Car park skeleton king had ties to north Suffolk village
Richard III, the English king whose remains have been found under a Leicester car park, had links to a village in the Diss Express area.
His sister, Elizabeth of York, lived in Wingfield for more than 40 years, and her tombstone can be found at the local church.
The older sibling of the former King of England, over which there has been a frenzy this week, was married to John de la Pole, 2nd Duke of Suffolk, next to whom she is buried at Wingfield Church.
Sue Harvey, a Wingfield Church warden, said: “It’s fairly early days, but the fact her tombstone is here has been a topic of conversation, and we have had emails regarding it.
“People acknowledge that we live in an area of historical importance.”
Bob Elliott, a Wingfield amateur historian and member of the parochial church council, said that the tombstone has always been quite popular. He added that as the discovery of Richard III’s remains have captivated people all across the world, visits to the village’s church might now increase.
Elizabeth is last mentioned as being alive in January 1503, and was mentioned as being deceased by May 1504.
Her son, John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln, was designated heir to Richard III, who had no children of his own.
Richard was a prince until the death of his and Elizabeth’s brother, Edward IV, in 1483.
Appointed as protector of his nephew, Edward V, Richard instead assumed the reins of power.
But, challenged by Henry Tudor, Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 after just two years on the throne. Henry VII then came to power.
It is unknown how much time, if any, Richard III spent in Wingfield.
Little is also known about Elizabeth of York and her activities in the north Suffolk village.
News of the discovery of Richard III’s skeleton comes at a time when moves have been made to form a new Waveney Valley Community Archaeology Group in the area.
Spearheading it is professional archaeologist Lorna Richardson, from Bungay, and “citizen archaeologist” Andrew Macdonald, from Harleston.
Ms Richardson believes the skeleton discovery - along with TV shows like Time Team - have created a growing interest in the field: “This has been a fantastic week for archaeology,” she said.
It is hoped a group meeting will be set up in March to get interested people together and to start to think about what members would like to do in 2013.
If you are interested and want to attend the first group meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Ms Richardson on 07795 461 404.
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Weather for Diss
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west