Back in June a friend and I went to Leicester to visit the King Richard III Visitor Centre. I imagine you’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t familiar with the story of Richard’s remains being found in a car park and finally being laid to rest in Leicester Cathedral (the focus of the next post) and the Visitor Centre did an excellent job of collating all that information.
The Centre focuses on three aspects, the first being Richard’s life and how he became king, the second focuses on his death at the Battle of Bosworth and the third is the work undertaken by some very dedicated individuals who discovered and identified the king’s remains.
The first thing we went to look at was a temporary exhibition of photographs from Richard’s burial service which included a mosaic of Richard’s face that had been created from photographs of the burial submitted by members of the public. It’s very well done and a photograph doesn’t really do it justice.
Part of the exhibition focuses on the areas of Richard’s legacy that are often overlooked such as improving the criminal justice system and replacing corrupt government officials.
The Battle of Bosworth section is particularly atmospheric, with the sounds of battle playing as you walk through and a film playing on the wall in shadows showing Richard’s army preparing to face that of Henry Tudor. At the end, specially commissioned by the Visitor Centre, you can find this tapestry of Henry crowned King on the battlefield.
Then of course there is the glass viewing box, placed over the spot where Richard’s remains were found and in a nice touch an image of how his skeleton was placed inside the grave – too small to actually fit him properly – is projected on to the ground below.
The top floor of the Visitor Centre encompasses the work done to find and then remove the remains. There is an excellent reconstruction of the skeleton on display as well as information about how Richard’s descendants were traced through their family tree and the important role of DNA in confirming that these were in fact Richard’s remains.
A video also explains how the facial reconstruction was done, turning this
We were very impressed with the Visitor Centre overall and as the ticket is valid for a year, I’ll definitely be making a return visit.
You can find some more of my photos here.