The Search for Henry I's remains...

Car parks and kings... this is becoming a habit!

In August 2012, SUMO Archaeology assisted in the discovery of King Richard III’s remains under a car park in Leicester… and now it can be revealed that another English king may have a similar undignified resting place.

Reading’s “Hidden Abbey Project” (HAP), instigated by Philippa Langley MBE (who also led the search for Richard III’s remains), recently commissioned SUMO Archaeology to conduct a high density Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey of the Abbey Quarter and the Gaol.

Using cutting-edge geophysical research and complex analytical software, technicians from SUMO identified a series of anomalies in the radar data.

Researchers and archaeologists are now studying these buried anomalies which probably relate to the Abbey ruins, possible graves and other potential archaeological features... perhaps even the remains of King Henry I.

Henry I, King of England from 1100 to his death in December 1135, the youngest son of William The Conqueror, founded Reading Abbey in 1121 intending it to be his burial place. He died, aged 67 in Normandy in December 1135 after gorging on an excess of lampreys, an eel-like fish. He was brought back for burial in January 1136.

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GPR data showing anomalous features indicatingabbey ruins and possible graves. CREDIT: READING BOROUGH COUNCIL

GPR data showing anomalous features indicatingabbey ruins and possible graves.
CREDIT: READING BOROUGH COUNCIL

Claire Graham, from SUMO said of the results: “The GPR data below the car park is very clear for an urban area, which can often be very disturbed. The features we’ve identified represent very exciting potential for further study.”

Councillor Tony Page - Deputy Leader of Reading Borough Council, said: “With these tantalising initial results available, there is now much work to be done”. “This project has the potential to bring huge cultural, historical and economic benefits to the Abbey Quarter and the town as a whole and so we hope to keep the momentum going.”

CREDIT: THE TELEGRAPH