Richard III grave hunters are 'tantalisingly close' in search at Leicester car park
Archaelogists digging for the grave of Richard III in a Leicester car park say they are 'tantalisingly close' in their search.
The dig is due to continue for another week after originally being planned to last two weeks.
Work began on August 24 and the team has made some major discoveries.
Researchers have determined the site of the medieval Franciscan friary known as the Grey Friars; found the eastern cloister walk and chapter house; located the site of the church within the friary; uncovered the lost garden of the former mayor of Leicester, Alderman Robert Herrick; and revealed medieval finds such as inlaid floor tiles from the cloister walk of the friary and paving stones from the Herrick garden and window tracery.
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Now, Leicester city mayor Peter Soulsby has authorised the work, at a city centre car park, to continue for at least another week.
In 1485 King Richard III was defeated at the battle of Bosworth. His body, stripped and despoiled, was brought to Leicester and buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary.
Over time the exact whereabouts of the Grey Friars became lost.
The dig, led by experts from the University of Leicester, stopped over the weekend for a public open day which saw around 1,500 people tour the site of the council car park.
Richard Buckley, co-director of the university’s Archaeological Services, said: “We are now tantalisingly close in our search and will investigate the choir where Richard is presumed to be buried.
“Whether we find Richard or not, this dig has been a huge success in terms of revealing the heritage of Leicester and I am proud that the University of Leicester has played a pivotal role in the telling of that story.”
The dig is being filmed for a Channel 4 documentary to be aired this year.