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Mysterious Double Coffin Unearthed at Richard III Site

Second Dig Photo 2
Picture Credit: University of Leicester

Excitement surrounding the now-famous Grey Friars site has not waned since King Richard III was discovered there last September, and now archaeologists from the University of Leicester have another reason to celebrate, with the unearthing of a mysterious inner-lead coffin.


It was during the final week of their second dig when the coffin-within-a-coffin was discovered, having taken a team of eight people to remove the stone lid. Believed to contain one of the friary’s founders or a medieval monk, this marks another significant finding for the University of Leicester team who discovered the remains of King Richard III.


Archaeologists have taken the 2.12 metre long coffin to the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, in order to carry out further analysis on the box before they can open it.


Second Dig Photo 1
Picture Credit: University of Leicester

Grey Friar’s site director Mathew Morris, of the University of Leicester Archaeological Services said “None of us in the team have ever seen a lead coffin within a stone coffin before. We will now need to work out how to open it safely, as we don’t want to damage the contents when we are opening the lid.”


Whilst the individual inside remains unknown for now, archaeologists are able to see feet through a hole in the casket. Morris continues “The coffin could contain William de Moton, Peter Swynsfeld or William of Nottingham – who are all important people. Swynsfeld and Nottingham were heads of the Grey Friars order in England.”


Keep up to date with the progress of the second Grey Friars Dig on

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