First King Richard III was found under a car park, now it seems that another king, Edmund, is buried under a tennis court.
The monarch is King Edmund, martyred by the Vikings in 869 for refusing to deny his Christian faith. His shrine in the Benedictine abbey in Bury St Edmunds was one of the country’s most popular pilgrimage sites, and he was for a while England’s patron saint.
But, in 1539, the abbey was desecrated during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, and his relics were removed. One theory is that the saint’s remains were interred in an iron box in the monks’ graveyard, which today lies under tennis courts in public gardens laid out beside the abbey ruins.
It has now been suggested that a dig to find the coffin could be included in a bigger makeover of the grounds that link the site to St Edmundsbury Cathedral.