A PROPOSED design for a
tomb to hold the remains of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral
has had a mixed reception.
The Dean of Leicester,
the Very Revd David Monteith, described the proposal, unveiled last
week, as "regal and respectful in its elegant simplicity, as befits
the final resting place of a king of England".
But Richard's 16th
great-niece, Vanessa Roe, said that the use of a block of Yorkshire
limestone, incised with a simple cross, made it look like something
from IKEA; and some members of the Richard III Society are
threatening to withhold cash that was pledged to fund a tomb.
Under the cathedral's
proposals, the sarcophagus would sit in the chancel on a section of
floor inlaid with the white rose emblem. Plans for the £1.3-million
reordering of the cathedral to accommodate the King's bones, which
were unearthed in a Leicester council car park (News, 14 September
2012), will be considered by the Cathedral Fabric Commission
for England this month.
Ms Rowe, a member of the
Plantagenet Alliance, which wants York Minster as Richard's final
resting place, said: "It doesn't even have his name on it, his
crown, or his sign. Our petition to bring Richard back to York has
gone up because of this awful tomb.
"The idea of having a
Yorkshire rose under the tomb which is made of Yorkshire stone says
all you need to know about where he should be buried. Leicester
would be the last place he would want to be buried when he was
Philippa Langley, of the
Richard III Society, and the driving force behind the search for
the King's grave, said that some overseas members thought it "a
very difficult design. . . The feeling is that it is too modern and
stylised, and designed with a cathedral in mind, not a medieval
warrior-king. I pretty much agree with them."
The society's chairman,
Dr Phil Stone, however, said that it was "beautiful" and
Canon Peter Hobson, the
cathedral's leader on the project, said: "Some members of the
society want a monumental tomb which stands in a park; we are
talking about something that works inside a working cathedral.
"In the minds of those
who have used the phrase 'medieval warrior-king'," he said, "there
is one of those big ornate things with effigies on top, with swords
and shields. . . I don't know what place of worship would want one
A challenge to the Leicester burial by the Plantagenet Alliance,
a group of Richard's distant descendants, is due to be heard in the
High Court next month. They argue that the Ministry of Justice,
which authorised the original dig, failed to organise the necessary
Question of the week: Do you think the proposed design of
Richard III's tomb is appropriate?