Battle Lines Are Redrawn as New Site Is Found for Historic Bosworth Clash; Location Is a Mile Away from Field Thought to Be Right Place

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 20, 2010 | Go to article overview

Battle Lines Are Redrawn as New Site Is Found for Historic Bosworth Clash; Location Is a Mile Away from Field Thought to Be Right Place


Byline: Robin Turner

IT was a battle that changed the course of British history and put a Welsh-born noble on the throne of England.

But for year after year, visitors to Bosworth field, where Henry Tudor snatched the crown from Richard III, have been trying to capture the spirit of that historic struggle in the wrong place.

Now, after painstaking research, the site of the battle that spawned one of Shakespeare's most famous passages has been revealed - in a field a mile to the south west of the site where the current visitor centre stands.

It was at the Battle of Bosworth that the soon-to-be Henry VII and his Pembrokeshire longbowmen decided the War of the Roses and helped shape modern Wales.

Henry went on to found the Tudor dynasty that would include historical heavyweights Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. But for centuries, those who made pilgrimages to what they thought was the site of the epic 1485 struggle, near Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, have been going to the wrong place.

After concerns were raised over the accuracy of where the Battle of Bosworth Visitor Centre now stands, the Battlefield Trust spent pounds 1m excavating dozens of nearby fields. Last year a silver boar badge, the emblem of King Richard, presumably lost by one of his trusted knights in the heat of battle, was found in the earth near a farm a full mile from the visitor centre. For the first time yesterday the Battlefield Trust unveiled the actual location of the battle, near a place now called Fenn Lane Farm.

The trust has decided the visitor centre will remain where it is but will include a trail leading visitors to the actual battle site.

Battlefield Trust experts believe the boar badge fell to the ground as King Richard and his knights made a last charge for Yorkist Richard's upstart rival, Pembroke-born Henry.

He nearly reached him but was held up a few yards short of his quarry then driven back into a marsh, where he and his heavily-armoured knights were picked off by Welsh soldiers Henry had enlisted on his march across the country from Milford Haven.

The boar emblem is a snarling beast rippling with muscle definition and with gilded highlights on its tusks, tail and bristles. …

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