This week, ULAS co-directors Dr Richard Buckley and Dr Patrick Clay have been made Honoured Citizens of Leicester for their decades of dedicated work recording and promoting the city’s rich archaeological heritage.
For more than 30 years (not 30 decades as some reported, although we like the idea that they have some insider knowledge of Leicester’s past), the pair have been involved in excavations across the city, and county, exploring over 2000 years of history beneath Leicester’s streets. On Wednesday they were presented with the award by the Lord Mayor of Leicester, Councillor John Thomas.
Talking to the Leicester Mercury afterwards, Dr Buckley said he was ‘deeply honoured’ observing ‘Almost everyone of course now knows about the discovery of the remains of Richard III by archaeologists from the University of Leicester in 2012 and the painstaking research which followed to confirm his identity.’
‘But what they might not know is that we have made some remarkable archaeological discoveries in the city over the past 30 years or so, discoveries which have effectively enabled us to re-write the history books.’
‘It has been said that Leicester has seen more archaeological investigation than any other town in England outside London. I am absolutely delighted and deeply honoured to receive this award.’
Dr Clay added ‘We are honoured to receive this award particularly from Leicester – a city to which much of our work has been devoted.’
‘The discovery of King Richard III is the most exciting of our achievements, and is a testament to the breadth of expertise in our team. The experience and skills developed over 30 years laid the groundwork for the discovery of the king.’
‘Through our excavations of Roman and medieval Leicester, the Hallaton Hoard, prehistoric sites – in addition to nationally important ancient monuments – the discoveries we have made, interrogated and interpreted have led to a complete change in the way the archaeological landscape of the East Midlands is viewed.’