Richard III Grave Excavation Begins Under Leicester Car Park

Diggers have begun to excavate a city centre car park as part of an archaeological search for the lost grave of Richard III.

On Saturday, the diggers moved in and began to cut into the tarmac in the search for what is believed to be the final resting place of the monarch.

The team is hoping to find the site of a Franciscan friary where it is believed Richard III was buried after he fell in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Markers are laid out for excavation in Leicester, as two reenactment knights look on

Reports say the monarch was stripped and despoiled and brought to Leicester where he was put on show in the city by Henry VII before being buried in the friary, which was known as Greyfriars.

But the exact whereabouts of the friary have become lost over time and it is rumoured that the monarch's bones could have been thrown into the River Soar after the dissolution of the monasteries.

Speaking at the site on Saturday, Richard Buckley, co-director of the archaeology service at the university, said: "We marked out all the trenches yesterday after using ground penetrating radar to identify the best spots. We began the dig this morning and we've got down to medieval levels already.

"We had a few problems with our machine this morning but we're still making good progress."

If remains are found they will undergo DNA analysis at the university to confirm they are those of Richard III.

Richard III, the last Plantagenet, ruled England from 1483 until he was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, which is considered to be the last significant battle of the War of the Roses.