New guidebook tells city's King Richard III story

Posted by er134 |
Book launch takes place on Wednesday 11 September

Issued by Leicester City Council on 10 September 2013

A NEW book telling the story of Leicester's connections to King Richard III is being launched by a leading publisher of heritage titles and city guides.

The new Pitkin Guide Book, entitled Richard III: The Leicester Connection, brings to life the city's medieval past, King Richard III's links to the city and the extraordinary story of how he came to be buried in the city following his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

It also brings readers up to date with the amazing story of his rediscovery in 2012 within the lost church of the Grey Friars, beneath a car park in modern-day Leicester city centre, following excavations by archaeologists from the University of Leicester.

The new Pitkin book is due to be launched at Leicester's Travelodge in Vaughan Way - near the original site of the Blue Boar Inn, where Richard spent his final night in Leicester before heading to Bosworth.

The launch takes place on Wednesday, September 11, at 1.15pm and will feature the guide's author David Baldwin. The same launch event will also reveal part of a new series of Richard III information panels which includes one telling the story of the Blue Boar Inn.

The guide is the result of Pitkin approaching the city council about producing a book highlighting Leicester's links to the Last Plantagenet King of England.

It is a joint project with the University of Leicester, Leicester Cathedral, the city council's arts and museums service, and the Visit Leicester tourist information centre.

Included in the book are photographs and details of the Grey Friars dig for Richard III, which was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society.

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby, who wrote the foreword to the latest book, said: "Pitkin books cover a huge range of heritage subjects and guides to some of the UK's most important historical sites, so it's great that the firm has approached us about telling the remarkable story of Leicester and Richard III.

"This wonderful new book will ensure visitors to the city can be up to date with the latest chapter of this fascinating story of the king's death in battle, burial and rediscovery."

Those attending the launch will include Philippa Langley from the Richard III Society, who was key in instigating the dig, representatives of Leicester Cathedral where the king is due to be re-interred, and Richard Buckley from the University of Leicester, who was the lead archaeologist in the dig for Richard III.

The book will available to buy priced £3.99 from outlets including The Guildhall, New Walk Museum, Visit Leicester, Leicester Cathedral and the University of Leicester bookshop.

The Very Revd David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, said: "King Richard has been buried in our parish for over 500 years with his story already commemorated in our cathedral.
This new guidebook makes our history both ancient and modern vividly available for all our residents and visitors."

Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester, who was the lead archaeologist in the dig for Richard III, added: "The history of Leicester is inextricably linked with Richard III and this publication highlights much about our history of which we can be proud.

"Following the historic discovery of Richard III, Leicester has found new ways to reconnect with its past and we are delighted that academic research has played a pivotal role in this process."

The new Pitkin Guide's author, David Baldwin, who was an academic tutor at the University of Leicester, had predicted the possibility of finding Richard III on the site of the Grey Friars.

He rejected the popular belief that Richard III's remains were dug up and thrown into a local river when the friary was dissolved. In his 1986 work, he pointed to the possible location of the burial site of King Richard III and wrote: 'It is possible, (though perhaps now unlikely) that at some time in the 21st century, an excavator may yet reveal the slight remains of this famous monarch.'

David said: "I was thrilled when my prediction proved to be accurate, because only rarely is a historical mystery genuinely solved.

"My interest in King Richard goes back more than half a century, and I'm so pleased that my contribution to the discovery has helped to put Leicester on the map."

Leicester Central Travelodge hotel manager Salman Mohammed added: "We are very proud that our hotel has a place in Britain's history.

"Since the remains of King Richard III were identified earlier this year, we have been inundated with enquiries from the public wanting to know what room King Richard III stayed in and requesting information on the Blue Boar Inn.

"We have had many tourists turning up to take a picture of our hotel too. It is such an honour to be the starting point of this new walking tour and to have a plaque on the outside wall of our hotel which details such a vital time in the story of King Richard III."

  • 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.

(Ends)

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY:
City Mayor Peter Soulsby to reveal the latest Richard III interpretation panel, and new Pitkin Guide, on Wednesday, September 11, from 1.15pm to 1.45pm at Travelodge Leicester Central, Vaughan Way, Leicester LE1 4NN.

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.

Share this page: