Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Woodbridge: Crowning glory follows quest to find lost king

09:35 07 May 2014

The funeral crown of King Richard IIIl graced an event commemorating the Battle of Tewkesbury

The funeral crown of King Richard IIIl graced an event commemorating the Battle of Tewkesbury

Archant

A former Suffolk teacher who changed history by helping to unearth the remains of Richard III has celebrated the unveiling of a funeral crown fit for a king.

shares
Dr John Ashdown-Hill helped unearth the remains of Richard IIIDr John Ashdown-Hill helped unearth the remains of Richard III

Dr John Ashdown-Hill, from Lawford, Essex, taught languages at Farlingaye High School, in Woodbridge, before embarking the Looking For Richard project, which found the lost grave in Leicester.

He designed and commissioned the crown, which went on show in Gloucestershire last weekend for an event commemorating the Battle of Tewkesbury on May 4, 1471.

A funeral crown would have been at the centre of the kind of ceremony Richard III was denied when killed in the 1845 Battle of Bosworth. The much-maligned king was accused of locking his nephews in the Tower of London and stealing the throne.

Dr Ashdown-Hill accompanied the crown to Tewkesbury Abbey, where he discussed his recent quest to establish whether or not bones buried the abbey belong to Richard III’s brother, the Duke of Clarence, who was supposedly drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine.

He said: “I was asked to talk about my latest book, The Third Plantagenet, the final part of which is based on research into the bones in the Clarence Vault.

“I think people were quite thrilled to see the crown. As Duke of Gloucester, Richard would have been at the Battle of Tewkesbury.”

Dr Ashdown-Hill left teaching after losing the hearing in one ear. He went on to gain a PhD in history at the University of Essex.

In 2004, his interest in Richard III, and his reputation as a usurper, led to a skeleton in Belgium, thought to belong to the king’s sister, Margaret of York. A DNA sample led to a direct descendent in Canada, Michael Ibsen.

Meanwhile, Dr Ashdown-Hill found the financial accounts of Henry VII detailing money set aside for Richard’s tomb at Leicester’s Choir of Greyfriars church.

Working with the Richard III Society and archaeologists at the University of Leicester, in 2012 he located the former site of Greyfriars - a car park belonging to the city council - where an unearthed skeleton’s DNA matched that of Mr Ibsen.

Dr Ashdown-Hill, author of The Last Days of Richard III, is now awaiting the results of a judicial review into where the bones should be buried. He said: “I don’t have a particularly strong opinion of where he should be buried but I don’t think he should be left lying around in boxes or on tables. I know he’s been waiting for 500 years, and can probably wait a little longer, but it would be nice to see it happen soon.”

Whatever the outcome, the funeral crown, made by medieval jewellery reproduction expert, George Easton, will accompany the king’s remains.

shares
Some of the dvds seized in the Southwold raid by Suffolk trading standards officers

A Suffolk Trading Standards inquiry into an alleged pirate DVD network, which made around £700,000, has led to the arrests of five people in three counties.

Motorists have faced delays on the A14 in the Bury area today. 

Photo: ARCHIVE

There are delays on the A14 in the Bury St Edmunds area after a road crash involving up to four vehicles.

Some school leaders, teachers and parents lack ambition to improve, according to Suffolk County Council

Too many school leaders, teachers and parents still do not aspire to turn around Suffolk’s under-performing education system.

Hundreds of people enjoyed Orford Fete and flower show at the weekend. BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson handed out the trophys.  Nick Robinson with John Henry Brown who won 'Best in Show' for the third year in a row.

Giant fruit and veg, canine competitions, a local personality – it’s the perfect recipe for a Suffolk village celebration.

Woodbridge Tide Mill

A Suffolk landmark is set to welcome guests from across the Atlantic on an information exchange this month.

ANPR checking during multi-agency police operation

More than 2,000 uninsured drivers were deprived of their vehicles in just over two years, according to Suffolk constabulary figures.

A woman has been taken to hospital after her car left a bridge and crashed into a river in Wingfield, near Diss.

The Eye Town Show at the Community Centre on Sunday.
Kitty-Boo, 9, and Hepsie, 7, Capey with their winning Best Rescue Dogs Demby and Alfie in the dog show

More than 750 headed to the grounds of Eye Community Centre on Sunday for the third annual Eye Town Show.

Barclays Bank on Princes Street in Ipswich was closed due to a fight on the premises.

Two more suspects have been arrested after a mass brawl which led to the closure of Barclays Bank in Ipswich town centre.

Fly tipping on the side of the road in Finningham Road between Walsham le Willows and Finningham.

Flytipping incidents in Ipswich have risen by almost one-third in the past three years according to new figures.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages