About T.J. Cantwell

T.J. Cantwell is membership director of the International Parking Institute.

A Parking Spot Fit for a King

TJ Cantwell

If by chance you’ve ever parked a car in Leicester, England, you might have been standing on top of royalty.

Scientists there recently confirmed that remains of a body found buried under a parking lot are, in fact, those of King Richard III. The reviled king holds a special place in English history as both the last Plantagenet king, occupying the throne before the Tudors took power, and of being the man who imprisoned his nephews to take that throne for himself.

The final resting place of Richard III, who was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, was a mystery for more than 500 years until last August, when archeologists and historians asked to dig in a parking lot where records indicated a friary was likely located centuries before. Permission was granted, shovels hit dirt, and before long, the researchers uncovered human remains.

Once the skeleton was unearthed, initial examinations showed strong indications that it was the former king, including a fractured skull and curved spin, but DNA testing did not definitively prove it was Richard III until recently. In the meantime, hundreds of tourists have flocked to the former parking lot, which is now an historic site (go figure), to get a glimpse of the last resting place of a much-maligned monarch.

The story of a long-lost king found hundreds of years after his death beneath a parking lot is a great example of the way history and parking are often intertwined and how parking can be a daily adventure. For more on the discovery check out these articles:

Richard III: The mystery of the king and the car parking lot. http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/01/world/europe/search-for-richard-iii/index.html

Body found under parking lot is King Richard III, scientists prove. http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/03/world/europe/richard-iii-search-announcement/index.html

Just think: what might you find beneath your parking spot?