This morning we had a leisurely start and caught the 10.00 am bus (X7) to Leicester which takes about 45 minutes. We got off at the Train Station and ambled our way down Granby Street to the main shopping centre. After a brief look around and a cup of coffee we headed for the Cathedral.
In the grounds is this statue of Richard III.
We went into the Cathedral just as a couple of large parties of school children were going in and after chatting to one of the volunteers we had a look around the church to give them time to clear the tomb area. It is a lovely old building and whilst we were looking around a call was announced over the tannoy for a few minutes of silence and prayer which everybody in the cathedral observed. It was a very nice session and is held on the hour unless there is a service already taking place. It was introduced after Richard was interred in the Cathedral.
This lovely drape was used to cover the coffin on its journey through the streets to the Cathedral and is a real work of art.
The Tomb is made in two main sections the upper one being a single piece of Swaledale fossil stone, quarried in North Yorkshire. It was chosen not only because it will polish to a fine finish, but also because the fossils within it are long dead creatures immortalised now in stone.
The lower darker section is Kilkenny marble and provides a beautiful surface for letter cutting – the cut surfaces will appear white – which ensures that the details of Richard’s name, dates and motto can be clearly read.
King Richard’s importance and characteristics are recognised in the inlaid stone coat of arms (pietra dura) which is made in a variety of marble and semi-precious stones.
The ornate shield is made up of approximately 350 individual pieces and was produced by a Tom Greenaway http://www.greenawaymosaics.com/about-us/ who is only 29 years old and is one of the few people able to do such intricate works of art in stone.
Outside the Richard III visitor centre where the remains were originally excavated and which can be seen through a glass floor is this amazing sand sculpture produced by Susanne Ruseler from the Netherlands.
Leicester is full of old building some dating back to the early 1400’s
After lunch we visited the Leicester Central Market with all its fruit and Veg stalls, a real colourful display.
We then had to walk to Castle Gardens to get our canal fix and visit the Castle Moorings. There is room for about 4 boats and they were full on our visit. The gardens are lovely and were full of beautiful Dahlias and other superb flowers and and shrubs and was a hive of activity on such a fine day.
Ambling back to the Station we passed several of the De Montfort University buildings and lots of students in Magazine Square. We caught the X3 bus back to the boat which runs every 1/2 hour.