He was right at the spot I predicted 27 years ago
Historian David Baldwin is feeling very pleased with himself after making a startling prediction 27 years ago regarding the Greyfriars project.
In 1986, he wrote an article claiming the remains of Richard III would be found in the northern part of the Grey Friars church and that the discovery would take place in the 21st century.
The historian, from Oadby, used scores of medieval accounts of the Battle of Bosworth.
He correctly theorised the final resting of place of Richard was buried close to New Street, in the choir of the church – the area between the nave and the sanctuary – and would be found after about 30 years.
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He said: "I thought it was very unlikely anyone would actually dig where I'd said.
"But I'm very pleased it's been of use and, to be honest, even though I put a great deal of effort into the research, I'm slightly surprised how accurate I actually was."
David's prediction was published in the Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society.
His work was used by the University of Leicester archaeological team when picking their trenches.
Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley said: "David wasn't the first to say Richard III was buried at Greyfriars, but what was key was he pulled together all the sources – and it was properly sourced.
"That meant we could check his predictions and be sure what he was saying was plausible."
David said: "Richard under the car park is not a new concept, but it has been very pleasing to have my work vindicated.
"When you put your ideas forward, you don't expect to see them proven to this extent.
"I'll admit I didn't think there was much chance of finding anything, but I did hope for the best."
David picked the north part of the site after studying the layouts of other friaries built at about the same time.
He also took into account evidence from later historical sources, such as Alderman Robert Herrick, who built a mansion on the grounds of the dissolved friary.
In the 1600s, Herrick erected a 3ft stone pillar in memory of Richard which was inscribed with the legend "Here lies the body of Richard III some time King of England".
David said: "Herrick had laid a plaque at the grave of Richard.
"He (Herrick) was a very respected man – he was Mayor of Leicester and would not have made such a gesture had he thought the body had been thrown into the Soar."
Map-maker and historian John Speed had claimed Richard's body had been exhumed and cast into the River Soar in his History of Great Britain, published in 1611.
David said: "Herrick was born in 1540 – at about the time Richard's body is thought to have been thrown into the river – so he must have had some amount of confidence the myth was not true."
David also said Speed had made a mistake and visited Black Friars, a few miles away, when writing his account.