Richard III's Leicester reburial plans on hold

Artist's impression of tomb The £1.3m project will see an extensive remodelling of the cathedral and gardens

The planned reburial of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral looks set to be delayed after officials deferred a decision over plans for his tomb.

The remains of the king, who died in battle in 1485, were discovered by archaeologists under a council car park in the city in September 2012.

He was due to be reburied at the cathedral next summer.

But the body which rules on changes to Church of England buildings has asked for more information on the plans.

The Very Rev David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, said: "Leicester Cathedral recognises the complexity of the case the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England is having to deal with.

A tomb fit for a king?

Artist's impression of tomb
  • The tomb will be made from Swaledale fossil limestone
  • It will feature a rose carved in white limestone
  • The rose will be surrounded by a band of dark Kilkenny limestone
  • The band will be carved with the king's name, dates (1452-1485), motto (Loyaulte me Lie 'Loyalty binds Me') and boar badge
  • The area will be defined by wooden screens

"We are disappointed but we appreciate that it is rare for a major application of this kind to be approved at the first discussion owing to its complex nature."

The project would cost up to £1.3m, of which £96,000 would be spent on the tomb and vault.

The outcome of a legal battle over where the last Plantagenet king will be buried also remains unresolved.

Distant relatives of Richard III, the Plantagenet Alliance, favour reburial in York and have won a judicial review challenging a decision for the king's bones to be reinterred in Leicester.

Dean Monteith said any final decisions must await the outcome of the review.

"We fully respect that legal process," he said.

He added the cathedral's chapter, which is the body responsible for its administration, will discuss its response to the commission's decision later this week.

Richard, who reigned from 1483, was killed in the final battle of the Wars of the Roses at Bosworth field in Leicestershire in 1485.

The discovery of his remains amid the buried ruins of an old friary beneath a car park last year sparked worldwide interest.

The king was found following a lengthy campaign by members of the Richard III Society.

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