Based at the University of Leicester, a groups of archaeologists revealed that they may have discovered her former home during an excavation project at Bradgate Park, which has been taking place since 2015 as they sought to unearth the history buried beneath it.
According to those investigating the park, they have found a series of ‘stone structures’ that lie under the brick buildings that still stand there. Academics have suggested that the structures are more likely to be part of the former home of Lady Jane Grey than the brick ruins of Bradgate House that stand above them.
Dr Richard Thomas, project co-ordinator from Leicester University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, stated that the discovery of the buried building was the most “surprising” find of the project so far.
While Bradgate House is such an iconic site, very little is known about the standing structure and how it changed over time,” he said. “Our evidence suggests that the home Lady Jane Grey would have recognised, may have looked very different from what we see today.”
Lady Jane Grey is believed to have been born in Bradgate House, which was home to the Grey family from when it was built in the Tudor times in around 1520 until roughly 220 years later. Jane was great-granddaughter of Henry VII and first cousin once removed of Edward VI, who stated that she should succeed him. Upon his death, she went to become queen for a mere nine days before she was overthrown by Mary I, who had her claim to the crown subverted by Edward on account of her illegitimacy.
Jane was executed by Mary in 1553, just one year before her father. As a result of his death, the Bradgate estate passed to the crown.
Dr Thomas added that the five-year project would now start to focus on understanding the changing appearance of the house.
“We are focusing attention on a series of stone structures that underlie the standing brick buildings. We will be trying to date their construction and when they were demolished to make way for the current structures.
“We also hope to find evidence that tells about the living standards of one of the most important families in Tudor times.”