Well this isn’t a scheduled entry, but one of those wonderful moments which you just can’t pass up. I HAD to go up to
Towton was fought on Palm Sunday in 1461. One of the most important battles during the War of the Roses and the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil. It is believed to have been fought by anything up to 90,000 (And there were as many as 25000 casualties) which, compared to some battles elsewhere doesn’t sound that much, but when you think that the population of England at the time was probably about 1.5 million then this number represent 6% of the population, that’s like a battle taking place nowadays with 3 million troops. So pretty huge really.
The battlefield lies between the villages of Towton and Saxton. I went to Saxton church first to find the grave of Lord Dacre, the commander of the Lancastrian right Flank. He was buried with his horse in the graveyard of the church. He was lucky he only had to share his grave with his horse most of the Lancastrian dead were buried in a nearby mass grave. Next to Dacre’s grave is a memorial for some unknown soldiers from the battle who were recently found.
From Saxton I drove towards Towton, right across the battlefield, which is wide open farm land now. As I was driving I glanced a white board attached to fence by the road, and as I drove past I realised there was a large cross visible in my rearview mirror, which had been obscured from the road by a large bush. So I reversed up the road and parked in the layby. This turned out to be Dacre’s Cross and marks the spot where he fell. It is also the main memorial for the battle and there were the remains of many red and white roses place upon it. I regret I had neither to leave, next time maybe.
I put on my livery coat and strolled across the fields from the road to the River Cock and ‘Bloody Meadow’ the site of a great slaughter of Lancastrians. The river and meadows look like the have changed little since the battle.
I was really pleased that I was able to stop here. Having recently fought at
Coming from down south where nothing closes, I couldn’t believe that the Rockingham Arms, the only pub in Towton was closed on a Sunday afternoon. So my toast to the King had to wait until I arrived in