Northampton

Richard III's family church at Fotheringhay ends £1.5m repairs

The Church of St Mary and All Saints in Fotheringhay Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Church of St Mary and All Saints is in Fotheringhay the birthplace of Richard III

A historic church that has "worldwide interest" because of its links to Richard III has completed £1.5m worth of restoration work.

The Church of St Mary and All Saints, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire had repairs to the roofs and stonework.

Richard III's great-uncle Edward, his parents and his brother Edmund are buried at the 15th Century church.

The church warden Bill James praised local fundraisers and said donors had been "very generous".

The money was raised from donations and grants including the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund and the Richard III Society.

Mr James said they were initially going to "patch and repair" the main roof above the nave, but the funds raised also allowed replacement of the three other roof sections - above the north and south aisles and on the tower.

He said: "It's not just having your house roof done - it's like four houses that need to be attended to."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Richard III's remains were found under a car park in Leicester in 2012

Who was Richard III?

  • Born in 1452 at Fotheringhay Castle
  • His coronation took place in 1483 at Westminster Abbey, London
  • Had one of the shortest reigns in English history - 26 months
  • He was the last English king to die in battle, killed by the forces of Henry Tudor - who became Henry VII

Source: BBC History

Fotheringhay Castle, of which only the motte it was built on remains, was home to Richard III's family, the House of Plantagenet.

His great-uncle Edward, the second Duke of York; his parents, Richard, the third Duke of York and Cecily Neville; and his brother Edmund, Earl of Rutland, are buried at the church.

Mary Queen of Scots was also executed at Fotheringhay Castle in 1587.

Mr James said that while the repairs were on-going he had a call from the contractors to say that there were two visitors at the church.

He said: "I arrived [at the church] and saw two rather bleary-eyed people who had just landed at Gatwick having journeyed from New Zealand to begin their Plantagenet pilgrimage before heading to York.

"So there is worldwide interest without doubt."

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