ULAS director Richard Buckley retires

31st May 2020 marks the retirement of Dr Richard Buckley, Director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services after 40 years as a professional archaeologist. Nick Cooper, Project Manager at ULAS reflects on the career of Leicester’s foremost expert on the City’s Roman and medieval past. Richard’s career has encompassed all the large-scale excavations that have…

Leir of Leicester: The archaeology behind the legend

We have recently had a couple of enquires about the link between King Leir and the Jewry Wall and thought we would take a closer look. ULAS Project Officer Mathew Morris investigates… One of Leicester’s most enduring legends is that of King Leir, the tragic king made famous by William Shakespeare’s titular play. Leir was a…

A Roman water tank at Jewry Wall Museum

Last autumn, a small team of archaeologists from ULAS found themselves burrowing beneath the floor of the once-bustling Jewry Wall museum in the heart of Roman Leicester. Site director Jennifer Browning reports: This was the site of the Roman town’s public baths and was the first large-scale archaeological excavation in Leicester, undertaken by Kathleen Kenyon…

Bronze Age burial and Roman farming at Waltham on the Wolds

In the spring of 2019 ULAS undertook an archaeological excavation on the southern fringes of Waltham on the Wolds, a picturesque Leicestershire village 5 miles north-east of Melton Mowbray. Initial investigations in late 2018 had highlighted the potential for considerable Roman archaeology on the site, which was subject to a planning application for residential development….

Life and Death on the Waterside

Over the last five years, ULAS has been busy investigating Leicester’s waterside, a large area of the historic city centre stretching 400m along the east bank of the River Soar and the Grand Union Canal from Bath Lane to Frog Island. A once busy area, characterised by manufacturing, it has suffered decline over the last…

Reburying Richard III: 5 years on

It seems like yesterday, but five years ago today (Sunday 15 March 2015) the first stage of King Richard III’s reburial, the coffining of his mortal remains, took place at the University of Leicester in preparation for his reburial at Leicester Cathedral two weeks later. Mathew Morris, Project Officer for ULAS and site director of…

International Women’s Day 2020

International Women’s Day is held every year on the 8th March, but did you know that this isn’t a recent event and that IWD is actually over 100 years old! This year the theme for IWD is #EqualforEach. To participate, people are invited to celebrate the achievements of women. So this year to celebrate, ULAS…

Dig Oakham Castle 2: Week 1 update

“It’s been a wet week” is perhaps an understatement for the first seven days of excavation at Oakham Castle but fortunately favourable ground conditions and the dedication of our volunteers mean we have lost less than half a day of digging time and half way into the dig we are making some exciting discoveries. The…

Dig Oakham Castle 2!

Archaeologists return to explore more of Oakham Castle’s hidden history. We’re back! Over the next two weeks (12th – 23rd June) we will again be digging in the inner bailey at Oakham Castle in Rutland. Our community project, commissioned by Rutland County Council and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the…

The Charterhouse Project: Some final discoveries

Work at Charterhouse is now finished and analysis of the results is underway. The large quantities of artefacts we recovered are being cleaned and examined by experts at the University of Leicester and the results from the trenches are being investigated. The excavation has shed light on the functioning of the Carthusian monastery and revealed…

Festival of Archaeology 2019

Festival of Leicestershire and Rutland Archaeology 2019 programme of events announced! Saturday 29th June – Sunday 28th July, 2019 The programme for the 2019 Festival of Leicestershire and Rutland Archaeology – the biggest Festival of its kind in Britain- has been announced. Throughout the four weeks of July more than 90 events will be held…

Unique Iron Age shield found by Leicester archaeologists

The 2,300-year-old bark shield is the only one of its kind ever found in Europe A unique bark shield from the Iron Age has been discovered by archaeologists from the University of Leicester, the only one of its kind ever found in Europe. The shield, which measured 670 x 370mm in the ground, was found…