Exciting news for Anglophiles: Leicester's new King Richard lll Visitor Centre: Dynasty, Death and Discovery, opened this last weekend as a must-see attraction for history buffs and Shakespeare-philes alike. The centre is located just 100 steps away from Leicester Cathedral where the last Plantagenet king will be reburied in spring 2015.
Even better: Tickets to the visitor center include access to the late King’s original burial site.
More than 100,000 people are expected through its doors in its first year of operation.
The centre will tell the king’s story in three parts: displays, interactive audio-visual elements and exhibits.
‘Dynasty’ tells the much-debated story of the king’s life and times in a medieval England racked by decades of fighting in the Wars Of The Roses, detailing Richard’s rise to power as the last king from the great house of Plantagenet.
‘Death’ gives visitors the chance to learn about the key players in the Battle of Bosworth and how betrayal led to the king's death in the thick of battle while defending his crown—and the subsequent rise of the Tudor dynasty.
Finally, ‘Discovery’ explains the archeology, science and analysis carried out by the University of Leicester’s Archaeological Service, which rediscovered and identified the long-lost remains of the king after excavating a grave beneath a parking lot on the former site of the medieval friary of the Grey Friars.
Finally, visitors will be able to visit the site of King Richard’s burial site, preserved in a "quiet, respectful" setting. (The shot below was taken during our visit to the site just after the bones were confirmed as Richard's.)
Visitors will also be able to see a full-size, 3D replica skeleton created by Loughborough University. Scientists used CT scan data provided by Leicester University as part of their analysis of the King’s bones to create the 3D replica, which shows the king’s spinal curvature and the battle wounds he suffered at Bosworth.
Located on Peacock Lane, Leicester, the Victorian gothic building has been completely renovated inside and out to provide two floors of exhibition space, a courtyard café, shop and meeting rooms.
Tickets are on sale at www.kingrichardiiivisitorcentre.com.