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Richard III's former burial site under council car park in Leicester now protected

By Emily Beament

The former burial place of Richard III, a medieval monastic site that now lies under a car park in Leicester, has been given protected status.

The remains of the 13th century Greyfriars, where the last Plantagenet king was hastily laid to rest after his death in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, has been listed as a scheduled monument.

It is thought the archaeological site - "one of the most significant in our national history" because of its connection to the dramatic events around the final battle of the War of the Roses - is well preserved under the city centre car park.

Making the friary into a scheduled monument means it is preserved for future generations, with special consent required before any work or changes can be made.

Richard's skeleton was found during an archaeological excavation at Leicester City Council's car park in 2012 and was confirmed as his remains following DNA analysis of the bones which matched those of his living descendants.

He was reburied in 2015 at Leicester Cathedral.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: "The site of Greyfriars, where Richard III was hastily buried in the days following his death in the final battle of the War of the Roses, is one of the most significant in our national history.

He said the protection of the area would mean it remained "as a tangible and evocative reminder of this significant episode in our nation's history".

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