Tomb for King Richard III

The Cathedral of Leicester announced the new tomb design for King Richard III today and revealed the approximate time of his burial:
Spring 2015.
To be honest, I am a bit ‘underwhelmed’ by the new design, because in my opinion now even the previously good parts of the tomb design are gone.
To compare, the Leicester Mercury has the picture of the first draft of the design in this article:
Richard III: New tomb design revealed today, by Peter Warzynski (16.06.2014)
What strange design competition is that to remove all elements people so far liked about the design and leave only the parts people did in major parts not like?
It is a strange method of the Cathedral of Leicester and a really difficult to understand way to estrange even the remaining supporters for Leicester Cathedral.
Perhaps the black stone beneath the tomb is meant to significantly differentiate the tomb design from a white chocolate brick.
But why the circle beneath the tomb, which in my observation had been majorly supported and liked in comments about the first revealed tomb design, now is eliminated as well, is a mystery to me. Except, that it is much easier to lay this rectangular stone floor design and not having to integrate a circle into its midst. Cheaper now, when already such additional expenses have been spent on a new tomb design.
I would not criticise the Cathedral so much for this design, if there had not been a previous tomb design, with well based references to the King’s life and even more convincing, with local materials King Richard III would have known and intended to be done by rare and talented hand-craft artists. In addition, even the payment had been secured for this very first design the Cathedral declined, because they initially had only wanted a stone slab in the floor.
So the necessity to accrue further expenses for this indistinct non-entity of a design for the tomb really is beyond my understanding.
In a way, Leicester Cathedral really must be angry about getting King Richard III or at least with the Richard III Society, whose members had commissioned and intended to finance the very first design.
Or how should that new tomb design be interpreted?
At least, the designer must somehow be angry with the king or does not want to put too much attention to him and his life, to only show minimalistic references.
One reason why I just so strongly don’t like this tomb design is, because I had visited stone pits, where the prepared stones look the way the tomb does.
Raw material prepared for the breaking…
Now, you can surely see an analogy that King Richard III had been broken in the Battle of Bosworth and his broken body had been transferred to Leicester.
But to see him as raw material is a strange interpretation of his life. And to break him with a holy cross is a picture the designer really has to explain to me to make me believe in its religious relevance or sensibility.
To excuse this poor design as 21st century based, I would argue that even the 21st century can do better…

Please feel free to discuss your opinion about the tomb design here. All opinions are welcome!
The one above is just my interpretation of the design, which unfortunately is not a favourable one, though I had tried hard to remain open-minded for the problems of the Cathedral of Leicester.

8 Responses to Tomb for King Richard III

  • Patricia Rice-Jones says:

    I can only the agree that this tomb is certainly not fitting for the last Plantagenet King. Indeed, it can hardly be called a design at all, since it simply two slabs with the minimal of additions. It is insulting to the last King of England to die in battle, not a royal warriors tomb at all

  • Dianne Penn says:

    What do I think of the ‘tomb’ for King Richard….. I can’t tell you. I have no words to describe my feelings as I am numb with horror and shock. I can tell you though that I wish he had not been found, that he was not being used as a cash machine for Leicester who keep shouting that ‘they have found him’ when we all know that ‘they’ didn’t.

    I keep thinking of the love and care that John Ashdown Hill has shown towards Richard and the breathtaking Crown he has commissioned and paid for so discreetly. Then I compare the obvious dislike, arrogance and money grabbing antics of Leicester who are reducing Richard’s funeral to a circus. Have you seen the begging envelopes asking for a donation ‘to help us bury King Richard’? He is not a pauper! He was the last Plantagenet King of England, the last King to die so bravely and courageously on the battlefield, he should be buried with all the magnificence we can muster and that includes a tomb fit for a King.

    Look at Henry Vll’s beautiful and magnificent Lady Chapel at Westminster and compare it to Richard’s box – it makes me choke with anger. There is nothing, absolutely nothing there to demonstrate his Life, his Reign or his Kingship – it’ s just a larger version of the shoebox Lin Foxhall famously admitted to keeping him in under a dead kettle in her office.

    Ever since the JR decision I have been trying to come to terms with Richard forever being incarcerated in the place of his betrayal, his death and humiliating journey back to Leicester and hoping that perhaps they will give him the respectful funeral they keep promising us ‘’with respect, honour and dignity’ but all they talk about is his death and that he was ‘flawed’. I see no respect, no love, no honour and least of all no dignity.

    It was a dark day for England when Richard was betrayed and killed at Bosworth on 22 August 1485, and it was a dark day again on 23 May 2014.

  • Nic Le Becheur says:

    I feel its uncompromising crassness is a fitting tribute to a third-rate cathedral, a third-rate city, and to the kind of third-rate people there who are perfectly satisfied with this insult to a first-rate king and to all those who know what dignity and honour actually mean.

  • Roz Whitehead says:

    I am speechless (or as we say in Yorkshire, ‘gobsmacked’). This so called tomb is unfitting for Richard III, who was murdered on the battlefield. All human beings are flawed, no one is perfect. However, we need to bear in mind how much money members of the Richard III Society have contributed to his tomb (and their tomb design is far superior), and especially all the hard work undertaken by John Ashdown-Hill, a first rate historian, unlike others whom I shall not bother to mention. I will not insult Leicester as a city nor it’s cathedral, however, I do strongly believe that Richard should be laid to rest in York, a city he loved and whose people loved him. This is not sentimental twaddle, it is fact. I really do dislike the money making bandwaggon going on in Leicester Cathedral, it is most unseemly. Richard deserves to be treated better than this.

  • Carole Wilson says:

    Where do I start to express my feelings on this tomb. Does Leicester really feel this is appropriate for an anointed King Of England. This is so ugly it looks almost like a chest freezer!!!What was wrong with the beautiful design first shown? Is Richard’s resting memorial to be a showcase for so called modern sculpture or art etc. I really hope Leicester will reconsider as they certainly haven’t consulted with people like John Ashton Hill, Annette Carson, Phillippa Langley and others. Please people add your comments towards this.

  • jan wood says:

    I think most supporters or his grace will not be at all surprised by this dreadful insult if a tomb.
    A glorified church, who’s only interest in Richard is the sound of cash registers ringing.
    The whole thing is sad beyond belief

  • Billijo Maynard says:

    To put my words lightly, this tomb in not fit for a homeless person from Leicester never mind a anointed King of England. The very idea of even burying Richard in Leicester is a mockery of what the Last Plantagenet King of England held so dear to his heart, Honor and Justice.

  • Anita Halsey says:

    I was extremely disappointed to see the final tomb design. I loved the one proposed by the Richard III Society and had intended to make a pilgrimage to Leicester – despite having hoped Richard’s final resting place would be York. I can’t be the only one crossing that off my list of things to do, so I’m not sure the cash registers will be ringing after all.

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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)

August 22, 2019

10 things you need to know about the battle of Bosworth (by Chris Skidmore, BBC History Extra)

June 16, 2019

Philippa Langley on RIII – Podcast: BBC Interview of 6th January, 2015 (

February 20, 2019

Richard III: Leicester Cathedral £11.3m plans approved (by BBC East Midlands, BBC News)

October 4, 2018

The battle for Bosworth field: Historians react to decision to build on battlefield where Richard III died (by Rachel Dinning, BBC History Extra)

May 23, 2018

Richard III find historian John Ashdown-Hill dies (BBC News)

April 9, 2018

The secret intimacies of Edward IV: multiple marriages and a same-sex affair? (by Dr. John Ashdown-Hill, History Extra)

October 24, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: “Sleepwalker” star Richard Armitage is Living the Dream (by Izumi Hasegawa, What’s Up Hollywood)

September 12, 2017

Was Richard III a loyal brother or murderous tyrant? 60 seconds with Chris Skidmore (by Rachel Dinning, History Extra)


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