New excavation at Grey Friars church underway

Posted by pt91 at Jul 01, 2013 03:28 PM |
Leicester archaeologists hope to shed new light on Richard III’s final resting place
New excavation at Grey Friars church underway

The tarmac is taken up at the Grey Friars site.

It’s the first day today (1 July) of a new dig at the Grey Friars church, where Richard III’s body was discovered in September 2012, and archaeologists from University of Leicester Archaeological Services are on site making preparations for a four week dig.

During this first week, the team hopes to use machinery to remove the modern surface material, and over the following weeks they plan to use careful hand excavation to unearth the medieval building and its contents. Richard III’s burial place has been temporarily sealed in order to protect it from the digging work during the excavation.

The team will make a large trench measuring 25 metres by 17 metres around the area where Richard’s skeleton was found, which will run between Leicester City Council’s Grey Friars car park and the neighbouring car park of the former Alderman Newton School.

So what else could we unearth at this historic site? A coffin uncovered in the last dig may belong to a medieval knight called Sir William Moton, but the team are also on the lookout for any proof of the long-standing - and morbid – myth about a group of headless friars who may be buried at the site.

  • The Search for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council, and in association with the Richard III Society. The originator of the Search was Philippa Langley, of the Richard III Society.
  • Read the press release