July 29, 2013
King Richard III To Be Honored With Burial In Raised Tomb
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
The remains of King Richard III, which were unearthed in a car park in Leicester, UK last September, and found to be hastily buried in an unmarked grave with neither shroud nor coffin, will be reburied with honor beneath a raised tomb within a specially-created area in the Leicester Cathedral.
The Cathedral is planning to spend about $1.5 million US on the re-interment, which will include alterations to the building, preparations for the ceremony and the ceremony itself. The final resting place of Richard III will see a number of changes to host the raised tomb, with a new floor, special lighting and new stained glass windows.
There are currently several designs in the works for the tomb, all being developed by van Heyningen and Haward architects for the Cathedral. The project also involves a working party, which includes representatives from the Richard III Society, University of Leicester and the City Council.
The plans have been shared with several organizations as of July 17 and after refinement over the next several weeks, the final submission will go to the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) for final approval, due sometime in November.
Dr. Phil Stone, Chairman for the Richard III Society, said the "design is absolutely fantastic," after seeing the plans recently.
Reverend David Monteith, the Dean of Leicester, said the plans were influenced by feedback from several sources, including members of the general public who had visited the Cathedral and had made comments to the media.
"We are committed to reinter King Richard with honor and we have listened carefully to the different views that were expressed. We want to create a really wonderful space in the Cathedral for him and the many thousands of people we know will want to come to visit and pay their respects," added Rev. Monteith.
"This is an immensely complex project and we are determined to get it right. Inevitably that means considerable expense but we are confident that with the support of the Church and the public, we can honor Richard and his story," noted retired Reverend Tim Stevens, the Bishop of Leicester.
Final details of the re-interment ceremonies are yet to be decided, but it will be the climax of a week of events celebrating the city's history, the discovery of King Richard III and the fact he will be honored with proper burial in Leicester.
"Leicester was the backdrop to King Richard's final days and became the location of his grave, so we are now proud and honored that the Cathedral in the heart of the old town will be the place for his final re-interment,â€ said Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby, who ambitiously supports the project.
"This amazing chapter in the story of Richard III's life, death and rediscovery has been a partnership between the city council, the cathedral and the University of Leicester. The re-interment itself will be another historic moment which we want to share with the nation, which we hope will join us in celebrating this unique occasion," added Mayor Soulsby.
The site where King Richard III's remains were uncovered has also been recently re-excavated, with University of Leicester archaeologists heading the dig. A recent stone coffin unearthed last week will be the subject of an upcoming investigation as to what contents lie within.