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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – 700+ entries as of October 2019.  Most entries have links for further information.

Battlefields

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BATTLE of BANNOCKBURN

The Battle of Bannockburn took place over the 23rd and 24th June 1314 between the Scots, under Robert the Bruce, and a significantly larger army under Edward II of England. The English were under siege by the Scots at Stirling Castle and Edward's army was intended to relieve the siege. Instead, Bruce inflicted a massive defeat. This ultimately led to the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320.

Much of the probable site of the battle is now built over. However, the National Trust for Scotland operates a visitor centre that offers a hi-tech battle experience (ticket only), a shop and a cafe. There is memorial to the battle on the site as well as a statue of Robert the Bruce. Note - there is no museum or exhibition.

Region:
Location/Address: Glasgow Road
Whins of Milton
Stirling
County: Stirlingshire
Post Code: FK7 0LJ
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: NTS' Battle of Bannockburn website
Tip/Nearby: Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument
Primary Management: National Trust for Scotland
The Rebel Tree in Clifton

The Battle of Clifton Moor took place on 18 December 1745 and was, many believe, the last battle on English soil. It depends on your definition of ‘battle’. The rumpus at Clifton Moor was more of a skirmish and formed part of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, which culminated in the Battle of Culloden in 1746. The rebel Jacobite army was retreating from Derby and its rearguard met up with an advance part of the Government army that was in pursuit. 10 Government troops were killed and 12 rebels. The action delayed the Government force and facilitated the Jacobite retreat. There are a number of points of interest in the village of Clifton. Firstly, the Rebel Tree in the south part of the village marks the possible site of the fighting and is the traditional burial place of the Jacobites. There is a small plaque underneath the tree which, until fairly recently, was surrounded by fields; it is now surrounded by a small residential estate. Across the road, opposite the George and Dragon pub, is the Kelter Well – an old village well where someone has placed another memorial plaque to the battle. A memorial stone in St Cuthbert’s churchyard (north end of the village) marks the burial place of the Government soldiers. The cottage where the Duke of Cumberland spent the night is still there.

Location/Address: Clifton
County: Cumbria
Post Code: CA10 2ER
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Tip/Nearby: St Cuthbert's Church and Clifton Hall, both in the village. Eamont Bridge has prehistoric remains. Brougham Castle and Penrith nearby also.
Primary Management: Local Authority
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.

Region:
Location/Address: Battle Abbey, High Street, Battle
County: East Sussex
Post Code: TN33 0AE
Main Historic Period: Norman
Link to featured article: 1066 - so what?
Tip/Nearby: Bateman's, Bodiam Castle
Primary Management: English Heritage
BATTLE of LEWES

The Battle of Lewes took place on 14 May 1264, the first major battle of the Second Barons' War. The prelude to this was widespread dissatisfaction with the manner of King Henry III's reign, particularly over issues such as taxation and inheritance. Matters came to a head and a rebel baronial faction led by Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester, took up arms against the king. De Montfort's force of about 5,000 approached Lewes, a royal stronghold with about 10,000 troops, from the downland to the north. The King's son, Prince Edward (later Edward I), rode out from Lewes Castle with heavy cavalry, engaged de Montfort's inexperienced left flank and chased it from the field. De Montfort, meanwhile, charged downhill at Henry's main army in the vicinity of Landport Bottom and won a decisive victory. Most of the fighting took place there, around the Black Horse pub on Western road, now a residential area and on the High Street. The king took refuge in Lewes Priory and was forced to surrender to de Monfort. Edward too was held captive - though later escaped. There is a link to a battlefield walk below. The address is for the Black Horse pub; walk from there up Spital Road, past the prison, and up onto the downs.

Region:
Location/Address: Western Road
Lewes
County: East Sussex
Post Code: BN7 1RS
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Lewes Castle, Lewes Priory
Primary Management: Local Authority
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.

Location/Address: Tockwith Road
Between Tockwith and Long Marston
County: North Yorkshire
Post Code: YO26 7PJ
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Useful Website Address: Details from the Battlefields Trust
Tip/Nearby: York
Primary Management: 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.

Region:
Location/Address: Nr Dryden Cottages
Roslin
County: Midlothian
Post Code: EH25 9PP
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Stay at Rosslyn Castle
Tip/Nearby: Rosslyn Chapel and Castle
Primary Management: 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.

Location/Address: Stamford Bridge
County: North Yorkshire
Post Code: YO41 1QE
Main Historic Period: Viking
Link to featured article: Stamford Bridge - the other battle in 1066
Primary Management: Local Authority
BATTLE of STIRLING BRIDGE

The battle was fought on 11 September 1297.  Following Scots support for the French, Edward I of England invaded Scotland, deposed the King, John Balliol and left an army of occupation. Sir William Wallace and Sir Andrew Moray led a rebellion and met an English army outside Stirling. The English advanced over a narrow bridge over the River Forth. The Scots fell upon the English from the high ground on Abbey Craig, cutting the invading army in two. The English commander, the Earl of Surrey, could not reinforce because of the narrowness of the bridge. The portion of his forces that had crossed the bridge were cut down, though some of managed to escape by swimming back across the river. The Scottish victory destroyed the myth of English invincibility.  Legend has it that the hated English treasurer, Hugh de Cressingham, was flayed after the battle and that Wallace made a belt from the skin.

The actual bridge of the battle was destroyed at the time. The current 'old' bridge was built downstream of it in the 16th century and is still in use by pedestrians. There is a plaque on the east end of the bridge, with a small portion of meadow adjacent, but it is thought that most of the fighting took place on ground that is now built over. It's a nice bridge, though. Post code is very approximate.

Region:
Location/Address: Bridgehaugh Road
Stirling
County: Stirlingshire
Post Code: FK9 5AL
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Tip/Nearby: Stirling Castle, Wallace Monument
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.

Location/Address: Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre
Sutton Cheney
County: Leicestershire
Post Code: CV13 0AD
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: The Battle of Bosworth
Useful Website Address: Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre
Primary Management: Local Authority
CULLODEN

The Battle of Culloden on 16th April 1746 was the last pitched battle on British soil and brought the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 to a bloody end. Charles Edward Stuart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, had taken his largely Highland Army as far as Derby, before retreating north to Inverness, pursued by Government forces under the Duke of Cumberland. On the morning of the battle, many of the Prince's troops were exhausted after an aborted attack on the Government army camped at Nairn. The ground chosen for the battle was partly marsh, wholly unsuited to the favoured tactic of the Highland charge. Moreover, on this occasion the Jacobites were no match for the well-trained, disciplined, Government troops. They were also slightly outnumbered. The battle lasted less than an hour and was a decisive victory for the Government. Afterwards, Cumberland ordered his troops to ruthlessly pursue and search out any surviving rebels and a shameful bloodbath ensued.

The National Trust for Scotland runs an impressive visitor centre at Culloden, where there is a detailed explanation for the Jacobite Rebellion, an impressive audio-visual experience and various talks and tours. It is possible to explore much of the battlefield, which the NTS is in the process of returning it to its appearance in 1746, taking in the opposing lines and the sad burial markers.

Region:
Location/Address: Culloden Moor
Nr Inverness
County: Highland
Post Code: IV2 5EU
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Link to featured article: The Pity of Culloden
Tip/Nearby: Clava Cairns, Fort George
Primary Management: National Trust for Scotland
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