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Wars of the Roses

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BATTLE OF BARNET 14 APRIL 1471 

The Battle of Barnet (14 April 1471) was one of the most important and eventful battles of the Wars of the Roses. It was the defining moment of a power struggle between the two men who had dominated England since 1461: King Edward IV and his cousin Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. The battle was fought in fog, which made it an unusually confusing and terrifying affair. 

 

It is the only registered battlefield inside Greater London and can be visited by public transport.  The interpretation of the battlefield of Barnet has changed over the last two hundred years. According to English Heritage the most likely site of the battle of Barnet is at  “Hadley Green.  There is still some questions and a great chance for visitors to do their own detective work 

Battlfield 

The battlefield of Barnet is situated a little way north of Barnet. The markers show the positions of the Yorkists (Blue) and Lancastrians (Red) on the English Heritage Battlefield Register.  Scroll north to see the purple markers of  the alternative favoured by Dr Glen Foard of the Battlefields Trust     The "i" signs on  the Information board  currently accepted site of the battlefield.

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Battle of Barnet News.


New organisation formed to support heritage tourism to the battlefields of Britain. Barnet Battlefield is the first destination to be promopted by British Battlefields.

Three weeks before the battle, Edward IV the Yorkist King of England landed on Spurn head with a tiny force over perhaps two thousand men. He faced an almost impossible task against the combined forces of his uncle the Earl of Warwick and the Lancastrian faction. In an audacious campaign Edward had evaded pursuing armies, recruited a sizeable army and raced south followed by the army of the Earl of Warwick. On Maundy Thursday 11th April the citizens of London opened the city gates to Edward, who captured Henry VI and rescued is wife Elizabeth and their son from her sanctuary in Westminster Abbey. On Saturday 13th April Edward and his army of around 9000 marched out to confront Warwick. As the Arrival says 
…..he roode to Barnete, x myles owte of London, where his aforne-riders had founden the afore-riders of th'Erles of Warwikes hooste, and bet them, and chaced them out of the towne, more some what than an halfe myle; when, undre an hedge-syde, were redy assembled a great people, in array, of th'Erls of Warwike.
Barnet also has something to tell us about the development of the use of gunpowder weapons. Warwick had access to the Tower Aresenal and could have had up to 100 field pieces.   …on the nyght, weninge gretly to have anoyed the Kynge, his hooste, with shot of gonnes, th'Erls fielde shotte gunes almoste all the nyght. But, thanked be God! it so fortuned that they alway ovarshote the Kyngs hoste, and hurtyd them nothinge, and the cawse was the Kyngs hoste lay muche nerrar them than they demyd(Arrival Part III]   Edward launched a dawn attack on Warwick and eventually prevailed, despite Warwick’s right overcoming Edward’s left and with the help of what is now described as friendly fire between Warwick’s victorious right returning to the battlefield and his centre. As a Lancastrian chronicler wrote:-
….. the myste was so thycke, that a manne myghte not profytely juge one thynge from anothere; so the Erle of Warwikes menne schott and faughte ayens the Erle of Oxenfordes menne, wetynge and supposynge that thei hade bene Kynge Edwardes menne; and anone the Erle of Oxenforde and his menne cryed "treasoune! treasoune!" and fledde awaye from the felde withe viij. c. menne.

Story of the Battle Slide Show

Where to get information

Barnet Museum

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I The Barnet Museum has an exhibition on the battle.and sells guide books to the battle. 

Address 

31 Wood Street, Barnet, Herts. EN5 4BE

Opening Hours

Tuesday to Thursday 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Saturday 10.30am – 4.00pm

Sunday 2.00 - 4.00pm

The Museum is also open outside these hours for group visits 

Telephone: 020 8440 8066

Email: enquiries@barnetmuseum.co.uk

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The Battlefields Trust has a lot of information on the battle on its Battlefields Resource Centre. The Trust also monitors threats the the battlefield and champions better interpretation and its use for educational and heritage purposes.  

Refreshments

The Monk Public House 

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The Monk Public House is the closest public house to the battlefield. The local Battlefields Trust region was founded here in 2002. It sells good beer and pub food.  

How to Visit 

Scheduled Tours 

Next Scheduled Tours on the following days

 

Sunday 12th April 2015 11.00-13.00 Battlefields Trust Walk

 

Groups on request

 

Details from info@britishbattlefields.com

Visiting on Your own 

There is a downloadable battlefield train here.


The Barnet Museum has an overview of the battle for sale 



Visiting by Car. 

There is usually plenty of parking at the weekends on the roads on Hadley Green.  


Visiting by Public Transport

Barnet is a 20 minute walk from High Barnet Tube station, or a short bus ride.  


Visiting by Bicycle 

One of the easiest ways to travel around is by bicycle.  Hadley Woods overground railway station is a ten minute ride from the battlefields.