Children at King Richard III Infant School commissioned to create bags which will hold the bones of a former King of England

Posted by ap507 at Feb 13, 2015 12:00 AM |
Schoolchildren play a part in historic event

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 13 February 2015

Photo opp: Photographers are invited to King Richard III Infant School, in Andrewes Street, Leicester, LE3 5PA between 1.30pm and 2.30pm, on Friday, 13 February. There will also be a chance to interview some of the children as well as Dr Buckley and Jim Butler both from the University of Leicester.

Media must email jtb9@le.ac.uk to confirm attendance

 

Pupils at a city school are playing an historic part in the reinterment of Richard III by creating special bags that will hold his bones as they lay inside the coffin.

Youngsters at King Richard III Infant School will be showing the bags on Friday, 13 February, when they meet lead archaeologist on the Grey Friars dig, Dr Richard Buckley of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services.

He will be accompanied by a former pupil of the school, Jim Butler, who is organising a huge Richard III-related public engagement event at the University of Leicester campus on Saturday 21 March - the weekend before the reburial.

Both Dr Buckley and Jim will be talking to the youngsters about the reinterment and answering inquisitive questions from dozens of eager young minds.

Jim said: “I'm really pleased to be returning to my old school and sharing the excitement of the reinterment with the children of King Richard III Infant School.

“It was there, when I was only five, that I was first introduced to the story of King Richard; a story that has continued to influence my life as I became both a primary school teacher and a heritage education specialist.

“To now be involved with the reinterment and working with the children of King Richard's makes it feels even more special; as if things have come full circle and I am now handing the baton of Richard's legacy to our next generation.”

The youngsters were asked to make the bags by the University of Leicester archaeologists who are responsible for coffining the king’s remains. Each small linen bag will hold smaller bones.

The rest of the king’s skeleton will be laid out inside a lead inner casket, made by Dr Jon Castleman of Norman and Underwood. The outer wooden coffin has been designed and created by Richard III’s 17th great grandnephew, and London cabinet maker, Michael Ibsen.

The coffin will be placed in a brick lined vault and sealed by a block of Swaledale stone, with a deep-carved cross. It will sit on top of a plinth of dark Kilkenny marble carved with Richard's coat of arms, name, dates and motto – Loyaulte Me Lie (loyalty binds me).

The grand reinterment ceremony will take place at Leicester Cathedral on 26 March.

Jenny Barrett, headteacher at the school, said: “The children at King Richard III Infant School have been very excited at this remarkable opportunity to make special linen bags which will be used to place the loose bones of King Richard in.

“These bags will be placed in the coffin and buried with his body where they will remain in the tomb - forever! What an amazing privilege this has been for the children.

“This term, every child in Year 2 has had the chance to contribute to the making of these bags.

“I’m sure they won’t really realise the full significance of what they have done until they are older, but it is wonderful to think that they will grow up knowing that they have played an important part in this momentous event.”

ENDS

NOTE TO NEWSDESK:

Photographers are invited to King Richard III Infant School, in Andrewes Street, Leicester, between 1.30pm and 2.30pm, on Friday, 13 February.

There will also be a chance to interview some of the children as well as Dr Buckley and Jim Butler.

For more information and to confirm your attendance contact:

Media must email jtb9@le.ac.uk to confirm attendance

  • 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.

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