Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Search for Richard III confirms discovery of the Church of the Grey Friars

The University of Leicester team has confirmed that they have found the medieval Grey Friars Church – the burial place of Richard III.

The first two trenches dug by Leicester’s archaeologists revealed tiled passageway floors at right angles to each other which are probably the remains of a cloister. A cloister is a rectangular open space, surrounded by covered walkways, often built alongside a church that has a monastic community. Friars would walk around the cloister, deep in thought or prayer, whilst remaining dry.

If the floors revealed by the first two trenches represented two sides of the cloister, then it was believed that the large wall on the third side of the potential cloister could be the church itself. Over the weekend the team dug a third trench to the east of the first two trenches to see if the wall extended.

The archaeologists also discovered a solid mortar floor between the two walls. The third trench not only confirmed that the wall extended but also the presence of a second similar thick wall, around 7.5 metres to the north. This is the width one would expect in a medieval friary church.

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