LIC Blog

The Remains of King Richard III in Leicester

Grave site:

  • Sloping sides
  • Concave Base
  • Too short for the individual

Body Condition:

  • Feet missing
  • Hands and sternum damaged
  • Scoliosis (not from birth - due to grave being too small?)
  • No withered arm (both used normally)
  • Slender build
  • Skull damaged in excavation


  • No coffin
  • No shroud
  • No clothing in evidence


  • Lower limbs fully extended
  • Hands crossed right over left at hip (unusual - were hands tied?)


  • Very slender build
  • Late 20s - 30s
  • 5 foot 8 inches without curvature of spine


  • None overlapped
  • 1. Skull: small penetrating wound on top of head - direct blow from weapon rather than arrowhead - not fatal
  • 2. Skull: large wound to base of skull at back - slice cut off skull by bladed weapon - could have been fatal
  • 3. Skull: bladed weapon - wound 10.5cm - could have caused loss of consciousness and death
  • 4, 5 and 6. Skull wounds on outer surface of vault - shallow - blade sword or halberd shaved off small area of bone - not fatal - blood loss
  • 7. Skull: small rectangular injury on cheek bone - cause unknown - dagger - pierced cheek, came out on side of face 
  • 8. Skull: cut mark on lower jaw - bladed, knife or dagger - not fatal
  • Helmet lost by this stage in order to have such injuries. Attacks to face less severe than other battle victims- were they done after death to humiliate?
  • 9. Cut mark on rib - blow did not penetrate rib cage. During battle protected by plate armour. Stripped after battle, rib in back exposed.
  • 10. Right pelvic injury - blade from weapon, knife or dagger, from behind, upward movement - reconstruction of pelvis indicates thrust into right buttock - protected in battle
  • Possible when thrown over a horse, buttock exposed