Richard III’s car park in city is de­clared an­cient mon­u­ment

Hinckley Times - - PAST TIMES - DAN MARTIN hinck­ley­times@trin­i­tymir­

THE Leicester car park un­der which Richard III’s body was dis­cov­ered has been given spe­cial pro­tec­tion as an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site of na­tional im­por­tance.

The Govern­ment, act­ing on the ad­vice of her­itage watch­dog His­toric Eng­land, has classed the site and sur­round­ing Greyfri­ars area as a sched­uled mon­u­ment.

That is to recog­nise the place where the last Plan­ta­genet king of Eng­land was buried af­ter his death at the Bat­tle of Bos­worth Field in 1485.

Richard’s bones were in­terred in nearby Leicester Cathe­dral af­ter they were found by univer­sity ar­chae­ol­o­gists in 2012.

They lay undis­cov­ered in a me­dieval monas­tic fri­ary for more than 500 years.

Sched­ul­ing of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites en­sures that the long-term in­ter­ests of a na­tion­ally-im­por­tant site are placed first be­fore any changes can be made.

Sched­uled Mon­u­ment Con- sent must be ob­tained be­fore any work or changes can be made once a site has been pro­tected.

That is in ad­di­tion to any plan­ning con­sent which may also be re­quired.

The pro­tected area in Leicester cov­ers the car park­ing on ei­ther side of New Street.

It also cov­ers the ground un­der­neath the vis­i­tor cen­tre.

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, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of His­toric Eng­land, said the site of Greyfri­ars is one of the most sig­nif­i­cant in the coun­try’s na­tional his­tory.

“The ar­chae­o­log­i­cal re­mains on the site are now well un­der­stood and fully de­serve pro­tec- tion as a sched­uled mon­u­ment,” he added.

“The area of pro­tec­tion has been care­fully con­sid­ered and will be man­aged through both sched­ul­ing and plan­ning con­trols in part­ner­ship with Leicester City Coun­cil.

“The aim is to en­sure that this im­por­tant site can be pro­tected for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions as a tan­gi­ble and evoca­tive re­minder of this sig­nif­i­cant episode in our na­tion’s his­tory.”

City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the city was very proud of a rich his­tory which spans more than 2,000 years.

“The dis­cov­ery and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of King Richard III’s re­mains was a re­mark­able achieve­ment,” he added.

“These events marked an un­for­get­table time for our city.

“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.”

Claire Gra­ham uses ground pen­e­tra­tion radar (GPR) at Greyfri­ars car park in Leicester dur­ing an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal search for the lost grave of Richard III

Philippa Lan­g­ley from the Richard III So­ci­ety in what is be­lieved to be in the lost gar­den of Robert Her­rick, that has been found dur­ing their search for the lost grave of King Richard III

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