Is a king buried under this tennis court?

Archaeologists believe the body of a former king could be buried underneath a tennis court in Bury St Edmunds.

It is thought the unearthing of St Edmund in the Suffolk town could be as significant a discovery as King Richard III, who was found beneath a Leicester car park in 2012.

The former ruler of the East Anglian region was executed by the Vikings and martyred for defending his Christian faith in the 9th century.

His body is then thought to have been protected by monks in an Abbey in the medieval market town.

However the Abbey was reduced to rubble by King Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century, and his body has never been found.

Matthew Vernon, the vicar at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, told ITV News: "At some point his body disappeared. There's no record of it amongst the commissioners that Henry VIII sent this way.

"After that, we've no idea. There's different theories, but we've no idea where he is. We'd love to know."

The Abbey in Bury St Edmunds was destroyed by King Henry VIII. Credit: ITV News

A local historian believes monks could have hidden St Edmund, under what is now a public tennis court.

Dr Francis Young told ITV News: "The immediate area behind the east end of the monastery [where the tennis courts are located] was the monks' cemetery.

"That would have been a private space for the monks, and monks digging a hole and burying a body wouldn't have excited any interest."

It is hoped excavation works will begin soon.