World’s first image of Grey Friars skull unveiled

Posted by pt91 at Feb 04, 2013 06:55 AM |
University of Leicester and Channel 4 release first image of battle-scarred skull - potentially that of King Richard III –ahead of announcement of identity of skeleton
World’s first image of Grey Friars skull unveiled

The skull of the skeleton found at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, potentially that of King Richard III. Copyright: University of Leicester.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 4 February 2013

Image available from University of Leicester press office email: and can be downloaded after 00.01 hours on Monday Feb 4 from

Image caption: The skull of the skeleton found at the Grey Friars excavation in Leicester, potentially that of King Richard III. Image credit: University of Leicester

Did this head once bear the English Crown?

Today the University of Leicester, with Channel 4, has unveiled the world’s first photograph of the human remains found at the Grey Friars church – which could be that of King Richard III.

The image is released in advance of the University of Leicester’s major announcement detailing the results of its investigations into the skeleton’s identity on Monday, February 4 at 10am.

The image displays the shape of the Grey Friars skeleton’s skull.  The University has investigated the skull for signs of damage to the back of the head - potentially caused by battle injuries.

The University has released the image after months of skeletal analysis by Dr Jo Appleby, Lecturer in Human Bioarchaeology in the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, who led the exhumation of the remains in September 2012.

Dr Appleby said: “The skull was in good condition, although fragile, and was able to give us detailed information about this individual. It has been CT scanned at high resolution in order to allow us to investigate interesting features in as much detail as possible.

“In order to determine whether this individual is Richard III we have built up a biological profile of its characteristics. We have also carefully examined the skeleton for traces of a violent death.”

The remains were found at the place where Richard III is believed to have been buried after his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

The skeleton showed evidence of what was believed to be scoliosis and battle trauma –signs that suggest it may be the remains of the medieval monarch.

The University will announce the results of its rigorous scientific investigations in front of over 140 journalists from across the globe converging on the University of Leicester Council Chamber.

The University of Leicester, in association with Leicester City Council and the Richard III Society, is leading the Search for Richard III.

The Search for Richard III is also the subject of a Channel 4 documentary made by Darlow Smithson Productions.

The documentary makers had exclusive access to the search team during the archaeological dig and during the scientific tests to determine the skeleton’s identity.

Their documentary, Richard III: King in the Car Park, can be seen at 9pm on Channel 4 today (Monday, February 4). More information about Channel 4’s Richard III: King in the Car Park documentary can be found at:

The public can find more information about the Search for Richard III at the University of Leicester website:

You can also follow the announcement on Twitter by following the University of Leicester (@uniofleicester).

  • 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


Media enquiries:

Ather Mirza: University of Leicester Director of Press and Corporate News, 0116 252 3335; 07711 927821

Marion Bentley, Channel 4 Group Publicity Manager - Factual and News & Current Affairs-020 7306 3747

@MarionBentley on Twitter

We regret that none of the academics are now available for interview until after the press conference on Monday 4 February


The press conference will be held in the Council Chamber of the Fielding Johnson Building, University of Leicester, starting at 10am on Monday 4 February.

An online media pack including logistics note for the Press conference is hosted at:

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