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Battlefields

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BATTLE of HASTINGS

The Battle of Hastings took place on 14th October 1066.  It is probably the most famous battle in British history, when the invading Normans under William the Conqueror beat the English (Saxons) led by King Harold.  The battle actually took place several miles north of Hastings adjacent to and within where the pleasant little town of Battle now is.  Though the precise location of the battle has been much debated, wandering through the traditional site is worthwhile - and very pleasant when the weather's fine.

The battlefield of 1066 is managed by English Heritage alongside Battle Abbey, which was built as a penance and memorial afterwards.

Battle Abbey, High Street, Battle
East Sussex
TN33 0AE
Norman
1066 - so what?
Bateman's, Bodiam Castle
English Heritage
BATTLE of MARSTON MOOR

The Battle of Marston Moor was fought on 2nd July 1644 and was one of the major battles of the English Civil War. It engaged an estimated 18,000 Royalists and 28,000 combined Parliamentarians and Scots, lasted approximately 2 hours and resulted in a decisive defeat for King Charles.  Some 4,000 Royalists were killed and a further 1,500 captured.  One of the consequences was that the Royalists lost control of the North of England. This was the battle that helped make Oliver Cromwell's name as one of the commanders. The battlefield is situated on mainly agricultural land between the villages of Long Marston and Tockwith. A road runs across the area of the fighting, as it did in the 17th century and there is an obelisk memorial with an information panel.

Post code is approximate.

Tockwith Road
Between Tockwith and Long Marston
North Yorkshire
YO26 7PJ
Stuart
Details from the Battlefields Trust
York
Unknown
BATTLE of ROSLIN

Memorial to the Battle of Roslin, erected in 1994. The battle was fought on 24th February 1303 between the Scots and English during the Wars of Scottish Independence. It was a Scottish victory, but it does not figure in many history books and few people have even heard of it. Some accounts of the battle suggest that a divided force of 30,000 English troops was picked off in 3 separate engagements by a rapidly assembled Scottish army of 8,000 fighting on terrain they knew. However, evidence is lacking and the above story may be a myth; the battle could have been a skirmish, or series of skirmishes.

Nr Dryden Cottages
Roslin
Midlothian
EH25 9PP
Medieval
Stay at Rosslyn Castle
Rosslyn Chapel and Castle
Unknown
BATTLE of STAMFORD BRIDGE

A significant battle fought here on 25th September 1066, between King Harold's Saxon-English army and an invading force of Norsemen under Harald Hardrada and Tostig Godwinson. The English victory was emphatic, but Harold then had to march south to meet the invading Normans at Hastings. There is not much to see in the village, thought there is a memorial in the centre.

Stamford Bridge
North Yorkshire
YO41 1QE
Viking
Stamford Bridge - the other battle in 1066
Local Authority
BOSWORTH BATTLEFIELD

Site of the decisive battle on 22nd August 1485 where King Richard III was killed and the victor, Henry Tudor, started a new dynasty as Henry VII. There is a heritage centre with an exhibition/museum, shop and café. It is possible to walk round the battlefield on a well-signposted trail. Events are held including an annual re-enactment of the battle.

Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre
Sutton Cheney
Leicestershire
CV13 0AD
Medieval
The Battle of Bosworth
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre
Local Authority
HEAVENFIELD

Site of the Battle of Heavenfield in 634AD between the Anglo-Saxon Northumbrians under King Oswald and the British led by Cadwallon.  There is a small church, St Oswald's, on the site.  It also marks the start (or end) of a long distance footpath between Heavenfield and Holy Island (Lindisfarne).

About a mile east of Chollerford on the B6318
Northumberland
NE46
Dark Ages
Heavenfield
Hadrian's Wall, Chesters Roman Fort
Unknown
NASEBY BATTLEFIELD

The Battle of Naseby on 14th June 1645 was one of the most important in British history, ranking alongside Hastings and Bosworth. The outcome of the battle was the defeat and virtual annihilation of King Charles I's Royalist army by the Parliamentary forces led by Fairfax and Cromwell, resulting in Parliament's victory in the Civil War and ultimately fundamentally changing the way Britain was governed.

The battle site is just north of the village of Naseby and is largely undeveloped since the 17th century. It can be viewed from various points, including Cromwell's monument, Sulby viewing platform and the Obelisk monument. Various information panels have been placed around the site and guided walks are available. A map is essential.

Naseby
Northamptonshire
NN6 6BS
Stuart
Website of the Naseby Project
Bosworth isn't far...
Other
SEDGEMOOR BATTLEFIELD

The Battle of Sedgemoor was fought on 6th July 1685, a desperate attempt by Charles II's illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, to seize the throne from his uncle, James II. Monmouth's largely peasant army was no match for the king's well-trained professionals. The defeated rebels were treated terribly harshly. There is a memorial (pictured) a short walk to the east of the postcode shown, but little else to see. Parking is extremely limited. A heritage trail is available from St Mary's church in Westonzoyland.

Langmoor Drove
Westonzoyland
Nr Bridgwater
Somerset
TA7 0EU
Stuart
Zoyland Heritage website
The Sedgemoor Inn looks tempting...
Unknown
TOWTON

Site of the Battle of Towton, 1461, reputedly the longest, biggest and bloodiest battle ever fought on British soil.  There is a waymarked walk around the site, with useful information boards, and the countryside is pleasant.  The Towton Battlefield Society offers guided tours.

B1217, South of Towton village
North Yorkshire
LS24
Medieval
Towton
Towton Battlefield Society website
Lead Church
Unknown