013.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
    Anti-Spam Image

    Petition - Status !

    As of July
    22nd 2022, 6 p.m. (CET)
    we have 2482 signatures.

    Go to sign...


    Search the Site:

    Subscribe to News-Updates:

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    KRA NewsStream

    January 23, 2022

    Royal Family: The deadly sickness that killed Henry VIII’s brother and thousands of others before vanishing without a trace (by Bea Isaacson, MyLondon.news)

    January 8, 2022

    Can new evidence clear the name of Richard III? (by Chris Lloyd, Darlington & Stockton Times)

    December 29, 2021

    Did Richard III actually save the boy king he’s accused of killing? (by Lydia Starbuck, Royal Central)

    April 23, 2021

    Steve Coogan movie The Lost King begins filming (by Comedy.co.uk, British Comedy Guide)

    January 31, 2021

    Barnard Castle boars date back to King Richard III (by Andrew White, The Northern Echo)

    January 12, 2021

    Alternate history: what if Richard III had won at Bosworth? – Professor Emeritus Michael Hicks interviewed by Jonny Wilkes (by Jonny Wilkes, Professor Emeritus Michael Hicks, BBC History Revealed)

    September 11, 2020

    Steve Coogan and Stephen Frears to collaborate on The Lost King (Film-News.co.uk)

    April 9, 2020

    Steve Coogan confirms Richard III movie ‘next year’ (by BBC East Midlands, BBC.com)

    November 1, 2019

    Richard III and the Battle of Bosworth – By Mike Ingram (HeritageDaily)

    October 8, 2019

    Painted as a villain – how the Tudors regarded Richard III (by Christina J. Faraday, APOLLO.The International Art Magazine)


    (To further news & commented NewsStream)

    Subscribe to NewsStream-Updates:

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner


    KRA BookTips


    KRA-Banner Quiz 2015
    KRA-Banner Quiz 2014

    ♛ Recent Posts ♛

    KRA-Week 2013 - SideBanner 1

    ♛ Post Archive ♛

    King Richard Fan Art Fan-Art banner small