Exciting events at Blackfriars Priory as part of King Richard III Festival

Blackfriars Priory, Gloucester

Blackfriars Priory, Gloucester - Credit: Archant

Historians can delve into the past and discover more about one of England’s most controversial kings in the stunning surroundings of Gloucester Blackfriars.

Two exciting events have been scheduled at the 13th century medieval Priory as part of the Richard III Festival taking part throughout the city from March 19 to March 30.

Twenty-two years before becoming King in 1483, Richard was granted the dukedom of Gloucester and more than five centuries later residents can learn more about the former monarch, right on their doorstep.

On Friday March 21 Chris Skidmore MP will be giving a talk in the picturesque North Range titled Richard III, Tyrant or Accidental King from 6pm with a choral concert featuring Ensemble Sine Nomine taking place immediately afterwards at 8pm.

Councillor Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council and cabinet member for Regeneration says, “Richard III, or Richard Duke of Gloucester as we know him, gave our city its coat of arms.

“Following the discovery of his skeleton in a Leicester car park last year, interest and debate have been reignited and there is definitely appetite for these events to be held here in the city.”

MP, historian and author of the recently published book – Bosworth, The Birth of the Tudors – Chris Skidmore, will speak about this beguiling king and his 1474 visit to Gloucester.

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The King lived through a period of change and development in English music, with composers making ever-more complex forms and styles and setting the tone for choral and instrumental music in England and on the continent. But what music did Richard actually hear? The singers of Ensemble Sine Nomine (ESN) and the instrumentalists of IatB Ensemble offer some suggestions.

Richard’s life, death and posthumous reputation will be narrated by Mayor of Gloucester Chris Chatterton, and illustrated with musical examples by ESN and IatB (a mixed ensemble of wind and brass instruments from Gloucestershire and South Wales).

Each event costs £7 (£6 concessions). However, for those wanting to attend both events a combined ticket is on offer at £12 (£10 concessions).

For tickets call the Guildhall box office on 01452 396389 or visit www.gloucesterguildhall.co.uk