(Written Sept '14)
For Father's day I gave my Dad an IOU for you a trip to the new Richard III Visitor centre. It opened at the end of July and we visited in the middle of August. Dad has always taken us to museums and stately homes and things so it was a given that we would go at some point!
It's not the biggest of museums, they probably would have made it bigger if they were starting from scratch rather than using existing buildings. But it still took a good couple of hours to go round. Richard's early life and his short reign were covered downstairs. There are interactive bits, a little game about the princes in the tower and plenty about the Wars of the Roses. Then upstairs there is more modern stuff. The portrayals of Richard in film and literature, all about the dig and then some more science based stuff about how they determined it was in fact the last Plantagenet.
To me, the weirdest thing about finding Richard's remains was that people had known where he was buried! The monastery he was buried in was knocked down in Tudor times. The land was rebuilt on multiple times, but one owner even had a pillar placed where the king was supposedly laid to rest. But rumours had it he had already been dug up and his remains thrown in the river Soar, so nobody thought to look and check! A little ridiculous if you ask me.
They also have a glass walk way over the trench Richard was eventually found in. A projection of the bones is beamed down to neatly show where he laid for hundreds of years. And a little cafe, without extortionate prices, adds to the day with a nice pot of tea and a snack. All in all it's a lovely day out and I will probably visit again some time.