The architecture of Richard III

Wed 1 September 2021, 6pm - 7pm

It is not a generally known fact that Richard, Duke of Gloucester was Lord of Barnard Castle before being crowned King Richard III. Before he left the North, he spent a considerable amount of time in the town and ordered significant improvements to be made both in the castle and in St Mary’s church, one plan being to build an ecclesiastical college and a chantry.

However, with his early death in 1485, not many of his visions had been realised. Several boar carvings all around the town, some of which have since been lost, are a small reminder of what could have become of Barnard Castle if Richard III had survived the battle at Bosworth. Today, Richard’s white boar is depicted in the town’s coat of arms. He provided St Mary’s church with a grant and the building underwent significant improvements, structural as well as ornamental, most of which are still visible today and made the building bigger and lighter.

Join James Wright as he explores this overlooked perspective of Richard’s life – his achievements as an architectural patron. By considering his building projects at sites including Middleham, Warwick and Sudeley this study looks at the context of his sacred and secular architecture in late mediaeval England, and gives us a rare and detailed glimpse into the architectural world of Richard III – setting his building projects in their wider 15th century context.

James Wright is an award winning buildings archaeologist. He has two decades professional experience of ferreting around in people’s cellars, hunting through their attics and digging up their gardens. He hopes to find meaningful truths about how ordinary and extraordinary folk lived their lives in the mediaeval period.

The talk will take place at St Mary’s Parish Church in Barnard Castle for a limited audience and will be live-streamed. If Covid-19 restrictions will not allow in person attendance at the venue, the entire talk will be live-streamed.

How to Attend

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