Richard III head reconstruction set for national tour

Reconstructed face of Richard III Finishing details, such as the style and colour of Richard's hair and hat, were taken from portraits of the king

A facial reconstruction based on the skull of King Richard III is about to set off on a national tour.

Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 but his grave was only rediscovered last August.

The model is currently on display at Leicester Guildhall, close to where the king's remains were found.

It will visit Bosworth Battlefield, before moving to Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, the British Museum in London and Gloucester.

The head will then return to Leicester in the spring of 2014, where it will be on permanent display at a new visitor centre.

'Search for a King'

Who was Richard III?

Richard III's skeleton as found in the grave

Richard III was the last Yorkist king of England, whose death at the age of 32 in the Battle of Bosworth effectively ended the Wars of the Roses.

His nephews Edward V and Richard of York, the "Princes in the Tower", disappeared in 1483 and are said by many historians to have been murdered on Richard III's orders.

Shakespeare's version of events in his play Richard III added to the king's infamy, but some historians reject the heinous crimes attributed to Richard.

About 80,000 people have visited the Guildhall exhibition - entitled Richard III: Leicester's Search for a King - which will remain open until the reconstruction is returned.

The head, commissioned by the Richard III Society, has already been seen by more than 12,000 people during a three-week show at the Guildhall.

The model relies on details from a CT scan taken of the king's skull at Leicester Royal Infirmary following the discovery of his remains underneath a car park in August by a team of University of Leicester archaeologists.

The reconstruction was the work of the forensic art team at the University of Dundee, who used CT scans and photographs of the skull, combined with a specialist computer program, to reconstruct Richard's face.

The digital image was then turned into a physical model, complete with hair and eyes.

Finishing details, such as the style and colour of Richard's hair and hat, were taken from portraits of the king.

Tour dates

  • Bosworth Battlefield: 11 June - 16 July 2013
  • Yorkshire Museum: 19 July - 13 October 2013
  • Northampton Museum and Art Gallery: 19 October 2013 - 5 January 2014
  • British Museum, London: 11 January - 16 March 2014
  • Gloucester: March 2014

More on This Story

Richard III: Return of the King

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