The anonymous Ballad of Bosworth Field says that "in Newarke laid was hee, that many a one might looke on him" —almost certainly a reference to the collegiate Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of the Newarke ,  a Lancastrian foundation on the outskirts of medieval Leicester.
In , ten years after the burial, Henry VII paid for a marble and alabaster monument to mark Richard's grave. The site of the friary was sold to two Lincolnshire property speculators and was later acquired by Robert Herrick, the Mayor of Leicester and eventual uncle of the poet Robert Herrick. The Lord Mayor Herrick built a mansion close to Friary Lane, on a site now buried under the modern Grey Friars Street, and turned the rest of the land into gardens.
The antiquary Christopher Wren father of Christopher Wren the architect recorded that Herrick erected a monument on the site of the grave in the form of a stone pillar three feet 1 m high carved with the words, "Here lies the Body of Richard III, Some Time King of England.
If Speed had been to Herrick's property he would surely have seen the commemorative pillar and gardens, but instead he reported that the site was "overgrown with nettles and weeds"  and there was no trace of Richard's grave. The map of Leicester drawn by Speed incorrectly shows Greyfriars where the former Blackfriars was, suggesting that he had looked for the grave in the wrong place. A coffin certainly seems to have existed; John Evelyn recorded it on a visit in , and Celia Fiennes wrote in that she had seen "a piece of his tombstone [sic] he lay in, which was cut out in exact form for his body to lie in; it remains to be seen at ye Greyhound [Inn] in Leicester but is partly broken.
Although the coffin's location is no longer known, its description does not match the style of late 15th-century coffins, and it is unlikely to have had any connection with Richard. It is more likely that it was salvaged from one of the religious establishments demolished following the Dissolution.
The property was subsequently divided and sold in ; three years later, New Street was built across the western part of the site. Many burials were discovered when houses were laid out along the street.
A townhouse, 17 Friar Lane, was built on the eastern part of the site in and survives today. During the 19th century, the site became increasingly built on. In Alderman Newton's Boys' School built a schoolhouse on part of the site. Herrick's mansion was demolished in , the present Grey Friars Street was laid through the site in , and more commercial developments, including the Leicester Trustee Savings Bank, were built.
In the rest of the site was acquired by Leicestershire County Council which built offices on it in the s and s. The county council relocated in when its new County Hall opened, and Leicester City Council moved in.
Very little was unearthed, except for a fragment of a post-medieval stone coffin lid. The results of the dig suggested that the remains of the friary church were farther west than previously thought. The small plaque was installed by the Richard III Society in to refute the statement on the larger plaque, installed in The location of Richard III's body has long been of interest to the members of the Richard III Society , a group established to bring about a reappraisal of the King's tarnished reputation.
In an article by Audrey Strange was published in the society's journal, The Ricardian, suggesting that his remains were buried under Leicester City Council's car park.
Individual members suggested possible lines of investigation, but neither the University of Leicester nor local historians and archaeologists took up the challenge, probably because it was widely thought that the grave site had been built over or the skeleton had been scattered, as John Speed's account suggested.
The Maligned King , independently came to the conclusion that his body probably lay under the car park. She joined forces with Langley and Ashdown-Hill to carry out further research,  in the course of which she found what she called a "smoking gun"—a medieval map of Leicester showing the Greyfriars Church at the north end of what was now the car park.
The University of Leicester Archaeological Services—an independent body with offices at the university—was appointed as the project's archaeological contractor. The skeleton of Richard III was recovered in September from the centre of the choir, shown by a small dot. In March an assessment of the Greyfriars site began to identify where the monastery had stood, and which land might be available for excavation. A desk-based assessment [note 1] was conducted to determine the archaeological viability of the site, followed by a survey in August using ground-penetrating radar GPR.
The survey was useful in finding modern utilities crossing the site, such as pipes and cables. It was decided to open two trenches in the Social Services car park, with an option for a third in the playground. Archaeologist Richard Buckley admitted the project was a long shot: A layer of modern building debris was removed before the level of the former monastery was reached.
A second, parallel trench was dug next day to the south-west. To narrow the search, it was planned that only the remains of men in their thirties, buried within the church, would be exhumed. The feet were missing, and the skull was found in an unusual propped-up position, consistent with the body being put into a grave that was slightly too small. No sign of a coffin was found; the skeleton's posture suggested the body had not been put in a shroud , but had been hurriedly dumped into the grave and buried.
As the bones were lifted from the ground, a piece of rusted iron was found underneath the vertebrae. The positive indicators were that the body was of an adult male; it was buried beneath the choir of the church; it had severe scoliosis of the spine possibly making one shoulder higher than the other. Ashdown-Hill had used genealogical research to track down matrilineal descendants of Anne of York, Richard's older sister, whose matrilineal line of descent is extant through her daughter Anne St Leger.
Ashdown-Hill turned instead to genealogical research to identify an all-female-line descendant of Cecily Neville , Richard's mother. Michael, Jeff and Leslie. Descendants of Constable, including one of Duldig's ancestors reportedly emigrated to New Zealand. Duldig's mitochondrial DNA is reportedly a close match, i. Four living male-line descendants of Gaunt have been located, and their results are a match to each other.
He also criticises the rejection by the Leicester team of the Y chromosome evidence, suggesting that it was not acceptable to the Leicester team to conclude that the skeleton was anyone other than Richard III.
He argues that on the basis of the present scientific evidence "identification with Richard III is more unlikely than likely".
If that was the case then the Y chromosome discrepancy with the Beaufort line would be explained but obviously still fail to prove the identity of the body. Hicks suggests alternative candidates descended from Richard III's maternal ancestress for the body e.
Philippa Langley refutes Hicks's argument on the grounds that he does not take into account all the evidence. It was immediately apparent that the body had suffered major injuries, and further evidence of wounds was found as the skeleton was cleaned.
Bladed weapons had clipped the skull and sheared off layers of bone, without penetrating it. The body wounds show that the corpse had been stripped of its armour, as the stabbed torso would have been protected by a backplate and the pelvis would have been protected by armour. The wounds were made from behind on the back and buttocks while they were exposed to the elements, consistent with the contemporary descriptions of Richard's naked body being tied across a horse with the legs and arms dangling down on either side.
Guto's description may instead be a literal account of the injuries that Richard suffered, as the blows sustained to the head would have sliced away much of his scalp and hair and slivers of bone. It has been attributed to adolescent-onset scoliosis. Although it was probably visible in making his right shoulder higher than the left and reducing his apparent height, it did not preclude an active lifestyle, and would not have caused a hunchback.
Mass spectrometry carried out on the bones found evidence of much seafood consumption, which is known to make radiocarbon dating samples appear older than they are. A Bayesian analysis suggested there was a Although by itself not enough to prove that the skeleton was Richard's, it was consistent with the date of his death.
An X-ray analysis showed it was a nail, probably of Romano-British date, that by chance had been in the ground immediately under the grave or was in soil disturbed when it was dug and had nothing to do with the body. Osteoarchaeologist Jo Appleby commented: All of these are highly consistent with the information that we have about Richard III in life and about the circumstances of his death.
Richard III is thus the first ancient person with known historical identity whose genome has been sequenced. However, Y chromosome DNA inherited via the male line found no link with five other claimed living relatives, indicating that at least one " false-paternity event" occurred in the generations between Richard and these men.
One of these five was found to be unrelated to the other four, showing that another false-paternity event had occurred in the four generations separating them. The King in the Car Park, broadcast on 4 February The Untold Story, which detailed the scientific and archaeological analyses that led to the identification of the skeleton as Richard III.
In a project co-funded by Leicester City Council and the University of Leicester, a single trench about twice the area of the trenches was excavated. It succeeded in exposing the entirety of the sites of the Greyfriars presbytery and choir sites, confirming archaeologists' earlier hypotheses about the layout of the church's east end.
Three burials identified but not excavated in the project were tackled afresh. One burial was found to have been interred in a wooden coffin in a well-dug grave, while a second wooden-coffined burial was found under and astride the choir and presbytery; its position suggests that it pre-dates the church.
An investigation with an endoscope revealed the presence of a skeleton along with some head hair and fragments of a shroud and cord. Online petitions were launched calling for Richard to be buried in Westminster Abbey , [note 4] where 17 other English and British kings are interred; York Minster , which some claimed was Richard's own preferred burial site; the Roman Catholic Arundel Cathedral ; or in the Leicester car park in which his body was found.
Only two options received significant public support, with Leicester receiving 3, more signatures than York. All options were rejected in Leicester, whose mayor Peter Soulsby retorted: Mathematician Rob Eastaway calculated that Richard III may have millions of living collateral descendants, saying that "we should all have the chance to vote on Leicester versus York". The cathedral authorities planned to bury him in a "place of honour" within the cathedral. The sequence of events included: Sunday 22 March Richard's bones were sealed in a lead-lined ossuary and placed in a wooden coffin.
Remains lay in repose in the cathedral. Waiting times to view the coffin were reported to exceed four hours. Reburial in the presence of Archbishop of Canterbury , Justin Welby , and senior members of other Christian denominations. The service, shown live on Channel 4 , included memorial prayers for Richard III and the victims of Bosworth and other conflicts.
Unveiling the tomb to the public, followed by commemorations across Leicester. The site adjoins the car park where the body was found, and overlies the chancel of Greyfriars Friary Church. Visitors can see the grave site under a glass floor.
In contrast to England where, with the possible exception of Edward V , all the kings since the 11th century have now been discovered, in Norway about 25 medieval kings are buried in unmarked graves around the country. Ekroll proposed to start with Harald Hardrada , who was probably buried anonymously in Trondheim , beneath what is today a public road.
A previous attempt to exhume Harald in was blocked by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage Riksantikvaren. Cutting-edge research has been used in the project and the work has really only just begun. The discoveries, such as the very precise carbon dating and medical evidence, will serve as a benchmark for other studies. And it is, of course, an incredible story. He's a controversial figure, people love the idea he was found under a car park, the whole thing unfolded in the most amazing way.
You couldn't make it up. A few days after the burial, Leicester City began a winning streak to take them from bottom of the league to comfortably avoiding relegation, and they went on to win the league the following year.
Mayor Peter Soulsby said: