A team from the University of Leicester has reconstructed models of the Blue Boar Inn – where England's King Richard III spent the night before going off to die in the battle of Bosworth through 3D printing technology.
(The Blue Boar Inn in J. Flower, Views of Ancient Buildings and a 3D model created on a 3D printer.
Credit: University of Leicester Library)
The Blue Boar Inn – which was located partly on the site of what is now Leicester's Travelodge – was the medieval borough's 'Grand Hotel' and housed the King on his way from Nottingham to Bosworth where he met Henry Tudor in battle. Richard III was killed at the Battle and his body is thought to have been returned to Leicester and buried at the Grey Friars church. Richard's bed is said to have remained at the Inn.
The Blue Boar Inn was a large and elaborately decorated timber building, is believed to have been constructed in the mid-15th century. The inn was demolished in 1836 by 19th-century architect Henry Goddard.
The building's plans were discovered in a notebook of Henry Goddard, and today, the Inn has been brought back to life not only as a computer model, but also a physical model produced on the University's 3D printer.
Richard Buckley, co director of University of Leicester Archaeological Services, said: "The Blue Boar Inn was one of medieval Leicester's principal inns – a place where aristocrats and wealthy merchants would stay when moving around the country. I suppose it was like the Grand Hotel of its time.
"The Blue Boar Inn is where Richard III is believed to have stayed on his way to Bosworth from Nottingham. He is said to have come down to Leicester from Nottingham at sunset on the 20th of August, and stayed the night in a large first-floor chamber. The inn probably had several wings surrounding a courtyard, with a hall, a kitchen and stabling for horses.
"Legend has it that Richard did not like sleeping in strange beds, so had his own brought down from Nottingham in 'knock-down' form so it could be put together at the inn. Of course, he never returned to claim it - so the bed became a bit of a tourist haunt in the succeeding centuries and eventually ended up in the collections of the county museum service at Donington le Heath Manor House.
"In March 1836, the Inn was demolished - and until now, the only evidence for what it looked like consisted of a pair of engravings made by Leicestershire artist John Flower in 1826."
Richard said: "When I was looking through this notebook, what was thrilling about it was that the drawings were so detailed. They showed how the building was put together – the timber framing, the joints, pegholes – all annotated with measurements in feet and inches.
"It made me think that perhaps we could produce a reconstruction of the Blue Boar Inn to modern standards. It was then a question of finding somebody who could do it."
(Creator of the CAD model Steffan Davies (left), Richard Buckley (centre) and Dave Thompson (right) who produced the physical model using the University's rapid prototyping machine. Credit: University of Leicester Library)
With the help from Steffan Davies, an architect with experience in historic building drawings, a 3D model was created and then passed to the University's Department of Physics and Astronomy and converted into a scale model using the Department's 3D printer.
The model shows all the timber framing, the jointing, the moulding of the timbers, the fireplaces and the chamber in which Richard III was said to have stayed.
The team hopes to exhibit the model to the public in due course.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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