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