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Human remains discovered in search for King Richard III

Checking trenches © University of Leicester

A team from the University of Leicester is today announcing a dramatic development in the search for King Richard III. The University is leading the archaeological search for the burial place of King Richard III with Leicester City Council, in association with the Richard III Society.

The search, which has entered a third week, has uncovered evidence of human remains – the first time in the search that this is disclosed.

Over the past two weeks, the team has made major discoveries about the heritage of Leicester by:

• determining the site of the site of the medieval Franciscan friary known as Grey Friars

• finding the eastern cloister walk and chapter house

• locating the site of the church within the friary

• uncovering the lost garden of former Mayor of Leicester, Alderman Robert Herrick

• revealing medieval finds that include inlaid floor tiles from the cloister walk of the friary, paving stones from the Herrick garden, window tracery, elements of the stained glass windows of the church and artefacts including, amongst others, a medieval silver penny and a stone frieze believed to be from the choir stalls

The search team, popularly dubbed the 'Time Tomb Team', has now excavated the choir of the Grey Friars church – believed to be where King Richard III was buried - and has made some stunning discoveries. The dig is being filmed by Darlow Smithson Productions for a forthcoming Channel 4 documentary to be aired later this year.

Richard Taylor, Director of Corporate Affairs at the University of Leicester and one of the prime movers behind the project, said: “What we have uncovered is truly remarkable and today we will be announcing to the world that the search for King Richard III has taken a dramatic new turn.”

Leicester’s City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This discovery adds a whole new dimension to a search which has already far exceeded our expectations. This is exciting news and I know that people across the world will be waiting to hear more about the University’s find.”

Philippa Langley from the Richard III Society said: “We came with a dream and if the dream becomes reality it will be nothing short of miraculous.”

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