Henry I

Philippa Langley, discoverer of the remains of King Richard III five years ago, has made an announcement. From the Telegraph (emphasis added):

Another car park, another King: ‘Henry I’s remains’ found beneath tarmac at Reading Gaol

Britain’s kings appear to be making a habit of this.

First it was Richard III, whose bones were found under a car park in Leicester. Now it appears that Henry I may have met a similarly undignified fate.

Archaeologists have discovered what could be King Henry’s remains languishing beneath a Ministry of Justice car park on the site of Reading prison.

The bones were detected among a series of graves discovered by archaeologists using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), during an exploration of the site containing the ruins of Reading Abbey.

They came across the graves, along with a number of other potentially significant archaeological finds, while scanning tarmacked land close to the Abbey’s High Altar.

The announcement on Monday of the latest discovery came five years to the day that archaeologists from Leicester University revealed they had found the bones of Richard III, beneath the Greyfriars carpark in the city. These were later confirmed by DNA testing to be those of the Plantagenet king.

The graves beneath the car park at the former Reading Gaol where discovered as the result of an ambitious project to establish the full historic significance of the Abbey.

Reading Abbey was founded by Henry I in 1121 and was always known to have been the final resting place of the King and his Queen Adeliza.

However, there has long been speculation about the precise location of his remains, as a result of grave robbers raiding the area for the silver coffin the king was reportedly buried in.

It had previously been thought Henry, the youngest son of William the Conqueror, had been buried in front of the High Altar and a full excavation will be required to confirm whether the newly discovered graves contain his remains.

A spokeswoman for Reading Borough Council, which is leading the project along with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth and the Ministry of Justice, said:

“The graves are located behind the High Altar in an apse at the east end of the Abbey. They are located east of the area where King Henry I’s grave is believed to be. No direct connection between these features and King Henry can be made using these results alone.”

So they’ve discovered some skeletons, but there’s no proof yet whose they are. They haven’t even dug them up to examine them! I’m sorry, but after Ms. Langley’s breathless announcement about the Princes in the Tower last year I am starting to think she’s a bit of a self-promoter.