Short preview of Leicester’s latest attraction, King Richard III Visitor Centre. The new centre opens to the public on Saturday.
The new King Richard III visitor centre: Dynasty, Death and Discovery is located just 100 steps away from Leicester Cathedral where King Richard III will be reburied in spring 2015.
The centre is expected to attract more than 100,000 people through its doors in its first year of operation, bringing in an estimated £4.5 million to the local economy.
Ian Gordon, Director of the visitor centre said, “we are looking forward to welcoming people from Leicester, and from all over the world, to learn more about the dramatic story of the King’s life, his brutal death at Bosworth Battlefield and the compelling story of his rediscovery”.
The King Richard III Visitor centre, will tell the king’s story in three parts, through displays, interactive audio-visual elements, and colourful exhibits.
‘Dynasty’ tells the story of the king’s life and times in a medieval England racked by decades of fighting in the Wars Of The Roses, detailing Richard’s rise to power as the last king from the great house of Plantagenet. ‘Death’ gives visitors the chance to learn about the key players in the Battle of Bosworth and how betrayal led to the king being cut down in the thick of battle while defending his crown.
This remarkable turn of events saw Henry VII seize the crown and ushered in a new chapter in the English monarchy: the Tudor dynasty.
‘Discovery’ unearths the story of the archaeology, science and analysis carried out by the University of Leicester’s Archaeological Service, which rediscovered and identified the long-lost remains of the king after excavating a grave beneath a car park, on the former site of the medieval friary of the Grey Friars.
After completing the visitor experience there is a chance to visit the site of King Richard’s burial site, preserved in a quiet, respectful setting and with a contemplative atmosphere fitting for the last resting place of a slain warrior and anointed monarch.
Visitors are also able to see a full-size, 3D replica skeleton created by Loughborough University. Scientists used CT scan data provided by Leicester University as part of their analysis of the King’s bones to create the 3D replica, which shows the king’s spinal curvature and the battle wounds he suffered at Bosworth.
Leicester’s City Mayor Peter Soulsby commissioned the creation of the visitor centre in the former Alderman Newton’s School, which is located just yards from the car park where the king’s remains were unearthed in August 2012. “A huge amount of work has gone into transforming this historic building into what will be a world-class visitor attraction, and Leicester is ready to welcome visitors from home and abroad to enjoy it.”
Located on Peacock Lane, Leicester, the Victorian gothic building has been completely renovated inside and out to provide two floors of exhibition space, a courtyard café, shop and meeting rooms.
Tickets for the King Richard III Visitor Centre have been on sale since Thursday 5th June from www.kingrichardiiivisitorcentre.com Prices start at just £4.75 for a child’s ticket (three to 15 years), with adult tickets costing £7.95. Family tickets will give entry to two adults and two children for the discounted price of just £21.50. A special rate of £7.00 per person will be available to groups of 15 or more. A concessionary rate of £7.00 will also be available.