Richard III car park gets special protection

The car park where the remains of Richard III were found is to get special protection amid hopes there could be more artefacts below ground.

The medieval monarch’s skeleton was found in Leicester City Council’s car park in 2012 during an archaeological excavation, and DNA from living descendants was used to confirm it was him.

Greyfriars will now be a “scheduled monument”, meaning special consent will be needed before any changes could be made.

Richard III was hastily buried after his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. He was reburied in 2015 at Leicester Cathedral.

:: Public Parade For Richard III’s Skeleton

Richard III burial site on glass

Image: The site has been left relatively undisturbed, so could be full of preserved artefacts

Archaeologists believe the site, which has been called “one of the most significant in our national history”, is well preserved and could yield more archaeological remains.

Although parts of the site have been built on, most of it has remained gardens or car parks, all close to the council’s buildings.

The site dates back to the 1220s, when Franciscan friars set up their church, which was where Richard III’s body was originally laid to rest.

Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485

Image: Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485

It is believed the friary was knocked down when Henry Tudor, who became King Henry VIII after the battle, broke with the Catholic Church in Rome.

Heritage minister John Glen described the discovery of Richard’s remains “an extraordinary archaeological find and an incredible moment in British history”.

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Richard III memorial stone on glass

Image: Richard III was reburied in Leicester Cathedral in 2015

He added: “By protecting this site as a scheduled monument, we are ensuring that the remains of this once lost medieval friary buried under Leicester are preserved for future generations.”

The protection status was granted by the Culture Department on the advice of government heritage agency Historic England.