Northampton

Fotheringhay Castle soil to be buried with Richard III

Richard III skull next to facial reconstruction Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Richard III, whose remains were found in a car park, will be reinterred at Leicester Cathedral

Soil from the village where Richard III was born will be placed alongside his remains when he is reburied.

The last Plantagenet king was born at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, and members of his family were buried at the local parish church.

Soil from the castle grounds and two other sites will be laid around his coffin by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on 26 March.

Site owner John Gould said he was "delighted" to have been involved.

Soil from the castle, a Yorkist palace during the 15th Century, is one of three samples from sites significant in the former king's life to be sprinkled inside the vault where his coffin will be placed.

'Brimming with history'

Samples from Middleham in Yorkshire, where Richard met future wife Anne, and the site of the Battle of Bosworth, have also been collected.

Some of the soil will be blessed by Bishop of Leicester Tim Stevens at a private ceremony on Sunday and will be put into a wooden casket to be displayed at the Battle of Bosworth Field Centre.

Image copyright Katie Lonslow
Image caption Castle owner John Gould(left), village chair Ros Clayton, and councillor David Brackenbury with the soil sample
Image copyright Philip Jeffrey/Geograph
Image caption Richard III's great-uncle Edward, his parents and his brother Edmund are buried at Fotheringhay
Image copyright PA / University of Leicester
Image caption The former king's skeleton was placed inside a lead-lined inner casket known as an ossuary

Richard's body was found buried under a car park in Leicester in 2012.

Mr Gould said: "It was a unique and very interesting request to be asked to provide a sample of soil from the castle site.

"I have lived in the village all my life and four generations of my family have farmed here.

"We have all grown up with Fotheringhay's history and often take it for granted. We are delighted to have been involved."

Village chair Ros Clayton said it was "brimming with rich history".

"The village played an instrumental role in the history of the Plantagenets and King Richard."

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