York with it’s rich and varied history has to be one of the nicest places to visit. And having whizzed past it on the A1 more times than I can mention, I’m grateful we took the time to stop and explore it properly!
The historic city currently finds itself caught up in a controversy surrounding The War of the Roses. This time over where Richard III should be buried. With his remains having been discovered under a car park in Leicester in 2012, there is now an ongoing debate as to where they should now be re interred.
Richards body was buried hastily at the Augustinian Priory of Grey Friars, following the the battle of Bosworth. This final large scale battle of the war of the Roses, just outside Leicester saw Henry VII win the crown and the start of the Tudor dynasty.
So why is York involved in this seemingly straightforward discovery? Quite simply, some people believe that Richard should be buried in York, not reinterred at Leicester Cathedral as was originally planned. The argument, from the ‘Plantagenet Alliance’, states that Richard’s own wishes, which they allege have been well documented throughout the centuries, was to be buried at York Minster. So far they have been granted a judicial review and have at least stalled the reinterrment for now.
There has been much argument over what should happen to King Richard III’s bones in the years since their discovery, and although the judicial review opened on the 13th of March and was expected to last just a few days, the decision was deferred and, as ye,t the results have yet to be announced. On one side you have the Mayor of Leicester stating “Those bones leave Leicester over my dead body”, then you have others suggesting a burial place of Worksop thanks to its location at the middle point between both Leicester and York ,and, of course, the Plantagenet Alliance stating their wish for their ancestor to be buried in York.
It could be said that as Richard was Duke of York, was born and raised in Middleham Castle in Yorkshire and helped fund the building of York’s gated walls, he deserves to be returned to his ancestral seat. But, as King of England, it could just as easily be claimed that he has a right to be buried in Westminster Abbey, next to his wife Anne Neville and among other former Kings.
If you’re interested in the history of the Plantagenets, or indeed in the discovery of Richard’s skeleton, you simply can’t miss visiting the places some say he should be buried – the imposing Middleham Castle or indeed the site his bones were discovered in Leicester. A Travelodge in York city centre is the perfect base from which to explore these sites of historic interest, and maybe even weigh into the battle yourself and decide where you think King Richard III’s bones should be reburied.
This post is written in collaboration with Travelodge