Richard III site: lifting the lid on the mystery coffin

Posted by uatemp13 at Jul 24, 2013 09:35 AM |
University of Leicester archaeologists to exhume a 14th century stone coffin at the latest Grey Friars dig this week
Richard III site: lifting the lid on the mystery coffin

The Mystery Coffin at the Grey Friars Site

The University of Leicester team who discovered the remains of Richard III, will open the lead-lined coffin later this week in the final phase of their second dig at the Grey Friars site.

The dig team suspect the coffin may contain a medieval knight or one of two high-ranking Franciscans at the friary.

The archaeologists discovered the coffin during the first Grey Friars dig in September, but weren’t able to investigate it further at the time.

The coffin is the first fully intact stone coffin found in Leicester, and is likely to contain a high-status burial – though no one knows for sure who is in there.

The list of suspects includes two leaders of the English Grey Friars order - Peter Swynsfeld, who died in 1272, and William of Nottingham, who died in 1330.

Records also suggest the friary contains the grave of ‘a knight called Mutton, sometime mayor of Leicester’, who may be 14th century knight Sir William de Moton of Peckleton, who died between 1356 and 1362.

The University’s excavation is expected to take around four weeks.  Latest information on the progress of the dig, and more, can be found on our Richard III website.

•       The Dig 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 project was Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society.

•       Keep up to date with the progress of the Grey Friars Dig Part II throughout July 2013 via regular updates on our Richard III Blog.