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Resting place of British king sought

  |   Sept. 5, 2012 at 4:50 PM
LEICESTER, England, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Researchers searching for Britain's King Richard III say they've discovered the lost ruins of a church considered the site of his 15th century burial.

The University of Leicester, leading the search for the burial place, has reported archaeologists have found the medieval Grey Friars Church, the exact location of which had been lost over the centuries.

Defeated at the battle of Bosworth in 1485, at the end of the civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of York, the king's body, stripped and mutilated, was brought to Leicester where he was buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary known as the Grey Friars.

"The discoveries so far leave us in no doubt that we are on the site of Leicester's Franciscan Friary, meaning we have crossed the first significant hurdle of the investigation," lead archaeologist Richard Buckley said.

The archaeologists have dug trenches that have exposed floors and walls.

"The size of the walls, the orientation of the building, its position and the presence of medieval inlaid floor tiles and architectural fragments makes this almost certainly the church of the Grey Friars," he said.

"The next step -- which may include extending the trenches -- will seek to gain more information on the church in the hope that we can identify the location of the choir and high altar.

"Finding the choir is especially important as this is where Richard III is recorded as having been buried."

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