Richard III videos made available to the public by University of Leicester

Posted by ap507 at Mar 06, 2015 12:48 PM |
Historic collection chronicles dig, discovery and identification of the last Plantagenet monarch

Issued by the University of Leicester on 6 March 2015 

  • The exact moment Richard III was discovered captured on film at:
  • Last Plantagenet King found 6 hours, 33 minutes and 13 seconds into the dig (just after 3pm on Saturday 25 August 2012)
  • More than 20 video sequences being made available

The University of Leicester is making a suite of documentary footage available to media and the public ahead of the reburial of King Richard III.

Hours of video footage captured by documentary maker Carl Vivian is available via the University’s YouTube site and extracts are being provided to media crews for their own news and feature outputs.

In total, 20+ videos are being made freely accessible on the University of Leicester YouTube Channel and 26 sequences from these videos are being made available to the media.

The videos include the historic very first moment University of Leicester archaeologist Mat Morris discovered human remains- on the first day of the dig.

In it, Mat can be seen looking at a human leg bone uncovered within hours of the 2012 Grey Friars archaeological dig starting. He confirms it is an articulated skeleton, records it as Skeleton One and covers it over so it is protected until more is known about its context within the site.

Eleven days later Skeleton One was uncovered and displayed staggering circumstantial evidence for it being the remains of King Richard III.

You can view that clip here

Mat said: “Finding the skeleton’s leg on Day 1 was the first significant medieval discovery of the project, although at the time we had no idea how significant it would prove to be. The skeleton was the first material evidence that we were digging in the right area and that the friary must be in the vicinity but at this point on the first day the person could have been buried anywhere, inside the church, outside in the graveyard, in one of the other friary buildings. It took another eleven days to establish that the grave was in the right area of the church to investigate further, with spectacular results.”

The videos made during this project are all available on the University of Leicester YouTube channel and include a pre-dig interview with lead archaeologist Richard Buckley in which he describes the chances of finding Richard as a long shot;  the dig and the burial; identifying the remains; the fatal blow; injuries to the remains; DNA analysis and conclusion.

Also included are the Judicial Review decision, the tomb design and much more.

Carl Vivian, from the University’s Creative Services team, said: “It’s been an incredible adventure and an enormous privilege to be able to follow the story of the search, discovery and identification of King Richard III. From the outset it seemed so unlikely that his remains would be found and then he turns up in trench one on the very first day of the dig - you just couldn’t make it up.”

“I’m extremely proud of the record that I’ve made of this project and hope people enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed recording these truly historic moments.”

Members of the public can view the videos using the following links:

Richard III – Pre-dig Interview with Richard Buckley

Richard III – The Archaeological Dig

Richard III – The Burial

Richard III – Removing a Tooth for DNA Analysis

Richard III – Discovering the Fatal Blow

Richard III – Identifying the Remains

Richard III – Injuries to the Remains

Richard III – The Scientific Outcome

Richard III – The DNA Analysis & Conclusion

Richard III – Hair and Eye Colour

Richard III and the Break in the Male Line

Is the Skeleton Found in Leicester Richard III?

Richard III – Uncovering the Church of the Friars Minor Leicester

Opening the Medieval Stone Coffin Found at the Richard III Burial Site

Richard III – The Judicial Review Decision

Richard III – The Tomb Design

Richard III – The Date of the Re-interment

Richard III – Cathedral Memorial Stone Lifted

King Richard III Visitor Centre

Media can access the footage by emailing



For more information, please contact Carl Vivian on 07526 750187 or emailing


A free day of family-friendly activities celebrating the University of Leicester’s research, discovery and identification of Richard III will be held on Saturday 21 March.  Free interactive and hands-on workshops and talks take place from 10am – 4pm at the University of Leicester campus and the experts involved in the discovery and identification of the remains will be available to speak to media about their work. For more information, visit or contact to arrange media interviews.

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