Richard III Tour: the King under the Car park
In September 2012, a car park in Leicester made headlines across the world when the remains of Richard III, the last Plantagenet King, were discovered buried there, where they had been unceremoniously left after his defeat at the Battle of Bosworth Field by Henry Tudor in 1485. An exciting new Visitor Centre in Leicester tells the story of Richard's life and death, showcasing the archaeological search and excavation of his remains, the subsequent DNA testing that confirmed the remains were that of the lost King and the exciting facial reconstruction.
Tour highlights can include:
- London and The Tower of London, where the Princes in the Tower were held and believed to be murdered and where Richard's brother Clarence was executed for treason against their brother King Edward IV. Also Westminster Abbey, where Elizabeth Woodville (Richard's sister-in-law and wife of Edward IV) took sanctuary from Richard, where Richard's wife Anne Neville is buried and where Richard was crowned in July 1483.
- Warwick Castle, home of the Earl of Warwick, 'Kingmaker', Richard's father-in-law. Edward IV was held prisoner here. After Warwick's death, Richard lived here with his wife Anne.
- Leicester and the remains of the Greyfriars and the new Visitor Centre. See where Richard's body was discovered, read about his life and death and follow the story of the archaeological search and excavation of his remains, as well as the DNA identification and facial reconstruction.
- Bow Bridge, over which Richard led his troops out of Leicester to Bosworth and where his body was carried back over after the battle.
- St Martin's Church, now Leicester Cathedral, with its memorial stone to Richard III in the chancel floor and where Richard was buried in March 2015.
- Kirby Muxloe Castle, built for Edward IV's great friend, Lord Hastings, who was executed by Richard for treason in 1483.
- Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre and Country Park. Site of one of history's most important battles, the Battle of Bosworth in August 1485 signalled the death of King Richard III, the birth of the powerful Tudor dynasty and finally the end to the War of the Roses. See the site of the battle and the interactive exhibition depicting it.
- Donington le Heath Manor House, restored in the Tudor and Stuart styles. This 13th Century house contains the bed in which Richard is believed to have slept when staying at the White Boar Inn, just before the Battle of Bosworth.
- Bradgate Park, Leicestershire's largest country park and ruins of the childhood home of Lady Jane Grey ('the 9 Days Queen') and once home of Elizabeth Woodville.
- Fotheringhay Castle, where Richard was born on 2nd October 1452. Visit the nearby church, where as Duke of Gloucester in 1476, he led the cortege that brought the bodies of his father, Richard, Duke of York, and brother, Edmund, Earl of Rutland, for reburial in the family mausoleum.
- York. Richard loved the north of England and in particular the city of York, where he married his wife. The city sent troops to support him against Henry Tudor. Visit the Richard III Museum and York Minster, where it is said he wanted to be buried.
- The ruins of Middleham Castle, Yorkshire, where Richard and Anne lived when Richard was given the governance of the north of England by Edward IV. Richard was sent here to learn how to be a knight as a young boy and it was here that he met Anne and their son Edward was born.
Photographs: Main image: Warwick Castle ©VisitBritain; facial reconstruction of Richard III following the discovery of his remains ©Leicester City Council; reconstruction of the Battle of Bosworth Field ©VisitBritain.