Richard III: Leicester’s Search for a King
Until 1 June 2014
The Guildhall, in the shadow of Leicester Cathedral, hosts a major exhibition telling the story of King Richard III, his life and times and the search for his lost remains.
In the summer of 2012, archaeologists from the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and the Richard III Society, unearthed the ruins of the lost medieval Grey Friars church and within the ruins, the grave of a battle-scarred warrior.
Richard III: Leicester's Search for a King offers visitors an explanation of the findings of the 2012 Grey Friars excavation and details the evidence that proves the skeleton found belonged to King Richard III. The story is told by four narrators, all from the team of experts at the University of Leicester who undertook the work.
The Historian – examines the historical context. Who was Richard III, what do we know from the historical sources about his life and death and how he came to be buried in Leicester after his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
The Archaeologist – what happened during the excavation. How the church of the Grey Friars was discovered and human remains that were likely to belong to King Richard III were found.
The Bio-archaeologist – what clues were revealed by studying the actual bones. Examines the injuries inflicted around the time of death as well as more information about the curvature of the spine. It is also explained how this evidence matches up with the contemporary source material.
The Scientist – the results of the scientific tests that the skeleton underwent and how they finally confirm it was that of King Richard III. These tests included radiocarbon dating, calculus analysis and environmental sampling as well as the DNA evidence.
The exhibition features unique touchscreen interactives, including a detailed examination of the various key pathologies that the skeleton has. Also, on loan from Loughborough University, is a model of King Richard's skull, made from the CT scan of the skeleton made at Leicester Royal Infirmary and 3D printed using a technique called laser sintering.
Objects on display also include a case of items from the Grey Friars excavation, including decorated floor tiles, a silver penny of Richard's brother, Edward IV, and a section of carved stone frieze from the wall of the Grey Friars church. There is also an accurate model of the Blue Boar Inn, the building in Leicester where Richard spent the night before leaving for Bosworth.
We are expecting a high degree of interest and visitors to the exhibition so queuing may be required, particularly over school holidays.
At peak times, we recommend taking the Richard III walking trail which is available to download for free at the bottom of this page, or from the Guildhall, priced 50p. The trail, which can take anything from 45 – 60 minutes, provides an opportunity for you to visit the sites associated with Richard III within the Old Town area of the city while waiting to view the exhibition.
Please note that parts of The Guildhall may be closed for private hire bookings during the course of the exhibition. If travelling some distance, please check before visiting.
Daily for the duration of the exhibition: 11.00am – 4.30pm
The Guildhall and the exhibition will be closed 24th, 25th, 26th and 31st December 2013 and 1st January 2014.
The Guildhall, Guildhall Lane, Leicester, LE1 5FQ
T: 0116 253 2569
If you're planning on visiting the Guildhall exhibition, you will find more information on the following pages:
> Travelling to the Guildhall
> Things to do around the Guildhall
> Exhibition FAQs
Keep up to date with all the latest information:
To find out more information and to view images of the Greyfriars dig, please see the Story of Leicester website.
Find out more information about the search for King Richard III:
> Leicester Cathedral
> The Richard III Society
> The University of Leicester's Richard III website