The Final Journey Of Richard III

On Sunday 22nd March Richard III sets off on his final journey from the Fielding Johnson Building at Leicester University. The route takes him back on a journey to key places that played an important role in his death. 

Fen Lane Farm is the closest place to Richard’s actual death, and there will be a private ceremony where soil from three significant places in his life will be brought together which are Middleham, Fotheringhay and Fenn Lane. There will also be a short service at the Battlefield Visitor Centre before the journey begins to return him to Leicester.

At the Bow Bridge the City Mayor, Lord Mayor and Guild of Freemen will welcome his remains at the boundary of the medieval city and the coffin will be transferred to a horse drawn hearse for procession through the city centre. Accompanying him on his final journey is his personal prayer book which is on loan from Lambeth Palace Library to Leicester Cathedral where it will be displayed for three months. The book was used by Richard daily.

Responsibility for his remains will pass from the University to the church outside Leicester Cathedral at around 17.45. His coffin will be on display to the public until Thursday 26th March when the service of re-interment takes place. Friday sees the cathedral open to the public for viewing of King Richard’s tomb in its final setting and the week culminates in a free public event with a firework display from the cathedral roof. This is a massive event with people coming from all over the world to pay their respects to arguably Yorkshire’s favourite king.

A special service will be held in York Minster on the 26th March to commemorate the king, followed by a procession through the city to the Mansion House. A new exhibition will open the following day at the Yorkshire Museum entitled ‘Richard III: Man & Myth’.

The king grew up and spent a lot of time in Yorkshire so it is fitting that his reburial is marked with a ceremony in York. Even though his reign only lasted two years, there is more controversy surrounding him than any other English monarch. He is a very interesting king to read about and everyone has an opinion. Love him or hate him he is the last Plantagenet Yorkist king who died fighting to keep his crown. He has my deepest respect, may he finally now rest in peace.


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