New film The Lost King shines a light on the incredible story of King Richard III who lay forgotten in a car park for 500 years
Promotional feature in association with Visit Leicester
Ten years ago, the remarkable story of a long-lost British monarch came to light in the unlikeliest of places. Hidden underneath a car park in Leicester were the remains of King Richard III, still in the spot where they had lain unmarked and overlooked for more than five centuries.
In 2022, the city is celebrating the 10th anniversary of this amazing discovery with a new Uncover The Story campaign, aimed at telling the untold history of the city and surrounding county, with a focus on the discovery of this most infamous of monarchs.
It comes as a new Stephen Frears film, The Lost King starring Steve Coogan and Sally Hawkins, is released in UK cinemas on 7 October, putting Leicester’s most famous historical discovery on the big screen.
If you want to take a tour of some of the real-life places that inspired the film, read on to discover the best spots to explore the story of King Richard III in Leicester and Leicestershire.
You’ll want to start as King Richard ended, at Bosworth Battlefield, just a short drive from Leicester itself in the beautiful town of Market Bosworth. Explore the award-winning exhibition telling the story of 1485’s era-defining battle, which marked the end of the blood-stricken Wars of the Roses and the beginning of the Tudor reign, and then take a walk around the site of the actual battleground, where King Richard was killed and Henry Tudor emerged victorious.
Leicester’s Old Town
Once you’ve soaked in the atmosphere of the battlefield, head to central Leicester to explore The Newarke, where King Richard’s body was brought to the Church of the Annunciation following the battle. The Newarke is the historic heart of Leicester and was the site of the original castle where one of the first English Parliaments was held.
St Mary de Castro church, founded by the children of Alfred the Great, was the place where Geoffrey Chaucer was married and Henry VI was knighted. You can explore these ancient landmarks on the regular Heritage Open Days and through the city’s 175 Heritage Panels.
King Richard III Centre and cathedral
King Richard was laid to rest once again in Leicester Cathedral in 2015. The cathedral is currently undergoing refurbishment and is due to reopen in 2023 but you can still head to the King Richard III Visitor Centre to stand in quiet contemplation at the exact spot where his remains were discovered.
The exhibition will give you the chance to learn about his life, death and rediscovery, not to mention the ground-breaking DNA work that helped identify his remains after 527 years.
Buildings linked to King Richard III
There are so many more royal connections around Leicestershire. At the 1620s House in Coalville you can see the bed King Richard slept in before his fateful battle.
And in the small suburban town of Kirby Muxloe, the ruins of the castle date back to the Wars of the Roses and tell of an act of royal intrigue, and for the unfinished castle’s owner, the consequences of backing a rival of King Richard III.
Melton’s Royal Mile
The market town of Melton Mowbray is famed for its amazing food, but throughout history was an important stop on the ‘Great North Road’. It has welcomed royal visitors ranging from Richard the Lionheart right through to the newly crowned King Charles III, and you can walk in their ancient footsteps with a pint in a pub once owned by Wolf Hall’s Thomas Cromwell. Walk the Royal Mile and discover these royal connections.
Find out more
Learn more about the history of Leicester and the amazing attractions you can uncover here on the Visit Leicester website or sign up to the Visit Leicester newsletter for fortnightly updates on what to expect in the city.