Richard III

News about King Richard III and Leicester

Page last edited:  25th June 2014

25th June 2014

Richard III statue coming home

LEICESTER’S statue of King Richard III will be delivered to its new home in Cathedral Gardens tomorrow (Thursday, June 26).

The bronze statue – which was removed from its former location at Castle Gardens in May – has been meticulously cleaned, restored and polished by specialists Hirst Conservation at the company’s Lincolnshire studios.

It will be delivered to Cathedral Gardens as work on the £2million project nears completion.

The reinstated statue will be armed with a new, full-length sword cast in bronze by Lockbund Sculpture from the original designs by sculptor James Butler MBE RA.

It will stand on a low slab of polished granite chosen to match materials used in Cathedral Gardens.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The arrival of the statue in Cathedral Gardens is a very poignant moment.

“In the few weeks since the statue was taken away for restoration, we have learned that Leicester will rightly be the final resting place for the remains of Richard III.

“The statue will now stand between the new King Richard III Visitor Centre on the site where his remains were discovered, and the king’s final resting place at Leicester Cathedral.

“We could not wish for a more fitting memorial to this extraordinary chapter in the city’s history.”

Pete Hobson, acting Canon Missioner at Leicester Cathedral, said: “James Butler’s iconic statue, relocated in one corner of the gardens, will be linked to the other new installation, Towards Stillness, in the opposite corner, by a new sweeping pathway, St Martins Walk.

“The two works of modern art taken together will frame this new space – itself a gift to the city – which will provide a fitting setting for our Cathedral for many years to come.”

The relocation of the statue has been managed by P Casey (Land Reclamation) Ltd, lead contractors on the Cathedral Gardens project.

The statue was donated to the city by the Richard III Society in 1980.

Artist James Butler will be giving a public talk about the King Richard III statue on Saturday, 5 July, at St Martins House. He will be joined by Juliet Quintero, the lead artist on Towards Stillness, the new artwork commissioned by Leicestershire County Council.

The event is taking place as part of a weekend celebration to mark the public opening of Cathedral Gardens.

The £2.5million Cathedral Quarter regeneration project, which also includes resurfacing and other improvements along Peacock Lane, is being funded by the Diocese of Leicester, Leicester City Council and private donations, with support from Leicestershire County Council.

Leicester City Council successfully bid for up to £1milllion from the European Regional Development Fund towards the project.

The new King Richard III Visitor Centre, on Peacock Lane, will open on 26 July. For more information, or to book tickets in advance, visit

The statue of King Richard III in its new position in Cathedral Gardens, 2014
The statue of King Richard III
in its new position in Cathedral Gardens, 2014

[Source: Leicester City Council]

28th May 2014

Richard III display extended

A HUGELY popular temporary exhibition telling the story of King Richard III will remain open for an extra week because of a surge in interest in it.

The temporary exhibition at Leicester’s Guildhall Museum – Richard III: Leicester’s Search for a King – was due to close its doors for the final time on Sunday, June 1.

However, following the announcement last week that the king’s remains will be reburied in Leicester Cathedral, there has been renewed interest in the exhibition about the king’s death and remarkable rediscovery.

It will now remain open until Sunday, June 8.

The exhibition opened in February 2013 just days after researchers and archaeologists from the University of Leicester confirmed that human remains discovered beneath the city’s Greyfriars car park were those of the Last Plantagenet, who was brought to the city after his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Nearly 190,000 visitors flocked through the doors of the exhibition in less than 18 months, and it was shortlisted for a prestigious national Museums and Heritage Award, losing out to the Victoria and Albert’s stunning David Bowie exhibition, “Bowie Is”.

Richard III: Leicester’s Search for a King, tells the story of the painstaking work involved in discovering, analysing and identifying the battle-scarred bones of the king, as well as giving visitors an insight into medieval Leicester.

Centrepieces of the exhibition include an interactive image of the king’s skeleton and a detailed 3-D recreation of his skull.

A new, much larger exhibition, entitled King Richard III – Dynasty, Death and Discovery, is due to open later this summer a stone’s throw away at the former Alderman Newton’s School in St Martins Place, near the site of King Richard’s grave.

Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Following last week’s fantastic news that Leicester can indeed proceed with re-burying King Richard III with dignity, it seemed right to keep the exhibition open to allow as many visitors as possible to experience it.

“It has proved an enormous success, and now with the king’s story once again making national headlines, we want to enable people to continue visiting this wonderful exhibition.”

Once the Richard III exhibition closes, the Guildhall will become the home of a new installation focusing on medieval Leicester, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and charity the Wolfson Foundation.

[Source:  Leicester City Council]

Friday 23rd May 2014

King Richard III to be buried in Leicester

The remains of King Richard III are to be interred in Leicester cathedral, it was announced today, following a judgement by The High Court.

The panel of experts at the announcement of the court ruling
The panel of experts at the announcement of the court ruling

Having discovered the remains of the last of the Plantagenet Kings under a Council Car Park in Leicester, plans were made to re-bury the bones inside Leicester Cathedral.

Present day Yorkists took their case to the High Court claiming that the rightful place for the King’s remains should be York Minster, in their view.

Judges ruled today in favour of the case for Leicester Cathedral to be the final resting place of English monarch, who died over 500 years ago. Announcing the publication of the Court’s ruling, a panel of experts and representatives of the City and the Church gathered with members of the media in the Nave of Leicester Cathedral. Chairing the event, the Bishop of Leicester, the Right Reverend Tim Stevens, led the distinguished panel into the Nave to tell the waiting press of the result, moments after it had been published on the Judiciary website.

The panel included Nick Rushton (Leader of Leicestershire County Council), Professor Mark Thompson (University of Leicester), Sir Peter Soulsby (Mayor of Leicester), the Bishop of Leicester, The Right Reverend Tim Stevens, The Very Reverend David Monteith (Dean of Leicester) and Richard Buckley OBE (University of Leicester).

The media at the announcement
The media at the announcement

The event was filmed by over a dozen TV film crews with many reporters and journalists in the audience; not quite as many as had been present when the results were announced confirming that the bones were in fact those of Richard III, when the world’s media gathered in vast numbers to hear the results of the archaeological find of the century.

Wearing a white rose, the emblem of the dead king, The Bishop’s announcement was greeted with sustained applause from those present in the Church. He said that the King’s remains would be given a dignified funeral when they are finally laid to rest. Professor Mark Thompson said that the team from the University of Leicester, who had discovered and unearthed the remains, had done something that had been a stunning success both for the City and for the University of Leicester. The City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, said that the remains had been found in the shadow of the Cathedral, where they had lain for over five hundred years and so it was fitting that they should be re-buried there.

A tomb has already been designed to mark the spot where the King will lie in the Cathedral. The Dean of Leicester, The Very Revd David Monteith, said that the discovery of the bones and their scientific identification as being those of the King had been an extraordinary story. The re-burial is likely to take place in the spring of 2015. Coverage of the funeral is to be covered by Channel 4, the TV station that broadcast several documentaries about the discovery of the remains and their examination by archaeologists and scientists from the University.

Asked if the Plantagenet Alliance would appeal against today’s finding, members of the panel commented that they would have three weeks to think about it but that any appeal would have to be on a point of law, not a move to re-open the whole question.

Sir Peter Soulsby said that he could understanding where the Yorkists were coming from but their case was tenuous. Richard was the Duke of Gloucester and was born at Fotheringhay Castle, in Northamptonshire. Whilst he was from the House of York – a family name and dynasty – he never actually spent much time there. He was killed at the Battle of Bosworth and his body was brought to Leicester, where it was buried in the monastery of the Greyfriars. Sir Peter commented that the Plantagenet Alliance were “not clear what they wanted at the hearing and were pressed several times by the judges to make clear what they wanted.”

In a statement issued by the Plantagenet Alliance, they claim that Richard III would have wanted to have been buried at York, although they did admit that this wish was “inferred”.

A statement from The Very Revd David Monteith, Dean of Leicester:

The delays are over. The law is clear and unequivocally set forth in today’s judgement. Richard III fought here, fell here, died here, has lain here and was rediscovered here. He will now be finally led to rest with the prayers of God’s people in a manner fitting to his story and with dignity as befits a child of God and an anointed King of England.

In a postscript to their decision, the Judges wrote

Since Richard III’s exhumation on 5th September 2012, passions have been roused and much ink has been spilt. Issues relating to his life and death and place of re-interment have been exhaustively examined and debated. The Very Reverend David Monteith, the Dean of Leicester Cathedral, has explained the considerable efforts and expenditure invested by the Cathedral in order to create a lasting burial-place “as befits an anointed King”. We agree that it is time for Richard III to be given a dignified reburial, and finally laid to rest.


Judiciary website

Leicester Cathedral

Looking for Richard Project

Richard III on Wikipedia

The case of the Plantagenet Alliance

See also:

Our #news page

#Leicester to bury king