A building and car park in Leicester’s most famous and historical location where the remains of King Richard III were discovered in 2012, will go to auction later this month.
The Grey Friars building is famous as the site of one of the most remarkable archaeological detective stories ever told where, following a dig in the adjoining car park, the remains of King Richard III were uncovered, 527 years after his demise at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
Following his death, King Richard’s body was brought back to Leicester to be put on public display to prove that he was truly dead. The King’s body was subsequently given a simple Christian burial in the choir of the Grey Friars church. By the mid-20th century, what had once been a religious friary had become a site for a school, council offices and a car park.
The Grey Friars commercial/residential property development is Grade II listed, and will go up for auction on February 15, with a guide price of £4 million.
Mike Denby, Director of Inward Investment said: “We have seen significant interest in the site from a range of developers, keen to breathe life into the former council offices. Whomever is fortunate to secure the building at auction has a unique story to tell about the site that will last for generations to come.”
Kal Sangra, Director of Shonki Brothers said: “It is a pleasure to include Grey Friars in our 15 February auction. This iconic property offers a unique development opportunity in a prime Leicester city centre location adjacent to the King Richard III Visitor Centre. There is potential for a number of different uses including commercial, hotel, mixed use and residential.”
Whilst the Grey Friars building may have a number of uses, subject to planning, the car park itself is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, meaning that it is ‘a nationally important archaeological site that has protection against unauthorised change’.
Sir Peter Soulsby, City Mayor said: “The exact location of where King Richard III was discovered is now incorporated as part of our successful visitor Centre, however the remainder of the site has continued to be used as a working car park to this day. The Grey Friars building has so much history and it’s a stunning building that will attract the attention of commercial developers who may convert the building for office, hospitality, or residential premises. Whilst the building is part of our history and heritage, I’m looking forward to seeing the next stage of its evolution.”
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