Excavation uncovered king’s skeleton

Richard III lecture 'The Search for Richard III' 'Heather Pentland, Chairman of TillVAS and Richard Buckley of the University of Leicester.
Richard III lecture 'The Search for Richard III' 'Heather Pentland, Chairman of TillVAS and Richard Buckley of the University of Leicester.

The James IV Memorial Lecture in commemoration of the 500 anniversary of the Battle of Flodden, attracted 150 to Coldstream Community Centre.

Organised by the Till Valley Archaeological Society (TillVAS), the lecture proved to be a huge success, and a wonderful contribution to the celebrations of England and Scotland’s rich history. This lecture, to henceforth take place annually, is named after James IV, a renaissance prince, and the last king to die in battle on English soil during the Battle of Flodden.

The lecture, titled “The Search for Richard III”, was led by Richard Buckley of Leicester University. Richard was the lead archaeologist on the excavation of a car park in Leicester that led to the discovery of the famous monarch, whose whereabouts have long been discussed.

The connection Richard’s story bears to Flodden, is that Thomas Howard, the Earl of Surrey, not only led the English army during the battle, but also stood beside Richard III 28 years earlier in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth, which took the kings life. Richard, as Duke of York, was also responsible for securing Berwick for England, three years before his death.

Richard described the detailed research that went into the search for Richard III, before the excavation begun. Through old documents, Richard discovered the recordings of the development of the city, which also refer to the approximate location of Greyfriars Abbey, rumoured to be the burial places of Richard III.

The team set to work, and eventually found the Abbey, the Choir where Richard was supposedly buried, and in a corner of the Choir, a hole where the bones were. Research including carbon dating and DNA testing through a distant relative of Richard III have proved that the bones are those of the York King.

An archaeological dig is due to commence in September, on Flodden Field, to uncover more information about the battle.