The Search for King Richard III


King Richard III
The University of Leicester and Leicester City Council, in association with the Richard III Society, begin a historic search for the mortal remains of King Richard III on 25th of August 2012.
This day has a special significance, as it is the anniversary of the day when King Richard III was buried more than 500 years ago, after he died in the Battle of Bosworth (22nd of August 1485).
The project, after massive new research results were discovered in the last years, represents the first ever search for the lost grave of an anointed King of England. It is intended to show, if the last Plantagenet King Richard III lies buried in Leicster City Centre.
The difficulties of this endeavour were not only, to discover the likely location of the burrial place in the church, the church of the Franciscan Friary, called ‘Greyfriars’, but to also find the exact location of the church itself. Previous diggings revealed, that the location could not have been, where it previously had been anticipated and so the research and pre-tests began, to locate the church, which was dissolved and destroyed under the reign of King Henry VIII’s.
Richard Buckley, Co-Director of the Archaeology Service at the University of Leicester, said:

“The big question for us is determining the whereabouts of the church on the site and also where in the church the body was buried. Although in many ways finding the remains of the king is a long-shot, it is a challenge we shall undertake enthusiastically. There is certainly potential for the discovery of burials within the area, based on previous discoveries and the postulated position of the church.”

Richard Taylor; Director of Corporate Affairs at the University of Leicester, added:

“If remains are found that are suspected to be those of Richard III, they will be subject to DNA analysis at the University of Leicester where DNA ‘fingerprinting’ was originally discovered.
As one of Europe’s oldest cities, the story of Leicester is a long and complex one, with people from many different cultures having shaped the urban fabric and contributed to arts, industry and politics on a national and international level. The University of Leicester, working in partnership with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society, is proud to have a role in telling this story, employing its expertise in archaeology, history and genetics.”

More details about the team involved in this archaeological project can be found here!

Richard III monument Leicester

Resources and further reading recommendations:

  • “Richard III: The Maligned King” by Annette Carson (2008) – More details about the book on
  • The fate of Richard III’s body” by John Ashdown-Hill, BBC Article about King Richard III’s last days and the fate of his remains (published ca. 2004)
  • “The Last Days of Richard III” by John Ashdown-Hill (2010) –
    Further details to the book are collected here.
    We presented Dr. Ashdown-Hill with his rich research about King Richard III on the KRA-website here.
    Dr. Ashdown-Hill published a detailed analysis of legend and fact, which leads to the assumption of the still untouched resting place in the church of the former Greyfriars, Franciscan friars, in Leicester, where the search for King Richard III’s remains is intended.



The area of interest

Sign-Greyfriars church (Richard III Society 1990)


Car Park in the area of New Street – where archaeologists are due to start work


Größere Kartenansicht
Attention Please !
Visitors are not able to view the dig, except for the opening day on the 8th of September, 2012, as it is taking place at an operational council area and is not publicly accessible. In addition, the possibility of finding human remains requires maintaining a ‘clean site’.

Timeline CarPark Leicester


♕ Leicester News Coverage ♕

In the blog articles here on KRA, we try to keep you updated on the news coverage and developments of the digging.
A list of press-articles is available on a separate page here.
We include the links to the further information in the KRA-blog here (Latest News at the top):
15.12.2012: Rumours about a King
The Adventures of a King
12.12.2012: Kingly Richard & King Richard – News
26.11.2012: Finds and Research at Grey Friars in Leicester – Overview of late research and research methods with lots of quotes from the researchers themselves.
25.11.2012: Leicester News
14.11.2012: Leicester Cathedral – Personal News
04.11.2012: Is it or is it Not – Leicester News
28.10.2012: Leicester Fights Back
16.10.2012: Leicester News
09.10.2012: Leicester News and History
04.10.2012: News and Petitions
02.10.2012: 560th Birthday of King Richard III
24.09.2012: Two Kings & Two Towns & One Book
19.09.2012: To Bury a King, by fitzg
17.09.2012: King Richard III – News – Start of the Poll for the last resting place for King Richard III.
15.09.2012: Full Press Conference Video about Search for King Richard III (12.09.2012) by the University of Leicester
13.09.2012: The King: Is it or isn’t it Richard Plantagenet? by fitzg
12.09.2012: Dramatic new turn in the search for King Richard III – Human remains found and press conference in the Guidhall in Leicester announced to reveal more details.
10.09.2012: One more week to find King Richard III – Overview of achieved success of the digging so far.
07.09.2012: Leicester News – Images of finds during the digging
05.09.2012: Leicester News – Announcement about Opening Day on the 8th of September 2012 to see the digging progress at the carpark in Leicester

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February 11, 2014

Richard III’s DNA to be analysed to create complete genome sequence (by Maev Kennedy, The Guardian)

February 11, 2014

Richard III to have his DNA decoded: King will be first royal to have genes sequenced – and it could reveal his eye and hair colour (by Victoria Woollaston, Daily Mail Online)

February 11, 2014

Richard III – The Whole Genome Sequence (by UniversityLeicester, University of Leicester (YouTube))

February 10, 2014

Richard III’s crown taking shape ready for a prominent place in reburial (by Tom Mack, Leicester Mercury)

February 10, 2014

A Perfect Coup (by Matt Lewis, Matt’s History Blog)

February 4, 2014

Fit for a King: The Burial and Reburial of Richard III with John Ashdown-Hill (by Olga Hughes, (Blog))

February 4, 2014

Uncertainty over reburial of Richard III as Leicester and York await judicial review (by Culture24 Reporter, Culture24)

January 1, 2014

Bishop of Leicester: ‘Richard III will be buried in Leicester’ (BBC News)


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