What is being described as one of the most significant finds in archaeological history has strong links with Skipton.

King Richard III, whose remains have been confirmed as those found in a Leicester car park, was also a former Lord of the Honour of Skipton and owner of Skipton Castle.

As Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the future King was the ninth Lord of the Honour of Skipton.

He attained the title ten years before he died in 1485 and during a short and bloody period in the castle’s history when the Clifford Lords lost the estate to the House of York.

Following the King’s death at Bosworth Field, the Cliffords were reinstated at Skipton Castle for another 500 years.

Sebastian Fattorini, the current Lord of the Honour of Skipton, said: “I do think it’s fascinating to find a previous Lord of the Honour of Skipton, especially as it was in a brutal complex time.

“The discovery may possibly shine further light on this by clearing up the fact from fiction.”

Meanwhile, Skipton MP Julian Smith is supporting calls for the remains of King Richard to be returned and re-interred in York, his one-time power base.

More than 15,000 people have signed an online petition to have him reburied in York.

Mr Smith said: “King Richard III is one of the most important figures in North Yorkshire’s history.

“It has been repeated through the centuries that his wish was to be buried in York and, now his remains have been discovered, his wish should be granted.

“No-one wants another war over this. We should thank Leicester for discovering his remains but they should now be returned to North Yorkshire for the proper burial he deserves in the place he wanted to be remembered.

“I will now be writing to the University of Leicester and Ministry of Justice, who granted the licence for the exhumation, to make this case.”

However, campaigners were dealt a blow after York Minster rejected calls for the monarch’s remains to be buried there. A statement posted on its website said: “The Chapter of York understands the strong feeling of some people in York and Yorkshire that Richard III is significant to the history of the county and that therefore his body ought to be returned.

“York Minster itself has a window in his memory and many reminders of Richard’s place in our story.

“However, the recent verification of the identity of his remains follows a significant period in which Leicester and Leicestershire gained a sense of Richard belonging there, at least in death.

“It was Leicester Franciscans who gave him burial, and the cathedral has a major memorial to his memory at its heart.”

n Readers will be able to visit King Richard’s one-time residence for free, thanks to a joint initiative between Skipton Castle and the Craven Herald.

Full details, along with a voucher, will appear in the paper on Thursday, February 28.