500years of History Missed Bosworth Field by Two Miles

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Byline: David Derbyshire Environment Editor

IT saw the death of Richard III, ushered in the Tudor dynasty and gave Shakespeare one of his best known quotations.

Now, 500 years after one of the most important clashes in British history, archaeologists have finally found the location of the Battle of Bosworth Field - two miles away from where historians thought it was.

The discovery follows an extraordinary piece of detective work in which experts combed three square miles of fields with metal detectors, took dozens of soil samples and scoured the historical records for clues.

Over four years, they found evidence of a major medieval battle, including the remains of swords and buckles, lead cannonballs and shot fired from handguns.

The experts say the evidence is 'compelling' that the site lies near Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire, two miles from the Bosworth heritage centre and memorial. Battlefields Trust archaeologist Glenn Foard said: 'We are not releasing the exact location yet because we fear illicit treasure hunting.'

The curator of the heritage centre, Richard Knox, said: 'It is fan-tastic. When we had the first discovery we were very excited but we had to wait to get more evidence. Now we are confident.'

The Battle of Bosworth, fought on August 22, 1485, marked the end of the War of the Roses, the 30-year civil war between the houses of York and Lancaster. It was the final confrontation between the Yorkist King Richard III and his challenger Henry Tudor.

In Shakespeare's Richard III the king, thrown to the ground in the heat of battle, cries: 'A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse! …