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Search for lost grave of King Richard III in Leicester

Archeologists dig for lost grave of King Richard III Photo: University of Leicester

Archeologists from the University of Leicester will start a search for lost grave of King Richard III today.

Experts are set to begin their quest to find the site of a church where it is believed the medieval monarch was buried in the city more than 500 years ago.

It is thought the site of the church may be on land currently being used as a car park for council offices in the city.

King Richard III ruled England from 1483 until he was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

It is believed his body was stripped and despoiled and brought to Leicester, where he was buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary, known as Greyfriars.

But the exact whereabouts of the church have become lost over time and it is rumoured the monarch's bones could have been thrown in to the River Soar after the dissolution of the monasteries.

Experts are hoping to dispel the rumours and uncover the site of the church and the monarch's remains.

There is certainly potential for the discovery of burials within the area, based on previous discoveries and the postulated position of the church.

– Richard Buckley, co-director of the archaeology service at the university,

If remains are found, they will undergo DNA analysis to confirm that they are those of Richard III.

This archaeological work offers a golden opportunity to learn more about medieval Leicester as well as about Richard III's last resting place - and, if he is found, to re-inter his remains with proper solemnity in Leicester Cathedral

– Philippa Langley, The Richard III Society

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