New community archaeology project in Market Bosworth receives Lottery funding

Bosworth Links - a new community archaeology project that provides residents the opportunity to carry out excavations in order to learn more about their town’s history has received a grant of £29,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Over the next two years the Market Bosworth Society, supported by archaeologists from University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), will investigate the history of their town, providing hundreds of opportunities for people to come together and get involved in an archaeological project that will uncover thousands of years of shared heritage on their doorsteps.

Today, Market Bosworth is perhaps best recognised for giving its name to the Battle of Bosworth, fought nearby in 1485, where the last Yorkist king of England, Richard III, was slain. In recent years, this defining moment in history has framed the town’s narrative, drawing in thousands of visitors and tourists, especially following the discovery of Richard III’s remains by University archaeologists beneath a car park in Leicester 2012; and the battle’s long association with the town was reaffirmed in 2015, when the king’s funeral cortège passed through Market Bosworth on its way to Leicester Cathedral for his reburial. Today, a new memorial plaque in the Market Place commemorates this event.

Market Bosworth’s own history, however, is far from clear. Previous finds of Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and ‘Viking’ artefacts in the town show that it has rich archaeological potential but leave many unanswered questions particularly regarding the origins and early development of the settlement.

Now, residents of Market Bosworth and its wider community will carry out archaeological excavations, by digging test-pits and recording their findings, in their gardens and other places around the town in order to make new discoveries about the history of the spaces they inhabit. Volunteers will have a unique opportunity to contribute to ongoing national research into the development of settlement in Britain, and investigate their local history with the help of professional archaeologists.