The precise location of Richard III’s grave, in the choir of the church of the Franciscan friary (Grey Friars) was specified by his one-time friend and contemporary John Rous. We knew the location of the Grey Friars precinct from old maps, but we didn’t know the layout of the buildings.
It was likely that the entrance to the friary church would be on a major street, so that narrowed the possibilities to streets that we were sure existed in Richard III’s time. Since Christian churches are normally aligned east-west, the best way for archaeologists to find them is to put in north-south trenches. Richard Buckley had planned three north-south trenches from the start of the fieldwork. The excavation of these allowed us to understand the plan of the friary precinct, and to be sure that we had found the church. The finds within the church building confirmed its identification as a church. The lines dividing the parking spaces made useful guides for setting out straight trenches, but Richard III’s grave was not, in fact, under a reserved parking space marked with an R.
The identification was made by combining different lines of evidence, including:
The strength of the identification is that different kinds of evidence all point to the same result.