It may have been the site where King Richard III lost his life, but Bosworth Battlefield has been labelled as one of the world’s top 25 places to see before you die. It makes the bucket list of the best sights in the 21st century put together by the internationally renowned Smithsonian Institution and is not alone in the Richard III themed category, it sits alongside the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, Leicester Cathedral and King Richard III Visitor Centre at number 12 on the list.
The Smithsonian magazine article puts the Richard III themed sites in a list alongside international attractions such as gorilla trekking in East Africa, the time capsule of Havana, Cuba and Han Son Doong, the world’s largest cave in Vietnam.
The story reads, “Call it CSI: Leicester. Richard III, the much maligned king, the most malignant Shakespeare villain, was killed in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth, the climactic conflict of the Wars of the Roses. For centuries it was believed that his body had been chucked into a river and never recovered. But stellar research published in 1986 raised the reasonably good chance that the king had been buried at Greyfriars, a long vanished Franciscan friary then thought to be under a municipal parking lot. After another battle- this one involving bureaucracy and fundraising- archaeologists began digging at the site in 2012.”
The Dean of Leicester, Very Reverend David Monteith, was delighted with the news, “It is thrilling that we have been ranked 12th among some of the most extraordinary new places in the world to visit. Richard III’s discovery and his reburial with dignity and honour continues to draw visitors. They see what we often miss- namely that this story is extraordinary and it continues to fire the imagination and reveal new things. We are looking forward to welcoming the world.”
Since his remains were found, interest in Richard III has soared, even more so since his re-interment in the Spring. Leicester Cathedral had over 24,000 visitors in August 2015 alone.