the tomb would be positioned in a special area defined by wooden screens, with the tomb facing the Cathedral’s "magnificent east window depicting Christ the King coming in victory at the last"

The tomb will be positioned in a special area defined by wooden screens, facing the Cathedral’s magnificent east window depicting Christ the King coming in victory at the last

Leicester Cathedral’s plans for an internal redesign to accommodate the final resting place of Richard III have finally been approved by the Church Fabric Commission for England.

Plans to renovate the cathedral to accommodate the tomb of Richard III were put on hold last year after the CFCE highlighted a number of issues it had with plans. The CFCE also wanted to wait until the resolution of the High Court review into the Ministry of Justice exhumation licence. Leicester Cathedral has said that it would make the plans public once the outcome of a High Court judicial review is known.

The Dean, the Very Revd David Monteith, said “I am so delighted that our respectful yet imaginative proposals have been accepted. These permissions open up the way for major changes in the Cathedral which will help us become more effective in our witness and service.  Our consultants and staff have worked very hard to develop the architectural vision for a great cathedral at the heart of a great city and county”

Read our interview with Rev Pete Hobson: Leicester Cathedral will Bury Richard III “With Dignity and Honour”

The plans for the interior include moving the altar, wooden screens and fitting new stained glass windows. One of the initial concerns raised by the commission were alterations to an ornate 1920s wooden screen created by architect Sir Charles Nicholson.

Stuart Bailey, the chairman of Leicester Civic Society, said: “I’m glad they’ve resolved their difference and come to an agreement.The Nicholson screen was important to the commission so it will be interesting to see what compromise they’ve come to and how that will change – if indeed it does.

The BBC are claiming that”details of a redesigned tomb for the king, a major source of argument, are being kept secret while a legal case about his reinterment is ongoing”, while Rev Pete Hobson wrote on his blog that the CFCE have approved the current tomb design.

Rev Hobson told us “The designs approved by the CFCE include some developments from those initially proposed, as the Cathedral listened carefully both to comments made to us by CFCE in November, and also the responses received by them from heritage bodies and the general public. There is no legal obligation to publish the revisions to the designs, as finally approved, and we have not felt it appropriate to do so at this juncture as all concerned are very anxious to await the outcome of Judicial Review. We can assure people that the changes are not in any sense fundamental to the designs already in the public domain.”

A decision regarding the exhumation license and whether Leicester’s claim to Richard III’s final resting place can be challenged is expected shortly.

You can read more about plans for the reinterment ceremony at

Updated 04/04/14

3 Responses

  1. Elizabeth Collins

    ‘Leicester Cathedral will bury Richard III with dignity and honour’ How on earth do you dare to say this when the information about the 4 days burial have been released. Taking Richard’s body out to Bosworth, the place where he suffered and died, followed by his body being brought back into Leicester by the Bow Bridge where he was so humiliated after death. This is a carnival, not a funeral preparation. Of course, silly me, the cathedral is only one of the 20thC, because Leicester was only a town in the Middle Ages. Richard had the bodies of Henry VI and also his father, Richard of York and his brother, Edmund of Rutland, translated to Windsor and Fotheringhay respectively. there are many detailed accounts of these movements of royal persons. they were treated with honour. How dare you be party to this? This man was a pious and very religious man. What is to happen to his remains in Leicester is far worse than what has happened over the last 500 years.

    • Jasmine

      There is another way to look at it. On Richard’s first journey, I would imagine that the reactions of local people would have been one of shock – the king, so recently seen in Leicester, riding out with his army, now returning, dead, his body slung over the back of a horse. There may have been a few hostile shouts and jeers, but I guess anyone who came out to see would have been silent.

      The person who allowed Richard’s body to be badly treated and humiliated was Henry VII, not the people of Leicester, who were loyal to Richard and sent men to support him at Bosworth.

      The proposal to bring Richard from Bosworth to Leicester for his reburial will be completely different to the events of 1485. People who will line the route will be there to honour Richard and give him the honourable funeral procession he was denied by Henry Tudor.

      It is a cause for great celebration that Richard was found, and will be interred in an honourable place in a Cathedral, where he will be the focus of all eyes.

  2. Elizabeth Collins

    Apparently my comment is awaiting moderation. Are we living in north Korea with Censorship. When I think that Leicester can sink no lower, you do.


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