An archaeological dig searching for the grave of Richard III has uncovered evidence of a lost garden, organisers said.
Experts from the University of Leicester who are leading the search discovered paving stones which they believe belong to the garden of Robert Herrick where, historically, it is recorded there was a memorial to Richard III inscribed “Here lies the body of Richard III sometime King of England.”
Work by the “time tomb team”, as they have become known, has so far involved the digging of two trenches at a Leicester city centre car park – and this week a third was excavated – thought to cover the site of a Franciscan friar where the former king is believed to have been buried in 1485.
Working alongside members of the Richard III Society, archaeologists also confirmed they had found the church of the Grey Friars.
Research at the site, which is owned by Leicester City Council, began on August 24 with archaeologists using ground-penetrating radar equipment.
Philippa Langley, of the Richard III Society, said: “This is an astonishing discovery and a huge step forward in the search for King Richard’s grave. Herrick is incredibly important in the story of Richard’s grave and in potentially helping us get that little bit closer to locating it.”
In the early 1600s, Alderman Robert Herrick, a mayor of Leicester, bought the land of the Grey Friars and built a large mansion house with a garden on the site.
The dig is being filmed for a Channel 4 documentary.