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Leicester car park where Richard III was buried given protected status

King Richard III's coffin arrives outside Leicester Cathedral. Credit: PA

The Leicester car park under which researchers discovered the remains of Richard III has been granted protected status.

The skeleton of the 13th monarch was discovered in 2012 amid the ruins of a medieval monastic site, hastily buried there after the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

The archeological site is believed to have remained intact, albeit under a car park, and is significant because of its connection to the final battle of the War of the Roses.

The Greyfriars friary will become a scheduled monument, meaning it will be preserved for future generations.

The remains were confirmed to be that of ichard after DNA analysis of the bones matched that of living descendants.

He was reburied in 2015 at Leicester Cathedral.

The site has been granted protection by the Culture Department on the advice of government heritage agency Historic England.

Heritage minister John Glen said: "The discovery of Richard III's skeleton was an extraordinary archaeological find and an incredible moment in British history.

"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."

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: "The site of Greyfriars, where Richard III was hastily buried in the days following his death in the final battle of the War of the Roses, is one of the most significant in our national history.

"The archaeological remains on the site are now well understood and fully deserve protection as a scheduled monument."

He said the protection of the area would mean it remained "as a tangible and evocative reminder of this significant episode in our nation's history".

City mayor Peter Soulsby said: "The discovery and identification of King Richard III's remains was a remarkable achievement.

"We've already honoured this discovery with a world-class tourist attraction in the King Richard III visitor centre and the scheduling of this site will help to ensure this remarkable discovery is protected for future generations to enjoy."