Richard III and Leicester

King Richard III’s connection with Leicester can be traced back to a royal visit he made to Leicester Castle just weeks after being crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey during July 1483. A letter dated 18 August 1483 has survived to provide indisputable proof that the new king stayed at the castle, King Richard signing his letter “from my castle of Leicester”. Two years after sending that letter, Richard was to find himself back in Leicester but this time preparing to defend his throne.

David Garrick as Richard III in the Shakespeare play of the same name

David Garrick as Richard III in the Shakespeare play of the same name. Print by William Hogarth, 1746. From the collection of Leicester Arts & Museums Service.

It was to be from Leicester that King Richard would ride out in 1485 to engage the forces of Henry Tudor in battle at Bosworth Field, and then to that same town that he would return in death, lying undiscovered beneath its streets for over 500 years.

The remains of Richard III were found under a car park in Leicester during August 2012.

The remains of Richard III were found under a car park in Leicester during August 2012.

To read more about the life of King Richard III click here.

The discovery of Richard III’s remains captivated the world back in the summer of 2012 and focused the international media spotlight on Leicester. The city however has been proud of its connection with the last Plantagenet King of England long before this. It has erected memorial bridges, statues and plaques and even named schools, pubs and roads after him.

The following pages tell the story of King Richard III’s long connection with Leicester, his discovery by a team of archaeologists and independent researchers in 2012 and how people continue to celebrate this monarch through art, song and literature.

King Richard III Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre stands on the site of the medieval friary of the Grey Friars where the king’s remains were buried over 500 years ago.

The exhibition gives visitors a chance to learn more about the King’s life and death – and to understand the huge events that led to his hasty burial and eventual rediscovery.

It reveals one of the greatest archaeological detective stories ever told and features the first-ever genome sequencing of ancient DNA.

Visitors will be able to see the exact place where Richard’s remains were buried over 500 years ago and this poignant place has been transformed into a glass-floored contemplative space for visitors.

Click here to visit the website and book tickets.

King Richard III - Things to do in Leicester


Click here to find out about all of the Richard III related activities and events you can experience here in Leicester.

The King and the Car Park

Click here to read about the historic archaeological dig where Richard III was discovered in words and pictures.

King Richard III - Leicester Locations

Click here to see the Leicester locations associated with Richard III and read the story of those connections.

Leicester Celebrates King Richard III

Click here to see how the people of Leicester celebrate King Richard III with paintings, drawings, song and film.