Explore 15th century England through archaeology, history and literature against the backdrop of the excavation of Richard III.

In the aftermath of the exciting discovery of the skeleton of Richard III, a team of scholars from the University of Leicester address a broad set of themes about the England Richard would have inhabited in the 15th century.

The political scene in this period of history was dominated by savage dynastic warfare – the Wars of the Roses - in which allegiances and power shifted among an aristocratic clique, with devastating outcomes. The century also saw the abandonment of many villages through general population decline, and a shift towards greater use of the land for pasture farming. But demand for labour meant that the prosperity of working people rose, and towards the end of the century, the introduction of printing transformed access to literacy and books.

Each week we will address a different perspective: medieval warfare, the lives of peasants and farmers, food and culture, death and commemoration, reading and the introduction of printing. Finally, we will look at how historians and archaeologists have reconstructed Richard’s road to Bosworth and how one of England’s most famous Kings came to be buried in Leicester.

You can use the hashtag #FLrichardIII to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.

This course will also give you the opportunity to purchase a Statement of Participation.


Anyone interested in mediaeval England or the recent discovery of Richard III will find something to fuel their interest here. No prior knowledge or expertise are needed.

Level: beginner

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