Ancaster quarry’s stone is fit for King Richard III’s final resting place
A quarry near Ancaster has supplied stone for a fitting resting place for a former king of England.
Glebe Quarry, which is operated by father and son team, Terry and Andy Smith on Wilsford Heath, has supplied the buff coloured stone for the flooring and plinth surrounding the altar table on which the sarcophagus of King Richard III will lie in Leicester Cathedral.
A funeral procession led to the king’s casket lying in Leicester Cathedral for thousands to visit before his remains were buried there yesterday (Thursday)
The new tomb has been designed by James Elliott and the sarcophagus will be made from Yorkshire stone from close to where the king was raised. But Doncaster-based Glebe Stone is a regular customer of the Smiths’ quarry and has cut and laid the plinth.
Andy Smith said it had been a very prestigious job, adding: “I believe they have deliberately chosen to use English stone and the Ancaster hard white is one of the premier stones in the country.”
He said he would wait until the king’s remains are buried before paying his respects.
The last monarch of the House of York was brutally killed in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 at the end of the Wars of the Roses when fighting the army of Henry Tudor. After his death his body had been taken to the Greyfriars Church in Leicester and hastily buried.
Richard’s grave’s location became a mystery. His remains were rediscovered by archaeologists digging beneath a municipal car park in Leicester three years ago in one of the most significant historical finds in Britain for decades.
Once the bones’ identity had been confirmed there was then a court battle by campaigners to decide whether he should be reburied in Leicester or in his home city of York, with judges eventually ruling on Leicester.
The quarry has a number of other prestigious projects to its name, including supplying stone for the restoration projects of St Pancras Station, Harlaxton Manor and Stoke Rochford Hall.
Andy said: “We are a small business, with only myself and two other guys working in the quarry. I have been involved in the industry for 13 years but my father has been involved in the business since he was 16.”