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MIDLANDS OF ENGLAND 

BATTLEFIELD AND MILITARY HERITAGE 

If you are  looking for something to do for an afternoon while on holiday somewhere in Britian, we can find a local expert guide for the battlefield and arrange a tour for you.


The Midlands has been the site of some of the most decisive battles in British history, including the battles which decided the Wars of the Roses and both English Civil Wars.   It was also the base for much of the RAF bomber command offensives agaoints Germany in the World Wars.  

Events in the Midlands

If you are planning a tour to Britian, and would like to take in some of the spectacle of our military heritage we can help you to take advantage of the dozens of re-enactment and other events staged around the country.


We will be adding an events calendar so you can see what is on and where!

Seiges of Lichfield 1642-44

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Newark endured three sieges during the English Civil War. The town was important as two major roads ran through it.. Control of Newark was vital to the Royalists as it connected their headquarters in Oxford to Royalist centres in the north-east. Newark suffered its first short-lived siege between February 27th and 28th 1643. The second siege lasted longer from February 29th to March 21st 1644 while the third siege lasted from November 26th 1645 to May 8th 1646.  It is possible to see traces of one of the basions and the town is the home to the national English Civil War Centre

Blore Heath 23 Sept 1459

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In September the Earl of Salisbury, was marching south from Yorkshire, with an army of some 3,000 – 5,000, to join with the Duke of York who was at Ludlow.  Lord Auydley attempted to intercept and arrest Salisbury before he could join Forces with the Duke of York.  The resulting battle was a decisive Yorkist victory The battlefield is stiull rural, but best visited after pre study or in the company of a battlefield guide. .

Bosworth 22 August 1485

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The battle of Bosworth, fought on the 22nd August 1485, is one of the best known and was one of the most influential of English battles. It saw perhaps the most dramatic of military reversals in English history. A rebel force defeated a royal army more than twice its size leaving Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, dead on the field and placing Henry VII on the throne as the first of a new, Tudor dynasty.  There is a visitor centre and it is possible visit the rediscovered site witha  guide..

Shrewsbury 21 July 1403

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In 1399, Henry Bolingbroke, with the assistance of the powerful Earl of Northumberland Henry Percy and his family, usurped the throne of England from his cousin Richard II to become King Henry IV. When Henry demanded all the ransom money from the battle of Homildon Hill and refused to pay monies owed to the Percy’s for their campaigning in Wales, their relationship rapidly deteriorated. The Percys formed an alliance with Owain Glendower and Edward Mortimer and an army led by Henry ‘Harry Hotspur’ Percy marched on the King. The King marched north with his son Prince Hal (later Henry V) to meet them. The two sides clashed at Shrewsbury and ended with the death of ‘Hotspur’ and a large number of his supporters. The battle was the first time that longbow were pitted against longbow on English soil.

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After Northampton, the Barons fortunes were reversed at the Battle of Lewis in Sussex (14 May 1264) when de Montfort captured the King, Prince Edward and control of the government. The following year a number of de Montfort’s supporters defect to the King and Prince Edward manages to escape captivity, putting de Montfort on the defensive. Edward raises an army and meets de Montfort at Evesham. Heavily outnumbered, de Montfort’s army is destroyed and de Montfort is killed.

Chalgrove 18 June 1643

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This was one of a number of small scale actions between Essex's army and the Oxford royalist forces that followed the fall of Reading.  Prince Rupert initiated a raid on parliamentarian billets around Thame. Rupert was highly successful in disordering two parliamentarian quarters at Postcombe and Chinnor, capturing or killing 170 enemy troops and easily outwitting and out manoeuvring his enemies at Chalgrove. The importance of Chalgrove is political n the loss of Colonel John Hampden, a key political figure on the parliamentarian side.  There is a footpath that leads across the battlefield.

Staffordshire Regimental Museum

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This is the musuem of the North and South Staffordshire Regiments. It tells the story of the Regiments since their foundation. The area outside include replical First World War Trenches.

Siege of Newark 26 Nov 1645

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Newark endurted three sieges during the English Civil War. The town was important as two important roads ran through the town. Control of Newark was vital to the Royalists as it connected their headquarters in Oxford to Royalist centres in the northeast .Newark suffered its first short-lived siege between February 27th and 28th 1643. The second siege lasted longer from February 29th to March 21st 1644 while the third siege lasted from November 26th 1645 to May 8th 1646  It is possible to see traces of one of the basions and the town is the howm to the national English Civil War Centre..

Siege of Leicester 7 May 1645

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Leicester supported Parliament and was held for Parliament for most of the war. When the main Royalist Army,  approached in the late spring of 1645 it was apparent that the town could not be defended against such a large force. The garrison withdrew to the castle and the Newarke After a few skirmishes, the Royalists entered the town itself and set about reducing the garrison in the castle and Newarke. After some negotiations Rupert set up his artillery to the south of the Newarke and ordered his guns to open fire. After a brief bombardment the garrison surrendered.The siege is an impportant preliminary to the battle fo Naseby.

Naseby 14 June 1645

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Naseby is one of the most decisive battles in British History.  It was here that the parliamentary forces defeated those of King Char;les in 1645. It is a registered nbattlefield and supported by information panels. The local Battle of Naseby project are planning to establish a visitor centre.

Stoke 16 June 1487

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Stoke field is the decisive battle that quashed the Yorkist rising in favour of Lambert Simnal.  It is less well known than Bosworth but took place only two years later and has many similarities.  There is some information abotu the battle in East Stoke Church, but some research or a guide is needed to interpret the battlefield.  .

Edgecote 26 July 1469

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The battle of Edgcote was the first major action in the campaigns of 1469-71, the second major period of unrest in the Wars of the Roses. The army of the Earl of Pembroke, was beaten by a rebel force under Robin of Redesdale. Pembroke’s army had been dangerously weakened because, supposedly after an argument the night before, In the following days the king himself was taken prisoner and other of his major supporters captured and executed. With the king under his ‘protection’, Warwick was in effective control of the kingdom.

 

Edgehill 23 Oct 1642

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The battle of Edgehill was the first major action of the Civil War in England. It was  intended to be the one great battle to decide the war. Although often viewed as an indecisive battle, in effect a bloody draw, the king actually gained an important advantage.  There are some interpretation panels and an information hyub is to be opened in a local church. The battlefield is best visitrd after some prior research or with a guide.  


There is a walking trail linking Edgejhill with Cropredy Brodge and Edgecote.

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The last battle of the Civil Wars, was fought here on 3rd September 1651; nine years earlier, and two miles down stream, the first substantial action of the war had taken place at Powick Bridge. The first skirmish had been a success for the Royalist cavalry, by 1651 Parliament's New Model Army dominated the battlefield, defeating Charles IIs .This was Cromwell's last great victory in battle and it secured his dominant position, political as well as military, contributing to his appointment in 1653 as Lord Protector.  There is a lot to see in the area, even though much of the battlefield is now part of the city.  

East Kirby Aviation Centre

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The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre is a family run museum and was set up over 20 years ago.  It is now widely seen as a living memorial to the 55,500 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives during WW2.  It holds one of the rarest aircraft, an Avro Lancaster Bomber, in its collection along with many wartime vehicles. 

Harrington Airfield 1939-1945

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The Carpetbagger Aviation Museum is housed in the Group Operations Building on the Administration Site of the former Station 179 airfield at Harrington, Northamptonshire.  The musuem contains an exhibitions on Operation Carpetbagger, the secret missions to deliver agents and supplies to resistance groups in Occupied Europe during the Second World War

Northampton 10 July 1460

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This is the site of an importamnt victoy by the Yorkists over the Lancastrians. Despite large armies on both sides and the Lancastrians holding a strong defensive position, the battles appears to have been exceptionally short and with with few casualties. This was due in large part to the treacherous behaviour of Sir Ralph Grey. The Registered battlefield is in the Delapre Abbey. 

Bletchley Park 1939-1945

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The siege of Northampton was the first action of what is now known as the Second Barons War. In April 1264 King Henry III raised his standard at Oxford. The Barons at the same time seized Northampton, strategically located in the centre of the country. The baronial army was led by Simon de Montfort jnr, and his army had been bolstered by students from Oxford and Cambridge’s universities. Henry marched on the town and castle but it falls quickly after Prince Edward (Later King Edward I) fought his way in from the north whilst his father attacked from the south. 

RAF Scampton 1939-1945

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Lincoln 2 Feb 1141

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The period of civil war between King Stephen and Matilda, daughter of Henry II was known as the Anarchy, and lasted from 1135 to 1153. Stephen was besieging Lincoln castle when he was attacked by a relief force led by Robert Earl of Gloucester. Stephen is captured during the battle and for a while Matilda rules England. Although she is eventually defeated Matilda’s son Henry becomes King of England on Stephen’s death and founds the Plantagenet dynasty.

Lincoln Fair 20 May 1217

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In 1216, during the war between King John and his Barons, known as the First Barons War, the Barons proclaimed Louis of France, King of England. Louis’ forces with support from the Barons capture a large swathe of southern and eastern England. When John dies midway through the war, his young son is proclaimed Henry III. However, Louis fights on, and besieges Lincoln Castle, after taking the town. A relief force is sent under the Earl of Pembroke, William Marshal. His army breaks into the town and kills the French commander. Because the town resisted it was pillaged by the victorious army giving rise to its name Lincoln Fair. The French defeat at Lincoln leads directly to their expulsion from England.

Siege of Northampton 6 April 1264

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The siege of Northampton was the first action of what is now known as the Second Barons War. In April 1264 King Henry III raised his standard at Oxford. The Barons at the same time seized Northampton, strategically located in the centre of the country. The baronial army was led by Simon de Montfort jnr, and his army had been bolstered by students from Oxford and Cambridge’s universities. Henry marched on the town and castle but it falls quickly after Prince Edward (Later King Edward I) fought his way in from the north whilst his father attacked from the south. 

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The battle secured the defeat of the poorly organised Welles Uprising against King Edward IV, but ultimately led to the defection of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick and the king's brother George, Duke of Clarence to the Lancastrian cause after they were forced to flee the country having been implicated in the rebellion.

Polebrook Airfield 1939-1945

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A disued World War Two military airfield, used by the USSAF and the RAF. The airfield site is now disused but many traces can be found on the ground, including wartime defences

RAF Conningsby 1939-82

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RAF Coningsby is an RAf Station which has been home to 'Dambusters' of 617 Squadron and Vulcan jet bombers before transferring to Fighter Command in the 1960s. It is the home of the Battle of Britain memorila flight. It ios possible to visit the station and the memorial flight museum..  .

Cropredy Bridge 29 June 1644

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In an opportunistic strike, Sir William Waller struck a royalist army strung out in line of march. 
The battle extended over several miles, involving several crossings of the river and extending across to the Northamptonshire border. The area remains almost wholly undeveloped. There are information boards and a walking trail linking Cropredy Brodge with Edgecote and Edgejhill