From February 8th, visitors can find out more about one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries of recent years with the opening of an exhibition at Leicester’s medieval Guildhall.
In September 2012, Leicester became the centre of international media frenzy when an archaeological excavation in a car park in the middle of the city uncovered a skeleton. Was this the long-lost body of Richard III, the last English king to be killed in battle?
Richard III is one of English history’s most infamous characters. In 1483 he ruthlessly seized power from his young nephews and ruled as King until he was killed two years later at the Battle of Bosworth by the army of the man who would become Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty. After the battle, Richard’s body is recorded as having been taken to Leicester and buried in the friary church of the Greyfriars.
Five hundred years later the exact site of the building and burial had been lost but a research team involving Leicester City Council, the University of Leicester Archaeological Service and The Richard III Society decided to see if they could find it again.
The Guildhall exhibition has been developed by Leicester Arts & Museum Service to introduce the remarkable story behind this excavation, narrated by those working on the project. The exhibition will allow visitors the chance to explore the historical and scientific evidence that has been gathered from the Greyfriars site.
The exhibition is expected to be very popular, so visitors should allow plenty of time and can expect some queuing, particularly over the opening two weeks (February 8th – 24th).
At peak times, it is recommended to take the Richard III walking trail which is available to download for free at the bottom of this page, or from the Guildhall, priced 50p. The trail, which can take anything from 45–60 minutes, provides an opportunity for visitors to see the sites associated with Richard III within the Old Town area of the city while waiting to view the exhibition.
Parts of The Guildhall may be closed for private hire bookings during the course of the exhibition. If travelling some distance, visitors are kindly requested to check before visiting.