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King laid to rest under quarried stone

The English monarch, who reigned briefly from 1483 to 1485, was reinterred on 26 March, 2015 at Leicester Cathedral in the UK.

He was buried beneath a 2.5-tonne block of carboniferous limestone – or “Swaledale Fossil” – supplied by London-based business Britannicus Stones. The stone was said to be about 350 million years old and contained fossilised remains which, according to the Leicester Cathedral website, was a key selling point.

Information on the website explained that the stone was chosen “not only because it will polish to a fine finish but also because the fossils within it are long dead creatures immortalised now in stone”.

The limestone slab was quarried in North Yorkshire, a region that would have been under Richard III’s rule five centuries ago when he held the title of Duke of York.

Orlando Boyne, owner of Britannicus Stone, told London magazine L’italo Europeo, “There is nothing more fitting than a royal laid to rest using materials hewn out of the very fabric of the country over which they ruled. And as the last king of the House of York, it is also apt that Richard III is buried under Swaledale Fossil Brown stone from a Yorkshire quarry.”

Four tonnes of buff-coloured stone was also reportedly sourced from a Lincolnshire quarry owned by Doncaster business Glebe Stone to create the altar flooring and plinth in the chapel area of the king’s tomb.

It is believed that Richard III was killed in battle in Bosworth, Leicestershire in August 1485 and then unceremoniously buried at a nearby Franciscan abbey, the church of the Grey Friars. The church was later demolished, removing all record of Richard III’s grave, until an archaeological dig uncovered the king’s remains beneath a Leicester carpark in September 2012.

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