Can the British woman who found Richard III's remains find another king?

British historian Philippa Langley led the discovery of Richard III's resting place and now she thinks she knows where Henry I is buried.

 King Henry I. (photo credit: GetArchive)
King Henry I.
(photo credit: GetArchive)

British historian Philippa Langley believes she can find the burial location of King Henry I in what would be her second royal resting place discovery in 10 years.

A decade ago, British researchers led by Langley announced that a skeleton found a year previously in 2012 under a car park in Leicester in England was that of Richard III - thus solving the 500-year-old mystery of the resting place of the English king who fell on his sword.

In literature, and especially by William Shakespeare, Richard III was described as a deformed humpback who was mentally unstable and murdered his two nephews alongside other terrible crimes. The discovery of his resting place rewrote history and now it seems another king's fate is about to be rewritten.

Using a combination of rigorous research and what she calls a "strange feeling", Langley believes she can find the remains of Henry I who preceded Richard III by almost 400 years. By combining the same research methods and analysis that drew her to the last Plantagenet king, she is convinced the remains of Henry I are located under a car park owned by the law offices in Reading Prison.

Suitably, Langley believes the ancient king is buried under area K. This is one of the reasons that the 60-year-old historian - whose dedication to finding Richard III's grave earned her a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award - established the "Hidden Monastery" project to help raise funds for the estimated cost of £55,000 to dig in the prison that closed in 2013 and is waiting for redevelopment.

 King Richard III. (credit: GetArchive)
King Richard III. (credit: GetArchive)

"There are powerful arguments for the location of the king's grave here," Langley told The Daily Mail. "It is, therefore, my contention that not only do we have another king in a car park in Reading, but that K is for king."

"It is my contention that not only do we have another king in a car park in Reading, but that K is for king."

Philippa Langley

If Langley is correct, she will have found the burial location of the only English king aside from his father William the Conquerer who does not have a known resting place.

How did Langley find Richard III?

While it may seem like a bold claim, Langley has succeeded in the past. After being charmed by Richard III at the end of the 90s, she spent many years trying to locate his exact burial location and was convinced she found it in the Leicester car park. Even though it seemed unlikely, the car park was built in the same place where the Grey Friars church used to sit, and this is where Richard was buried in 1485 after his death in the Battle of Bosworth.

When Langley was convinced that she found the correct location, she set up Project Looking for Richard and tried to convince the Leicester Council to support the dig.

Ultimately, on the 527th anniversary of Richard III's death in August 2012, a hole was dug in the spot Langley pointed to and hours later, a skeleton was found which, after genetic and anthropological tests, was confirmed to be Richard III.