England is set to bury a monarch, after the 500 year old remains of King Richard III were removed from under a car park at Leicester.image

The reinterment of the last English king to die in battle, will involve a week of activities in March. There will be an event at Bosworth Field battleground, where Richard fell in 1485 and services in Leicester Cathedral, where he will be reinterred in a newly-built tomb on March 26.

The lost grave of the Richard III was found in 2012, after an ambitious archaeological project, using ground-penetrating radar. Incredibly, on the very first day of the dig, remains were found under a car park by a team from Leicester University,  the Richard III Society and Leicester City Council.

DNA analysis of the remains then showed a match with a descendant of King Richard III.

imageThe remarkable discovery of the king in the car park and the planned reinterment captured widespread public imagination and is a great reason to visit village England – and see some of the landmarks associated with Richard III.

For example, about one hours drive from Leicester, on the banks of the River Nene, is the village of Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire: birthplace of the future King Richard.

Along with his brother and two sisters, Richard was born in Fotheringhay Castle.

imageA mausoleum in memory of the family – leading members of the Yorkist dynasty – can be found in the local church of St Mary and All Saints.

The church and its distinctive tall tower, are part of what was once a magnificent 15th Century structure – largely demolished in the Dissolution of the Monastries.

Fotheringhay Castle, however, met a worse fate.

Once an imposing Norman stone fortress, it was the final place of imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots, who was tried for treason and beheaded there in 1587.

When Mary’s son, James I, ascended to the English throne in the 1630’s, he promptly razed the castle.  image

All that remains today is a mound of earth and some stones.

Fotheringhay is about 10 miles west of Peterborough and there are plenty of village accommodation options in the area

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