Greyfriars project – update, Friday 31 August

Posted by pt91 at Aug 31, 2012 02:20 PM |
Researchers find strong evidence for medieval church in Leicester where monarch was buried
Greyfriars project – update, Friday 31 August

Medieval remains uncovered on site.

Progress in our search for the body of King Richard III is exceeding our expectations. The first week could not have gone better.

That was the message from Richard Buckley, co-director of our Archaeological Services, who is leading the dig to find the medieval monarch at the Greyfriars site in Leicester City Centre.

Richard presented the latest discoveries from the site at a press briefing held today in the evocative setting of Leicester’s 14th century Guildhall.

Among the findings so far are medieval window tracery, glazed floor tile fragments, a fragment of stained glass window, part of what may be the Greyfriars cloisters walk and a section of wall which they believe could have belonged to the Greyfriars church. These discoveries have led the team to conclude that it was a high-status building.

Press briefing - 31 August
Briefing the press (L-R): Philippa Langley (Richard III Society), Richard Buckley and Richard Taylor (University of Leicester), and Councillor Piara Singh Clair.
Roof tile
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.

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.

Richard 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.”

Richard Buckley
Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley with a piece of tracery which once held a window.

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.