King Charles I

The King's observation position

Surviving natural topography, and gradients recorded in first edition OS mapping, suggests that this general region - in relation to the 2009 Army Deployments conjecture - answers to the description of where the king was encouraged to fallback to, prior to the battle. This area of raised ground reached a height of 90m.

When our Army [the Royalists] was drawn up at the Foot of the Hill, and ready to march, all the Generals went to the King (who intended to march with the Army) and desired he would retire to a rising Ground, some Distance from thence, on the Right, with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York.
Sir Richard Bulstrode

This raised ground, relative to the position of Gerard's brigade - as located by the 2009 conjecture - is also consistent with the king's position as illustrated in de Gomme's 17th century Royalist deployment plan produced for Prince Rupert's diary of the war. This raised ground is visible from the Banbury Road.

[…] the inclusion of Colonel Legge's Firelocks, raised to guard the artillery [within de Gomme's plan and shown with the king], provides a good indication of where the main battery was sited.
Edgehill - The Battle Reinterpreted. (Scott et al). 2004.
Radway Tower
Radway Tower

The King's Royal Standard (Trad)

The castellated Radway Tower (or Round Tower), begun in 1745 and completed in 1750, is partly famed for supposedly marking the spot where the king's Royal Standard was planted on the morning of the battle.

Without any provenance - other than the architect being his Great Grandfather - this claim was first published and introduced in 1889 by George Miller and with a rationale assumed to be based originally upon local tradition which also presumably recognised this spot as being where the King's Standard had been pitched.

The same author in 1890 adds the caveat that the Standard was close to the tower and introduces the notion that the tower was intended to mark the position:

The King's standard, near to which the King stood, was close to the spot now occupied by the tower, which was opened in March 1751 to mark the position of the Royal standard. After having carefully surveyed the enemy's position, Charles descended the hill with the centre of his army. The small wood and the thick belt round the park [above Radway Grange] obliged him to bear somewhat to the left. He therefore passed the village of Radway to the south of the old church.
Illustrated Naval & Military Magazine.
(George Miller). 1890.

In 1896 Miller again records that the Standard was on or close to the site occupied by the Radway Tower and clarifies that the building was erected to mark the spot where the King stood. However, this claim concerning the building's historic inspiration is absent from any contemporary documents, diaries or dates associated with its construction or use by the tower's architect and original owner, or his frequent guests.

George Miller appears to have elaborated upon an observation by an earlier author who, in 1882, pointed out that the tower provided a marker for the centre of the King's army, which was the perceived wisdom for the battle at that time and throughout several Victorian battle interpretations. George Bevan had written in his 'Tourists Guide to Warwickshire', that the Round Tower merely marked the spot where the centre of the Royalist army was posted on the day of the battle.

As well as the tradition of locating the king, his banner and why the tower was built having been the sole claim of a local historian whose reliability has typically been questioned and regularly compromised, this claim or piece of 'modern' folklore has ignored several unsubstantiating or contradictory elements of the building's history, but continues as a popular and popularised tradition today.

[…] the Castle Inn [Radway Tower], marking the point from which Charles I studied the ground prior to the battle […]
A Brief Guide to British Battlefields. (David Clark). 2015.

Alfred Beesley, writing in 1841, is only one of several authors - specifically recording the history of the village and its battle - who are seemingly unaware of Miller's later claims and there appears to have been no such connection in 1830:

At Radway, which is but a short distance from Kineton, in a close in the neighbourhood of Edgehill, where the memorable battle was fought, is the seat of F. Miller, Esq. by whom has been constructed a tower and ruins, to imitate those of a castellated building, which is situated on a spot commanding a most beautiful and picturesque view.
A New & Compendious History of the County of Warwick. (William Smith). 1830.

Even shortly after its completion, Dr Richard Pococke (becoming Bishop of Ossory in 1756) described in some detail the tower and its setting in the 1750s without any suggestion of it being related with the battle. Much later, a labourer mentioned by Beesley in his 1841 publication continues the belief of his period (that the royalists stretched the length of the hill from Knowle end to Sunrising) but only states that the king was close to the Edge Hill village, and makes no reference to the tower.

Despite a curious logic the building is still regularly claimed to commemorate the battle having been started in "1742", but conveyancing records also confirm that the ground wasn't purchased by Sanderson Miller - the tower's creator - until 1743. Sanderson Miller was able to purchase the only available land at the end of his parkland suitable for his plans – after demolishing a 16th century cottage which stood on the spot – in order to construct a grand entrance for the pre-existing track which entered his Radway Grange estate from the hilltop. The design forms part of his celebrated practise of constructing shanty ruins.

Author Horace Walpole - a friend of the local poet Jago and who knew Sanderson Miller – wrote that the tower expressed the true rust of the Barons' War which referred specifically to the 13th century civil wars that affected the area and not the 17th century conflict as might be expected. Miller furnished the interior with Saxon Heptarchy and random military trinkets romanticising the medieval era.

Modern interpretations of this relatively recent tradition assume the building to literally mark the spot where the Standard was planted, but the tradition's evolution (originating from one author, nearly 150 years after the tower's construction, and who himself went on to embellish the detail to casually claim the building's inspiration was Edgehill battle related) appears to blur the building's coincidental position loosely halfway along what - at one time - was believed to be the Royalist's positions stretching the length of the Edgehill escarpment, with an assumed [invented] rationale for its construction.

If George Miller wasn't the origin of this new local "tradition", then his publications did capture it forever. His 19th century, and rare, book was republished in 1975 as a fascinating social and rural history with his ‘Tower to mark the spot’ detail - emboldened by the gravitas of his own ancestry - confidently reported, it was again enthusiastically adopted by many writing about the battle (although Miller never reveals his sources for this story). The period for his original publications (and the Victoriana style of the Tower's supposed inspiration) tie in perfectly with the era for when the Tower's lawns were used as tea gardens; catering for visitors to the hills and is a contemporary of the "Cavalier Horse Shoeing" lore created for the neighbouring Egge Cottage.

Unfortunately the forever popular tradition of the tower being sited here to mark the position where King Charles planted or raised his Standard before the battle does not withstand factual research; and in fact incorrectly paraphrases the original source. (This relentlessly, and lovingly, repeated "tradition" is arguably the invention of one man (from the late 1800s), who eventually embellished details to include the rationale for the tower's construction on this plateau while simultaneously only ever claiming the Standard was "close" to where the tower now stands (as he also believed - incorrectly - that the Royalists lined the length of the Edgehill escarpment).
Ed. battleofedgehill.org. 2012.

There are no contemporary references to the battle mentioning the Standard before the Sunday battle. For additional detail: Terrain Conjecture study. Information concerning the local traditions.

Battle, or Battleton, Farm
(Site of)

Not known to be present in 1642 - but predates the 18th century and probably occurs between the mid to late 1600s - this is traditionally an important field marker regarding studies of the battle as a hedge ran from here to Thistle Farm and was believed to be to the rear of the Parliamentary Battalia. The hedge is described by the Rev George Miller in the late 1800s and was still present when visited by Alfred Burne - for his 1950 book - when he used it to help place and form his graphical representation of the Parliamentarian deployment.

Miller attempts to substantiate his assertion that this area - along the front of the hedge, facing Edgehill - represents where Parliament's infantry were forced back to by reporting in his book the carnage in front of the hedge must have been great, as hereabouts the largest portion of debris of the battle have been brought of late years into view *. It has been suggested that part of such a hedge may have provided a natural basis for retrenchment and would explain the intense carnage in this area. Along the hedgerow's rear Miller also believed Essex had positioned musketeers, which eventually checked the Royalist's advance, incorporating the hedgerow directly into the events of the battle.

1947 aerial images also partly capture Miller's description but recent authors writing in detail about the battle and additional recent research coherently doubt that the hedge was contemporary with the battle. (A map, recently sourced by this web project at the British Library, from 1813, now also clearly shows the absence of a continuous hedgerow running from Battle Farm to Thistle Farm). Its one time existence and Miller's interpretation has caused much confusion and debate within previous scholarly studies, and its presence has often been taken as orthodoxy while sometimes being confused as potentially being the hedge described in the Official Royalist Account as having crost the field [sic].

*Rambles round Edge Hills.[sic] 1896.

English Heritage Archives feature Battle Farm.

Thistle, or Thistleton, Farm (Site of)

Demolished in the 1970s, it was almost certainly not present during the battle - it's referred to as 'New Farm' as early as 1701 - but within the context of the battle it remains an important location concerning studies of the battle. (See Battle Farm, close by - to the southwest - for more information).

From here an old hedgerow ran to Red Road and then followed a track leading to Battle Farm which was described by the Rev G.Miller in 'Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine' in 1890 as a key source of military artefacts from the battle. He wrote The carnage must here have been great, as we see by the amount of relics that have lately been turned up in front of the hedgerow in a plantation, once called the Little Graveyard, just behind the spot that is still called the "Grave". The plantation is thought to now be called Graveground Coppice and the 'Grave' was the area to its south eastern facing edge.

C. J. Ribton–Turner (Shakespeare's Land. 1893) also tells us that two 28lbs Royalist cannon balls were found close by and were once kept at the farm.

The farms Battledon and Thistledon [sic], about midway between Radway and Kineton, marked by the coppices which almost hide the homesteads, are noted from the fact of so much of the fight having revolved round them.
Edwin Walford. 1886

English Heritage Archives feature Thistle Farm.

The princes watch the battle (Trad)

Local tradition believes this to be the vicinity where the king's two sons - then 12 and 10 years of age - watched much of the battle.

Here, a surviving tall fir tree best fits the location described by 'History of Radway' (1937) of where a group of fir trees marked the spot where the two boys (later, King Charles II & King James II) had retreated to and from where they watched the remainder of the battle. (The described location is also supported by the 1891 OS map).

This is a local tradition which provides a literal location for yet another tradition or tale, as there are several variants of how William Harvey supposedly took charge of the boys during the battle. While there is explicit evidence of who actually escorted the two boys from the battlefield and how, the romantic story of how Harvey (who discovered the circulation of blood) sat with the children - usually under a hedge or in a ditch - was so engrossed in a book that he was almost oblivious to bullets landing nearby, remained popular but is now debunked and forgotten.

C.J. Ribton-Turner's book from 1893 supports the 1937 location, but appears to have confused the nearby 'King's Crown' landmark (no longer visible) with this tradition.

Such is the nature of invented tales, several locations are alluded to, but one author offers a specific alternative:

At Knowle End, near the northern extremity, where the road along the edge meets the Kineton & Banbury highway, the Royal Children were left on the day of the battle in charge of the King's physician […]
Rambles in Shakespeare's Country. (J.H.Wade). 1932.

Parish boundary and hedgerow

This boundary (defined by the hedgerow running south) is truly ancient and it's hedge was present during the battle. This hedgerow continued some 900 metres across half of the central battlefield - not always along the highest point of the crest of land it loosely follows - and also defines where the old Kineton open fields met the Radway common field.

The enclosures either side - south of the Banbury Road - in relation to traditional (and arguably obsolete) deployment conjectures are often thought to represent the hedges encountered by the Royalist right-wing cavalry as they charged forwards, and which may have also been lined with Parliamentary musketeers.

Ramsay's cavalry were probably deployed in the field to the left [west of the hedge], with musketeers lining the hedge.
Battlefields Trust website
(This text, circa 2004 - present)

For further detail concerning the parish boundary: Terrain Conjecture.

Enclosures and hedges

They [the Parliamentary cavalry] stood still all the while upon the hill expecting the charge so that we were fain to charge them uphill and leap over some 5 or 6 hedges and ditches
Lord Bernard Stuart

This region potentially represents the area of hedges and ditches described by Stuart, the commander of the King's Lifeguard (deployed on the extreme right of the cavalry wing)*.

Richard Bulstrode tells us that Colonel Washington, with his Regiment of Dragoons (known as Prince Maurice's regiment), was the first to descend Edgehill and it is logical to expect that he would have followed the road down - now the modern B4086 - and taken its route across Radway field to occupy some enclosures and briars on the right hand of our army.

* Click the far right polygon in the default deployment conjecture (2009).

Parliamentarian camp & baggage train

Intense collections of lead shot (bullets) found in and around these small enclosures (as illustrated by G.Foards 2008 'Conflict in the pre–industrial landscape of England' report) and other finds, indicates that this region (and the smaller enclosures) represents where much of the Parliamentarian baggage train and camp was located and the Royalist attack upon the camp.

But they [the Royalist cavalry] made directly to the Town, and there falling upon our Carriages, most barbarously massacred a number of poor Waggoners and Carters that had no arms to defend themselves, and so fell to pillaging and pursuing those that ran away
Official Parliamentary officer's report: 'A most true Relation of the Battell…'
Staying in a little field with a way through. […]
…the enemy killed the Waggoners, women and little boyes of twelve years of age
Captain Edward Kightley

The Royalist Cavalry famously plundered the camp and baggage train instead of maintaining discipline and focusing upon the central battle.

[…] and within half a mile of it [Kineton], a great quantity of bullets was dug up in 1800: about a mile farther, on the road to Edgehill [Red rd] is a place called Battle Farm […]
A topographical dictionary of England. (Ed, Samuel Lewis). 1848.
The scatter [of musket calibre bullets, recovered through modern archaeological survey] increases again near Little Kineton, where it is mixed with a higher density of pistol bullets. This grouping is interpreted as the defeat of troops guarding the baggage train, positioned around Little Kineton, in the face of a royalist cavalry attack.
The Archaeology of English Battlefields; Conflict in the Pre-Industrial Landscape. (G. Foard & R. Morris). 2012.

As early as 1896, a battle plan map drawn and published by local Reverend George Miller shows Ramsey's men dispersed and scattered across - what was once - the Little Kineton common field seemingly heading in the direction of Little Kineton.

Potential archaeology prior to the modern sports fields becoming established, to the north, is now no longer available and the area was not surveyed.

Rupert's cavalry continue their pursuit

The detail of modern archaeological finds strongly suggest a main route for the Royalist's pursuit: The royalist's right wing cavalry swept through this broad area pursuing the fleeing ranks of the parliamentarian left–wing (heading towards the parliamentary camp and baggage train). This alleged loss of focus and discipline would famously prove costly and was exacerbated by their reserve horse following in their wake. Such plundering had historically been a recurring feature of battles.

The elation of hot pursuit, a lust for blood, as well as the prospect of plunder, all too often proved the cavalry's nemesis. After breaking the enemy's lines at Edgehill and Naseby [a later battle], Prince Rupert's [royalist] cavalry continued to charge for several miles, looting the enemy baggage train. By the time they were able to regroup and come back to the fray the fighting was over. […] Even if the royalist horse had returned sooner to Edgehill or Naseby, the thrill of the chase, and the rapture of rapine, broke all unit cohesion. A contemporary wrote 'the soldiers were so dispersed that there were not ten of any one troop together'.
Going to the Wars. (Charles Carlton). 1992.
The men on foot must have been easy prey to the slashing swords, if they were not ridden down — a painful and much-bruising experience but preferable to a sword cut.
Edgehill - The Battle Reinterpreted. (Scott/Turton/Von Arni). 2004.
Prince Rupert

Rupert's charge

Modern and recent research indicates these slopes to be the uphill ground upon which Rupert and his right-wing cavalry advanced and charged towards the Parliamentary left-wing Horse.

Rupert's Horse took Ramsey's stationary squadrons at the gallop and the Parliamentarians quickly put spur to horse and fled.
English Heritage Battlefield Report: Edgehill 1642. 1995.

Some challenge whether his cavalry charged or approached at more of a controlled canter, but many still believe that Rupert's cavalry performed a 'thunderbolt charge', whereby thousands of horse at a gallop produce an intimidating thunderous noise.

[…] the world-famous charge of Prince Rupert's horse.
The Battlefields of England (Edgehill chapter). (Alfred Burne). 1950.

When this uphill terrain (as viewed from the roadside when looking south west) is combined with the continuing gradient in the field from the opposite side of the road – to the north east – a significant and continuing line of rising ground continues in total for approximately 500 metres.

Royalists return to the hills

Contrary to some local tradition, it is well documented that the king and his men returned to the hills after the battle. It is apparent that most of the army will have spent the night across these slopes/hills.

The King with the whole Body of the Horse, and those of the Foot which were not broken, quartered upon and on one side of the Hill, all that Night.
Official Royalist's Account
we retired up the Hill, from whence we came down.
[…] For the King, with a great Part of the army marched that Night up to Wormington Hills, it being a hard Frost, and very cold.
Sir Richard Bulstrode.

Lord Nugent writing in the early 1800s is of the same opinion (but prefers to exchange 'Wormleighton' for 'Warmington' ?):

The King marched back with a great part of his army, the evening after the battle, to the position from which he had that day descended; and, from thence, further up, to the Wormleighton [Warmington] Hills, lying out, that night, in a hard and piercing frost.
Memorials of John Hampden, his party and his times. (Nugent). 1832.

It is interpreted that 'Wormington hills' - as stated by Bulstrode - are the hills of 'Warmington'. Warmington village is nearby and these slopes and 'hills' are within the parish of Warmington, while Bulstrode himself also confirms their location when he refers to the Royalist army congregating before the battle when he states that they arrived the next Morning by Eight, at the Rendezvous upon Wormington Hills.

Cannon Ball

The location of the only Cannon Ball found and accurately recorded was here.

By Captain J.G Grant, circa 1979. The ball was measured at 3″ in diameter.

A drawing from a contemporary newsletter of the battle shows Parliamentarian Cannons.

Skeletons of soldiers

At the river Dene the old ford shows the main route into the village, prior to Bridge Street and is contemporary with the battle.

In the 19th century workmen building a sluice close to the ford retrieved armour and several skeletons from the river banks. These were believed to have been Parliamentarian casualties and it's been speculated that they died either defending the ford, fleeing the camp as Royalist horse-men arrived or fell victim to pursuing Royalist cavalry as they slowed crossing the river.

Near to the bridge at the bottom of Bridge Street, where the new road was made a few years ago, some skeletons were discovered which, from the position in which they were found, makes it probable that they were the bodies of some of the troops which were defending the ford.
Illustrated Naval & Military Magazine. (George Miller). 1890.
Near to the old ford on the road from Great to Little Kineton several bodies were found some years ago, which were probably those of some of the soldiers of Essex's army […]
George Miller. 1896.
[…] the brook, which runs in a picturesque dell, on the left [southern] bank of which in the year 1853 two skeletons were discovered lying one across the other, which were supposed to be those of soldiers killed in defending the ford from an attack by Prince Rupert's troopers.
Shakespeare's Land. (C. J. Ribton-Turner). 1893.

Parliamentarian cavalry camp

In 2002 a metal detecting survey discovered compelling evidence that this area was used as a cavalry camp when the Parliamentarian army arrived and billeted at Kineton and Little Kineton. (Some bullets and archaeology were also found in the modern domestic gardens on the adjoining slopes east of the river). Further finds were produced by the 2004/2007 survey.

The location would provide easy access to the river Dene - which circles this tract of land - for watering the horses.

Parliamentarian left-wing flees

Our Left Wing of Horse, advanced a little forward to the Top of a Hill, where they stood in a Battalia […] but upon the first Charge of the Enemy, they wheeled about, abandoned their Musqueteers, and came running down with the Enemies Horse at their Heels, and amongst them pellmell, just upon Col. Hollis's Regiment, and brake through it.
Official Parliamentarian Account
Rupert's men came […] riding down not only the Parliamentary cavalry on that wing, but some of the infantry nearest them. The opposing forces made no stand but fled 'with the enemy's horse at their heels and amongst them, pell mell'. In their flight they battered their way through their own reserve drawn up in the rear, and although Denzil Holles gallantly 'planted himself just in the way' and tried to rally the fugitives he brought very few of them to a stand. The rest shamefully scattered with Rupert's men hallooing after them.
The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes. (Edited by Max Hastings). 1985.
[…] just when our men charged they all began to turn head and we followed an execution upon them for 4 miles together.
Lord Bernard Stuart
Despite desperate fighting by individuals and odd troops, within fifteen minutes the whole of Ramsey's left wing of horse, commanded muskets and artillery collapsed, dispersed and ran.
Edgehill - The Battle Reinterpreted. (Scott/Turton/Von Arni). 2004.

Amidst the melee

Here, a public footpath crosses the broad route taken by the fleeing ranks of the Parliamentary left-wing cavalry (and their musketeers on foot), while being ruthlessly pursued by Royalist horse regiments.

Archaeological evidence demonstrates this open landscape to have bore witness to the scattering of Parliament's left-wing and the Royalist's route to the rebel's baggage train.

He [Lord Wharton, from Parliament's left-wing cavalry] truthfully reported the disgraceful panic of the four infantry regiments, all of which he identified. He excused the runaways as best he could by saying, truly enough, that they were 'but young soldiers', and stated his belief that they would do better. He accused Rupert's cavalry of ruthless cruelty in pursuit of plunder, alleging they killed harmless countrymen, women and children. 'They aim at ... pillage ... and the way ... is murdering.'
Saw-pit Wharton. (G. F. Trevallyn Jones). 1967.
The pistol calibre bullets from this pursuit extend at least as far as Great and Little Kineton, tending to focus into three broad zones running westwards, the two most distinct following shallow valleys. They are almost exclusively of pistol calibre with almost no carbine [short musket], which are more likely to have been used at the stand. Thus there seems little doubt that these scatters result largely from pursuers and pursued exchanging fire at close quarters as they rode hard away from the main battle.
Battlefield Archaeology of the English Civil War. (Glenn Foard). 2012.

Prince Rupert's billet

Prince Rupert (nephew of the king) stayed at Wormleighton Manor the night before the battle. The old gatehouse predates the battle and it is through its arch Rupert would have rode.

[…] the Royalists dispersed to quarter in a spacious triangle of hamlets [on the 22nd] and the southerly base extending from at least Ratley to Culworth, a good 10 miles or more. The villages in the central, Cropredy - Mollington area, all seem to have quartered substantial consignments of soldiers.
Philip Tennant.
(Edgehill and Beyond). 1992.

Culworth

The Earl of Lindsey (Lieutenant General of the Royalist Army) was staying at Culworth village (along with others) on the night of October 22nd. Lindsey quartered at the Manor House.

Other locations of Royalist billeting on the 22nd include Wardington and Cropredy.

King Charles I

Edgcote House

King Charles stayed at the home of Sir William Chancie at Edgcote the night before the battle.

A council of war was also held at Edgcote on the 22nd when the decision to action the plan to seize Banbury was made. At this time, the Royalists were unaware of the Parliamentarian's close proximity.

Later that same night, Prince Rupert learnt of the rebel's headquarters at Kineton, and got word to the king by 3am. Charles wrote his response:

Nepheu,
I have given order as you have desyred; so I dout not but all the foot and canon will bee at Eggehill betymes this morning, where you will also find Your loving oncle &
Faithful frend, Charles R.
4 o'clock this Sunday morning.
[sic] Letter to Prince Rupert from Charles I

Charles had agreed to follow his nephew's suggestion and the Royalist Army aimed to rendezvous at Edgehill as soon as was possible.

Charles was the guest of Mr. Toby Chauncy at Edgecote House, near Cropredy […]
History of Warwickshire. (Clive Holland). 1906.

Parliamentarian billet

While Radway village is traditionally associated with the Royalist troops it was one of many villages to the northwest of Edgehill being used by Parliamentarian forces the night before the battle.

Others included Pillerton Priors, Oxhill, Butlers Marston, Ilmington, Charlecote, Halford, the Tysoes and Kineton. On the 22nd both armies were unaware of each other's proximity.

Fires spotted from ‘Under Wormington Hills’

The Prince of Wales Regiment was quartered at two or three villages "under the Wormington Hills" for the night of Saturday the 22nd; before the day of the battle. From a village "under the Wormington Hills" Richard Bulstrode first spotted the fires of the Parliamentarian camps at Little Kineton. (The Kineton fields are visible from the raised position of Avon Dassett village).

When it was dark, we saw several Fires not far from us, and sending out a Party to see, we were soon informed, that the Earl of Essex was there with his whole Army, and quartered at Keinton [sic]
Sir Richard Bulstrode, Memoirs

At least one and possibly two modern secondary sources have confused the hills around the south of Fenny Compton and the area around Wormleighton as the 'Wormington Hills', but we are reminded that Bulstrode was referring to the famed hills on which the village of Warmington (being the modern spelling) sits, as he confirms the location later when he describes how the Royalist army congregated (as we know, upon Edgehill at Knowle End) the "next Morning by Eight, at the Rendezvous upon Wormington Hills".

The Warmington Hills reside within the parish of Warmington and take in a wide continuation of the undulating escarpment south-eastwards from Knowle End and through the Warmington village, while squarely overlooking the village of Avon Dassett (as pinpointed by this marker).

King's route to battle (Trad)

Tradition reasonably relates that the minor road from Cropredy - through Mollington - to Warmington is the route taken by Charles from Edgcote to Edgehill.

This is perhaps reflected in the name of 'March Road' for part of this route.

Those nine or ten miles by road from Edgcote and Cropredy to the top of Edgehill must have been a trying march for King Charles' infantry. First of all a descent to the Cherwell, then a sharp climb of some 200 feet to Mollington, then down again into the valley, then up nearly 300 feet to Warmington, thence a tiring pull up to Edgehill (which is over 700 feet above sea-level and quite 200 feet higher than Warmington). So it is not to be wondered at that it was past one o'clock before the Royal Army marched down the hill, and that it was three o'clock before they got to grips.
The Wanderings of Charles I. (W.G. Bond). 1927.

Royalists billeting

Ratley had Royalist soldiers billeting in the village the night before the battle and who were unaware of the Parliamentarian army also quartering in the vicinity; which included nearby Radway.

Most of the current buildings are thought not to have existed during this time but some Royalist soldiers are believed to be buried behind Ratley Church.

In 1950 a sword was discovered by a Ratley resident.

Royalist route to battlefield

All of the Royalist artillery, most of its infantry, and certainly most or all of its cavalry, descended the hill using the road on this hillside.

[…] great Preparations were made, and Precautions taken for descending the Hill, which was very steep and long, and had been impracticable, if the Enemy had drawn nearer to the Bottom of it. […] Six Hundred Horse were ordered likewise to descend before the Army, and the Carriage Horses of the Cannon were put behind the Carriages, excepting a Horse or two before, and the Foot were ordered to descend as well as they could. […] the Foot getting down several Ways which the Horse could not do, by reason of the Hill's Steepness
Sir Richard Bulstrode
[…] and were then to file down a very steep hill, where three horse could not go in breast together till they came into the field, which was large enough.
Clarendon

Bulstrode's original text - unchanged by a later editor - states covered and not several ways.

First Lt. Colonel Henry Washington, with Usher's Dragoons, descended the hill […] Next a 'Forlorn Hope' of 600 horse went down as an advanced guard to the army. […] followed by […] Charles Gerard's brigade. The 'Carriage Horses of the Cannon were put behind the Carriages, excepting a Horse or two before and the Foot were ordered to descend as well as they could'. By the time all this was done it was past 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
Edgehill 1642. (Peter Young). 1967.
Earl of Essex

Essex is alerted

Essex first learns of the Royalist Army being so close - and now rendezvousing on Edgehill - at 8am on the day of the battle, while on his way to church.

This could have been anywhere along his route but it has been imagined that Essex may have nearly reached the church when he heard. The tower of Kineton's St Peters' Church is contemporary with the battle.

Standing outside the old Church to-day one can picture the Earl of Essex discussing the situation with his commanders.
Colonel H. C. B. Rogers. (Battles & Generals of the Civil Wars). 1968.

Royalist Army arrives

Around this area of the escarpment and Knowle End the Royalist Army would have first congregated as they gradually arrived from their various quarters at villages generally to the east of these hills. Between here and Ratley (to the south) was Ratley's open common field which would also have provided a useful space (and was most probably used the following afternoon when the Royalists rested all Monday upon the Hill). Many would have arrived from the east and southeast along Camp Lane, most probably including the king himself, as well as through Arlescote.

The King took up his position at Knoll End at noon
Story of Warwickshire. (J.H.Bloom). 1920.

The army arrived throughout the early morning with specific times provided for the King's Horse regiment having arrived between 10 and 11am, followed by the Van of Foot within an hour. But the Lord-Lieutenant-General's Regiment didn't arrive until around 2 hours after this, by which time the Parliamentary army had already begun to deploy in the great broad field below.

In stark contrast to many secondary narratives, there is no evidence to suggest the Royalist Army formally deployed upon, along or across Edgehill prior to the battle (which appears to originate from assumptions made by antiquarian accounts or traditions; most notably an illustration by local Rev George Miller, in 1896). Contemporary accounts appear to describe the opposite while also only allowing timings for rendezvous and then decent.

The foot only came into place some hours later, and an exceedingly strong position was taken up along the brow of the hill, with the King's tent and standard in the middle. […] the lonely house, called the Sun Rising (then an inn), which marked the extension of the King's left wing;
A History of Oxfordshire. (John Meade Falkner). 1899.

This Victorian narrative continues in modern publications, including new variations:

[…] Prince Rupert's cavalry got ready to charge. Among those careering down the hill into the Roundheads was Bulstrode: […]
The English Civil War at First Hand. (Tristram Hunt). 2003.
As well as there being no contemporary or near contemporary account of the Royalists deploying on the hill prior to the battle and the existence of such accounts that actually recite an alternative order of events, it is also well documented and understood that the Royalists favoured a proactive attack which the supposition for their army to have deployed along the escarpment edge fundamentally contradicts. The earliest documented reference making any potential suggestion for the Royalists adopting a wide formation across the escarpment - and seemingly based upon the assumption that the king was at the centre of his army - is by a local labourer in the first half of the 19th century who only describes how the king had been near the Edge hill village. This echoes an apparent era of a narrative becoming established that the Royalists stretched along the escarpment which in turn became an assumption that they had initially and formally deployed upon the hill.
Ed. www.battleofedgehill.org 2012.

Parliament had been decisive; once alerted of the Royalists close proximity on the hill, they prepared themselves and quickly seized a defensive advantage of claiming the best positions across the open expanse of land in the vale (flanked by hedgerows on either side). Once the entire Royalist army had arrived - which wasn't until mid-afternoon - they then descended the hill.

As soon as we came to the Top of Edgehill […] we saw the Rebels Army drawing out, and setting themselves in Battalia whereupon the King's Horse went down the Hill, and set themselves in order; the Foot likewise having Command to come down the Hill, and do the like; but before that was done, and the King's Aritllery came, it was past 2 in the Afternoon.
Official Royalist Account.
When all his Majesty's troops were come up to him, he march'd down the hill,
James II
There was little danger of the Roundheads attacking up Edge Hill [sic], owing to its immense strength as a position, but it made a very secure forming up place.
Battles & Generals of the Civil Wars, 1642 - 1651. (Colonel H.C.B. Rogers). 1968.
Throughout the morning, regiments of horse and then foot gathered on the hillside from where the Earl of Essex could be seen marshalling his army in the valley below. Politically it would have been unwise for him [Essex] to launch an attack on the annointed [sic] King, for it was not yet openly accepted that the King himself was responsible for the disastrous state of war.
Traveller's Guide to the Battlefields of the English Civil War. (Martyn Bennett). 1990.

The whole army congregated around this broad area of Knowle End (and along Camp Lane), before descending directly to the plain below. At an elevation of 215m, this area is the highest point of the escarpment before it reaches the A422, to the south.

(The name Camp Lane relates to the ancient Nadbury Camp hillfort nearby).

King Charles' Road (Site of)

A narrow track called 'King Charles Road' once ran (here) in a straight line from the hillside to King's Leys Barn and is featured in Peter Young's 1967 Edgehill publication, amongst others. It is speculated to have existed during the battle.

On maps of this battle a line is generally shown called "King Charles' lane" or "road," "or carriage way." It runs perfectly straight from the lower edge of the cover to King's Leys Barn […] As marked on the map it should run from the wood on the left of the road going down Knowle-end hill [B4086] direct to some solitary farm buildings near the lower of the two lanes [Langdon Lane] …
History of Radway. 1937.

The track is featured in some versions of the local folklore that Charles sent for his carriage at the end of the battle, while other sources have suggested that King Charles toured the battlefield the next morning riding in his coach, and it may have been believed that this track formed part of that journey. Such local mythology struggles to withstand factual scrutiny.

In the evening it descended the hill - the track it took is still called King Charles's [sic] Road - and drew up at a place called the King's Leys
Illustrated Naval & Military Magazine.
(George Miller). 1890.

Ploughed land

Evidence of ancient ridge and furrow (created by ploughed strips) still exists within the modern Graveground Coppice woodland. Contemporary accounts describe how Royalist cannon balls landed in such terrain.

the enemy did shoote one to us, which fell 20 yards short in a plowed Land, and did no harme [sic]
Edward Kightley. (Parliamentarian commander).

A contemporary letter also describes the King's artillery:

for being so much upon the descent his cannon either shot over, or if short it would not graze [bounce/skid] by reason of the ploughed land
Anonymous letter.

Pratt's barn

Evidence exists to indicate that a barn stood here during the battle. (Isolated barns were a common feature of the landscape). Pratt's barn was in the adjoining parish to Radway and stood within Little Kineton's common field. Recent research includes detail concerning this barn and allows for the possibility of locating the Earl of Lindsey's final hours.

Edward Hyde (Earl of Clarendon) began writing his account of the war as early as 1641 and describes how Lindsey - a key member of the King's council - died that night in a barn. Clarendon would have descended the hill that morning making his way beyond the village of Radway and described the barn as being of the next village.

He brought word of the death of the earl of Lindsey; who, being carried out of the field a prisoner, into a barn of the next village, for want of a surgeon, and such accommodations as were necessary, within few hours died with the loss of blood, his wound not being otherwise mortal or dangerous.
Clarendon. (History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England).

This also became a popular and romantic tale from the battle:

Lord Lindsay [sic] was shot through the thigh bone, and fell. He was instantly surrounded by the rebels on horseback; but his son, Lord Willoughby, seeing his danger, flung himself alone among the enemy, and forcing his way forward, raised his father in his arms thinking of nothing else, and unheeding his own peril. The throng of enemy around called to him to surrender, and, hastily giving up his sword, he carried the Earl into the nearest shed, and laid him on a heap of straw, vainly striving to staunch the blood. It was a bitterly cold night, and the frosty wind came howling through the darkness. Far above, on the ridge of the hill, the fires of the King's army shone with red light, and some way off on the other side twinkled those of the Parliamentary forces [at Little Kineton]. Glimmering lanterns or torches moved about the battlefield, those of the savage plunderers who crept about to despoil the dead.
Charlotte Mary Yonge. (A Book Of Golden Deeds). 1864.

Flanking hedgerows & enclosures

The dilapidated hedgerows of the truly ancient Martlemore Lays field and probably the adjoining Martlemere Furlong - now both long gone - are believed to have provided much of the cover utilised by the Parliamentarian dragoons and musketeers around their right flank and forward of their right-wing cavalry.

The left Wing [of the Royalists] was opposed to the Enemies right, which had the shelter of some Hedges lin'd with Musqueteers [sic].
Clarendon. (History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England).
on their [the Parliamentarians] right Wing were some Briars covered with Dragoons
Sir Richard Bulstrode, Memoirs.
seeing they [the Parliamentarians] were not strong enough to encounter with the King's left wing, and lin'd the bushes with some dragoons [sic].
King James II.

But the Royalist dragoons soon forced them back:

Aston, with great courage and dexterity, beat off those musketeers with his dragoons; and then the right wing of their horse was as easily routed and dispersed as their left. […]
The left Wing [of the Royalists], Commanded by Mr Wilmot, had as good success [as the Royalist's right wing], though they were to charge in worse ground, among hedges, and through gaps and ditches, which were lin'd with Musqueteers [sic]
Clarendon.

It has also been suggested that the 'mor' of the larger 'Micklemore' (recorded in 1756), in which these fieldnames exist, may relate wet, rather than dry, heathy ground. A detail from Foard's 2012 study suggests the 'Fur' label of what is usually referred to as Martlemere Furlong, may be short for 'Furze', which would indicate an area of rough heathy terrain featuring Gorse growth.

Tip: View the Terrains overlays: 1642 and 1756.
For further detail concerning these ancient enclosures: Terrain Conjecture.

Musketeers in the hedge

A hedgerow which is believed to have once crossed this field is a strong candidate for fitting a description provided by the Royalist official account of the battle.

It being perceived that the Rebels [the Parliamentarians] had placed some Musqueteers under a Hedge that crost the Field, where the Encounter was to be made, that flanked upon their left Wing, there were some of the King's Dragooners sent to beat them off… [sic]
Official Royalist Account

A sketch by de Gomme, drawn after the war for Prince Rupert's diaries, shows rudimentary hedged enclosures ahead of and stepping across - from the right - the projected path of much of Rupert's right-wing cavalry. It is annotated with hedges lined with parliaments dragoons.

our Dragoons on our Right beat the Enemy from the Briars
Sir Richard Bulstrode

Archaeology from this region has not resolved this potential conclusively, and appears to also reflect several periods of peripheral action during the battle.

It has been suggested that the road originally bordered this enclosure prior to turnpiking.
View the suggested 1642 terrain in the 'Historic Terrain 1642' overlay.

King's Leys Barn (Site of)

This is a rare example of a building which featured within the events of an early modern British battle. The barn was demolished in the mid 1900s, but a large pile of overgrown rubble still marks its location and is highly visible. Excavated in 2002, the barn's location was confirmed and bullets from the battle were also found around its vicinity.

The small barn - found to be a three sided structure - was used as a field hospital during the battle and at the time was encompassed by a hedge.

King James II would also describe how he and his brother were being escorted away from any danger as young boys during the battle when they were spotted by a small group of Parliamentarian cavalry. After the royal entourage took cover behind the barn the horsemen turned and headed back to the main action.

[…] drew behind a little barn not far distant from them, which was incompassed by a hedge. In this barn severall of the King's wounded men were then dressing, but the Enemy observing the King's men to be within the inclosure, drew immediatly back without ingaging them, by which means the Prince and the Duke escaped the evident danger of being taken [sic]
King James II's account: Life of James II.
Published from the original Stuart MSS in Carlton House, ed. by T.S. Clarke, 1816.

In relation to the 2009 deployment interpretation, it's location relative to other details provided by James, now makes its location much more logical.

The barn is also often featured within whimsical folklore concerning where King Charles slept after the battle.

Earl of Essex

The Earl of Essex

Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex (1591-1646): Lord General of the armies of Parliament from 1642 to 1645.

Made the first Captain-General and Chief Commander of the Parliamentarian army in 1642, he had extensive, if undistinguished, European military experience. Essex and his army had been marching south-eastwards from Worcester in an attempt to block the King's progress to London.

He was the first to deploy his army across the plain during the morning either fully expecting a pitched battle, to pre-empt a potential attack, or as a provocative challenge. As some of his forces were still on route to Kineton, it could be argued that his actions were to encourage the King's council to digress from their London objectives for which they had stolen a small march on Essex's army.

He chose to position his army across the open field where it was narrowest, achieving some height as well as utilising protective hedges and scrub on either flank. Its reported that the Earl fought with his own regiment of Foot - the Lord General's Regiment - with pike in hand and at a crucial stage actioned the advance of Lord Brooke's and his own regiment to capitalise upon a cavalry attack by Stapleton upon Byron's infantry regiment within the Royalist centre.

the earl with great dexterity performed whatsoever could be expected from a wise general
Clarendon

Essex (and Lord Brooke) supplied funds for the care of wounded men after the battle.

It is well established that the Parliamentarian forces utilised this small round hill (once known as Bleadon hill), within the large open fieldscape, but this exact position for Essex is inspired by Foard's 2009 deployment conjecture.

Sir Charles Lucas

Lucas's Knoll (Trad)

Local tradition records this higher ground as the location where Sir Charles Lucas rallied around 200 Royalist horsemen during the battle.

While virtually all the Royalist cavalry were leaving the immediate action - in pursuit of the enemy - Lucas managed to organise a collection of troopers from various regiments to attack the Parliamentary rear. He first engaged the fleeing infantry of Charles Essex's Regiment and then Lord Wharton's Regiment.

Amidst this, Captain John Smith had led three charges, and would later personally recapture the King's Royal Banner as he made his way back to the Royalist's frontline.

Here on this slight rise Lucas rallied some of his troopers and then launched a series of charges into the routing men who streamed across his front.
Edgehill - The Battle Reinterpreted. (Scott et al). 2004.

In relation to the 2009 deployment conjecture, this traditional location now appears perfectly vindicated and fits the interpretation of launching directly into the rear of Essex's brigade.

King Charles' route (Trad)

As Charles descended the hill, the wood and the enclosed park [above Radway Grange, which the "small wood" was "above"] obliged him to bear to the left, so that he passed the village of Radway a little to the left of the old church. The bells were ringing for evensong when Charles passed the church.
Rambles round Edge Hills.[sic] (George Miller). 1896.
After having carefully surveyed the enemy's position, Charles descended the hill with the centre of his army. The small wood and the thick belt round the park [above Radway Grange] obliged him to bear somewhat to the left. He therefore passed the village of Radway to the south of the old church.
Illustrated Naval & Military Magazine. (George Miller). 1890.
The wood and the park, surrounded by the belt of trees, obliged Charles, as he marched with his centre down the hill, to diverge somewhat to the left. He, therefore, passed the village of Radway, on the left of the old churchyard …
Archaeological Journal (Royal Archaeological Institute).
1889, Vol 46. (George Miller, p36).

Miller, who demonstrated a habit of mythologising various aspects of the supposed battlefield, is the original source to relate this unique and rare detail while he also incorporates geographical features to influence and substantiate his rationale (appearing to make this little more than his own supposition). It is based upon his deduction that Charles had been positioned near to where the Radway Tower now stands and had made his way to another traditional landmark (King's Clump) to the west of the old Radway church, but contemporary accounts as well as battle archaeology suggest a very different reality of their hilltop descent.

Modern authors of secondary sources often pick and choose which elements of Miller's musings to incorporate directly into their own narratives and which to completely ignore. This particular anecdote (which is as credible or incredible as anything else he ever offered concerning the battle) has not been used by any modern author.

Folklore inspiration (Trad)

Surviving earthworks record where the rambling hamlet of Westcote once stood, but the claims of author Alfred Beesley in 1841, of cannon balls being frequently found on the brow of the hill above perhaps remain inexplicable. Accommodating this detail he poses the suggestion that Possibly the hamlet of Westcot was destroyed at the battle of Edgehill. While extremely fanciful this is then elaborated upon by 1893's 'Shakespeare's Land' when the author states that cannon balls have been found on the site with the hamlet's supposed fate also reported much more confidently. But this casual hypothesis is then reported as fact by 'History of Radway' - written by Radway inhabitants - in 1937, when it states the hamlet was almost destroyed by the artillery during the battle.

The foundations of what was once known as old town appear to provide an example of how anything of antiquity is seemingly inevitably absorbed into some form of local folklore concerning the battle. The hamlet is believed to have been destroyed by the end of the 15th century.

A 2lb ball was also once found at the village of Hornton (to the south east).

A “gap in the hedge” conjecture

The presence of a hedgerow being contemporary with the battle and also representing the boundary between Kineton and Little Kineton's historic common fields is hinted at here by Radway's 18th century enclosure map. A hedgerow continuing westwards from here, or the adjacent Radway parish boundary hedgerow, could theoretically be the hedgerow mentioned within a contemporary account.

In relation to the 2009 deployment conjecture and the final stages of the battle - when Royalist infantry regiments had been forced back towards where they had started - either of these hedgerows could well be the hedgerow referenced in the official Parliamentarian account as a gap in the hedge.

Sir Philip Stapleton, who, when Five Troops of the Enemies Horse returned from pursuit of our [Parliamentarian] Left Wing, and from Plundering some of our Wagons, and passed by the outside of our Rear upon the Left hand, went and Charged them with his Troop, and made them run; but they finding a Gap in the Hedge, got away, and returned to the rest of their broken Troops, where they rallied and made up a kind of a Body again.
Parliamentarian Officers Account

One theory might support another contemporary account (by Ludlow) which described the party's return as marching from our rear on the left of us under the hedges as being on the north side of this potential hedgerow, with the "gap" that provided their escape being within the Radway boundary hedgerow? However, if local tradition of where Prince Rupert rallied his troops is accurate, then these events may relate to hedges further north of here, around the open field boundary and where the ground drops away.

For further detail concerning these hedgerows: Terrain Conjecture.

Rupert's tuesday attack

On the Tuesday following the battle - in a strategic manoeuvre to circumnavigate the battlefield and maintain an element of surprise - Prince Rupert, accompanied by a strong Detachment of Horse and Dragoons, descended the escarpment along this road for an attack upon any Parliamentarians that remained at Kineton.

He was characteristically ruthless when he found:

all Houses full of wounded and sick Men, with divers Officers, and several Waggons loaded with Muskets and Pikes, and all Sorts of Ammunition, preparing to follow the [Parliamentarian] Army, which was marched towards Warwick. [sic]
Sir Richard Bulstrode, Memoirs.

Fire fight

Archaeological evidence suggests that this is the general region - and extending southwards - where the fire fight drew the battle to a close during the dying light and where Gerard's brigade held the Parliamentarian counter-attack, with each opposing side on either side of the Radway brook and ditch.

A further scatter of musket bullets, towards the east of the battlefield, appears to represent the final stages of the infantry action, when the royalists retreated in the face of a parliamentarian counter-attack. According to the battle accounts, this was finally halted by artillery and musket fire from a ditch.
The Archaeology of English Battlefields; Conflict in the Pre-Industrial Landscape. (G. Foard & R. Morris). 2012.

Bleadon hill
(or sometimes/later Bladen hill)

Bleadon hill has long been traditionally considered the small wold described by a contemporary battle report as a small round hill which is the impression created when viewed from the north east. At this western point, its relative height is at its greatest, as it forms a short ridge heading north eastwards, but its eastern slopes quickly flatten and merge - north of Red road - into the general terrain halfway towards the Banbury road - but a small yet sharp depression and drop in land height into the lower terrain to the west maintains the impression of a small hill - from the west - as it bends north-westwards towards and along the Banbury road. (Along the road, the ground falls away again north-eastwards - to the north of the road).

Often this landscape feature has been alluded to as a small ridge apparently simply running in a straight line from where the Oaks plantation now stands all the way to the Banbury road. The curving ridge and steeper sides to the west are shown in the first series OS map from 1834.

Bleadon (or Bladen) hill continues to be recognised as the small round hill, but this can only be loosely secured with caveats of viewing the raised ground from a given direction. An awkward truth may remain that Bleadon hill actually isn't "round" but is an extended oblong shape? The 2009 new interpretation of where the Parliamentarian left infantry were positioned may produce a new interpretation for the contemporary description of small round hill, as standing amidst their shallow ground one is encompassed by a small and round hill as it curves around a shallow valley in a "round" shape.


The Oaks plantation: This round woodland (which was not present during the battle) is a key landmark feature for locating this significant swell of land.

The tradition(s) of king & barn

For over a hundred years King's Leys Barn (nearby) has often been associated with King Charles and is famously thought to be where he spent the night after the battle.

He [King Charles] himself spent the night at the foot of the hill at what is now called King's Leys Barn.
The Battlefields of England. (Albert Higgins Burne) 1950.
Charles stayed on the field the night after the battle, making himself as comfortable as possible in King's Ley Barn [sic].
British Battlefields. (Philip Warner). 1972
Charles spent the night himself […] at what is now called King's Leys Barn.
(Peter Young & Richard Holmes). 1974.
That night Charles slept in King's Leys Barn Farm
(Lt Colonel Howard Green). 1974.
[…] Charles, having spent the night on the battlefield at Kings Leys Barn […]
Battlefield Walks in the Midlands. (Brian Conduit). 2004.
[…] Kings Leys Barn where the King spent the night after the battle.
Edgehill - The Battle Reinterpreted. (Scott et al). 2004.
[After the battle] The king spent a night in a barn
The English Civil War: A People's History.
(Diane Purkiss). 2006.
Charles spent the night in the barn of King's Leys Farm [sic]
Battlefields of England and Scotland. (John Kinross). 2016.

The Kineton region features many place names referring to local connections with the 13th century King John (including, King John's Well, King John's Field, the Kings Field and King John's Lane). The old barn which stood nearby was once known as The King's Barn and is labelled as such in the first edition OS map of 1834 (and other 19th c maps, such as those by Edward Weller). During the second half of the 19th century local folklore had evolved to associate the name with the 17th century King Charles instead.

this Battell was fought, in a field called Great Kings Field, taking the name from a Battell there fought by King John as they say
Edward Kightley, Nov 1642

Now known as King's Leys Barn (although long demolished), the first record of this new tradition fleetingly appears in 1893 in 'Shakespeare's Land' where the author states The King is said to have passed the night in the King's Leys Barn. This has since become a common feature of many guide books and even academic studies. One author from 1841, who was specifically researching local stories from the battle, demonstrates how the confusion and myth was later created when he wrote about the battle:

I have not heard of there being any tradition relating to the spot where the “King's Barn” is marked in the map.
The History of Banbury. (Alfred Beesley). 1841. (p314).

And even before this, early 19th century narratives were confident of the king's movements after the battle:

The King marched back with a great part of his army, the evening after the battle, to the position from which he had that day descended; and, from thence, further up, to the Wormleighton [Warmington] Hills, lying out, that night, in a hard and piercing frost.
Memorials of John Hampden. (Nugent). 1832.

Most significantly this tradition is in direct conflict with several contemporary accounts of the king and his army's movements after the battle.

His Glorious Majesty having lain that night upon the top of Edge-hill
A True Narrative and Manifest, 1679.

The assumption that the barn is named after Charles also appears to form the foundation for similar traditions deducing that the king past the night close by. But if George Miller's account (from 1889) of Sanderson Miller planting a clump of trees nearby - in the 18th century - to mark the spot where the king was believed to have passed the night on the battlefield is correct then it is conceivable that the barn took its original name from that landmark - but producing the same results.

Approach to battle

This road is the same road the Royalist army used to take their positions across the battlefield. The latest archaeology indicates that at two points, both armies deployed across it. Tantalisingly, Henry Beighton's map from 1728 had already illustrated this in similar locations and had also labelled the road as the approach taken from the hill by the Royalists.

Bullet Hill

[…] a musketeer fired a shot at Charles [on the ridge] which fell short. The spot today is known as Bullet Hill.
In search of Battlefields of Britian. (Abrahams & Alexander). 2009.

In secondary narratives the terraces of Bullet hill have often featured directly, and variously, within the battle and are often close to a battery of Royalist artillery positioned nearby. Among variations, such sources have also hypothesised that the local name given to these slopes are derived from Parliament aiming their cannon at the king's elevated position - after spotting his entourage - and this being either where the shot fell short or where he retreated to, out of range. Some Victorian narratives believe the fire fight towards the close of the battle relates to this region and provides the name's inspiration. The place name refers to an area of terraced slopes now largely occupied by a single large field below the higher eminence of Knowle End hill.

The enemy were near enough to be able to distinguish the King, and immediately fired their guns at the place where he stood. The shot fell short, beneath him, into a field since called Bullet Hill.
Archaeological Journal (Vol 46). (George Miller). 1889.
The declivity at the foot of Knowle End acquired the name of Bullet Hill from the heavy fire directed upon it by the Parliamentarians towards the close of the fight.
Shakespeare's Land. (C. J. Ribton–Turner). 1893.
[…] and Bullet Hill, where the greatest carnage happened in the dusk of the evening.
A History of Oxfordshire. (John Meade Falkner). 1899.

Charles R.B. Barrett writing in 1896 describes Bullet hill as the little hill in front of the steep Edgehill ridge - targeting the same location - and where relics of the fight are stated to have been discovered.

No cannon balls are recorded as having been found on this hillside, but Alfred Beesley and Edwin Walford both writting in the 19th century tell us that it had been the source of many bullets; which remains the most sensible explanation for the hill's local name. William Howitt, writing in the early 1800s, corroborates this:

[…] one place called Bullet-hill from the vast quantity of bullets which have been taken out of it
Howitt's Visits to remarkable places. (W. Howitt). 1839, 2nd ed.

With recent solid revisions in where the armies actually deployed, careful study of the consistencies of language used in contemporary accounts and the hill apparently having once been a traditional source of bullet finds, it is compelling to expect that this area might simply be one spot occupied by Royalist forces during the morning of the battle (and returned to the following morning). Any bullet finds may have been dropped or discarded. There is also the potential that such bullets relate to a separate skirmish from 1644 when around 100 Royalist cavalry were pursuing a small Parliamentarian cavalry force when they first caught up with the convoy goinge downe Edgehill and in Radway field [sic]. But most significantly there is one contemporary report by Wharton that his Lord General fired cannon - case shot/round shot - at the hill, on the Monday morning, as a provocative action against the Royalists, which could account for the number of bullets reputedly once ploughed up in this area?

We have discovered a lot of unsubstantiated stories about Parliament's opening cannon fire being directed at the King's person but believe this to be an expression of the magnitude of the challenge; a symbol of an attitude rather than a direct record of a specific event.
Edgehill - The Battle Reinterpreted. (Scott/Turton/Von Arni). 2004.
[…] traditionally Charles is said to have fired the first gun.
Battles And Battlefields In England.
(Charles R.B. Barrett). 1896.

With some cavalry forces perhaps arriving cross-country from the direction of Arlescote (or the east), the gentle slopes and flat terraces of Bullet hill which spill out from the Banbury road provide a convenient decamping area. (Cavalry troops which arrived hours before the infantry were the first to be observed by the Parliamentarians from Kineton). This is also seemingly the region where most of the Royalist cavalry took up their positions the next day - on the Monday morning - as this is a practical position allowing for forward advance (unlike the escarpment edge) as Parliament's official account seems to imply:

The next morning, […] the enemy drew out their horse in the morning upon the side of the hill
Written by Nathaniel Fiennes

John Belasyse would also write how they first defended the hill, which would involve a blockade across this easy gradient and track (or road) ascending this corner of the escarpment.

In 2000 as part of Sabin's 'Edgehill Project', which was a study of the historic landscape based principally upon fieldwalking survey, some small scale metal detecting survey was undertaken. This work concentrated largely on ground on the top of Edgehill and on the slopes well away from the battlefield. A few bullets were recovered during the detecting, notably a small group of pistol calibre bullets, some of which retained their sprues. This he interpreted as evidence of bullet casting prior to the battle. Given that our survey [metal detecting, 2004-7] did not encompass this peripheral area it is difficult to assess whether these finds are likely to have had an association with the battle.
[…] the report by Wharton that on 'Munday morning the Lord Generall caused some peeces of Ordnance to be shot off and played about the Hills for some time to invite the enemy to a second onset' [on the day following the pitched battle]. This, rather than action during the battle itself, might explain the reports of finds of roundshot on the slopes of Edgehill on Bullet Hill, at the brickworks, nearby, and on the slopes near Westcote.
Battlefield Archaeology of the English Civil War. (Glenn Foard). 2012.

Access to this area and Bullet hill is available via a permissive path. Use the 'Photographs & Public Footpaths' dynamic layer to illustrate this. This area has not been surveyed as part of a controlled archaeological survey.

Arlescote House

Here the King's young Prince and Duke (Charles & James) are thought to have been taken for safety during the battle.

The famous signature, by the future King Charles II, scratched into a windowpane - of what was once the kitchen at the rear of the house - is considered genuine and remained in situ until the second half of the 20th century. It has now been removed for safe keeping.

However, Clarendon - who fought at the battle - wrote that as evening approached the King had commanded that both the Prince and Duke in the company of of his pensioners withdraw to the top of the hill and that they had not been long upon the hill before the King sent order that they should go to Edgeworth [Edgcote], where his majesty had lain the night before.

The house was largely rebuilt after the Civil War.

King's Clump (Trad)

Reputedly where King Charles surveyed the scene according to local tradtion. Relayed in countless publications its role varies from a simple elevated viewing position, to where the King's Standard was also planted just prior to the battle commencing. The occasion of its supposed royal service also varies across the battle's timeline.

Occasionally called King's Clump, its one of three locations which Sanderson Miller, in the 18th century, planted with commemorative trees to record physical locations associated with the battle. While Alfred Burne, writing in the 1950s, seems to subtly imply the mound itself may have been fashioned by Miller (upon the known spot), the mound is marked as 'Mill bank' in the 1756 enclosure map, and is deemed artificial and recorded as Post Medieval by the Warwickshire Historical Environment Record.* The mound is also likely to be the same tumulus shown as a small mound in Henry Beighton's 1728 map which included battlefield details (and which would make it pre-Imperial).

A small mount or hillock of earth, situated about a quarter of a mile due west from Radway church by the side of an ancient road leading to the Battle Farms, is reputed to have been the spot to which the King advanced and with his prospect-glass took a view of the enemy.
Alfred Beesley. (The History of Banbury). 1841.
[…] the King, who had been watching the fickle fortunes of his soldiers from a mound (now the King's Clump) near Radway, narrowly escaped being made a prisoner.
Edwin Walford. (Edge Hill: the Battle and Battlefield). 1886.

The tradition has always been suspect, demonstrating the usual hallmarks of notable features of antiquity inevitably becoming mythologised within events of the battle, while also suffering from several variations. Arguably, the robust research demonstrating the Royalist's actual starting positions in recent years has further undermined this traditional lore.

[Sanderson Miller] also marked the supposed site where the King's Standard stood during the battle - on a windmill mound known in 1756 as Mill Bank. (Burne, 1996).
Glenn Foard. (Battlefield Archaeology of the English Civil War). 2012.

* Warwickshire Historical Environment Record - SMR Number: 1402

Rupert's Headland (Trad)

A famed piece of local tradition believes that Prince Rupert rallied, or reined, parts of his cavalry during the battle at an area of rising ground since known as Rupert's Headland [recorded as Clarke's Meadow in modern surveys]. The name originally referred to the 'headland' running across the ends of ridge and furrow in a field hereabouts (200yrds from the road). Known to be close to the Kineton parish border, the field's tradition appears to have evolved from the discovery of bullets turned up by the plough.

Numbers of bullets have from time to time been ploughed up in the field. […]
[…] in three-quarters of a mile [From Chadshunt Church towards Kineton], some 200 yards from the road runs the ridge or furrow known as "Rupert's Headland,"
Shakespeare's Land. (C.J. Ribton-Turner). 1893.

A dozen carbine bullets have also been found in this region, east of the road, in recent years along a stretch of kinked hedgerow and thin copse bordering its south-eastern edge and adjoining field; although nothing was found in the field south of the copse (Far Piece). George Miller's narrative (and map from 1896) indicates the area known as Rupert's Headland is east/south of the road:

Rupert himself did not draw rein [after the opening charge] till he came to a spot between Kineton and Chadshunt, near to the keeper's house, which still bears the name of Rupert's headland. […] When Rupert arrived at the headland, he wheeled his troops round, and fell upon the baggage of the enemy, carrying off Lord Essex's carriage.
Illustrated Naval & Military Magazine. (George Miller). 1890.
It is not in Radway parish but near the road between Kineton and Chadshunt.
History of Radway. 1937.

While the battle archaeology found here could indicate an area of fighting, as royalist cavalry pursued their quarry during the battle, it in fact most probably locates the little known skirmish from March 1644 between a small Parliamentarian cavalry force - returning to Warwick with prisoners after a raid on a royalist camp at Adderbury - and a hundred or so Royalist cavalry in pursuit from Banbury. The Royalists first caught up with, or caught sight of, the convoy goinge downe Edgehill and in Radway field leaving half of the Parliamentarians to rush back to Warwick with their prisoners while a rearguard faced about neere Keynton, to engage the Royalists at the end of a lane. With twelve of their men then killed they were forced to retreat and barricade themselves in Chadshunt church. The Royalists then attempted to set fire to the village managing to burn down only two or three houses and some harvested crops as they rode off.

This single piece of place name folklore appears to have significantly influenced many early narratives as to Rupert's movements, and in different ways, during this stage of the battle.

[…] obliging him [Rupert] to reform his troops at a spot still known as Prince Rupert's headland, about half a mile from Kineton on the road to Chadshunt, and then to retreat to the Royal lines.
Shakespeare's Land. (C.J. Ribton-Turner). 1893.
The pillage of these [principal part of Parliament's baggage lying in wagons] now wholly fixed the attention of the Prince, who thus delayed his return to the battle […] The alarm was given to him, while thus employed, that the enemy was again forming, reinforced by fresh troops, on the outskirts of the town. The ground on which he rallied and drew up his cavalry to charge them again, is still known as 'Prince Rupert's Headland,' and gives its name to a farm about a mile to the northeastward of Kineton.
Nugent. (Memorials of John Hampden). 1832.

Modern occupants record a field to the rear (west) of the nearby "farm" (adjoining the road, to the west) as "Prince Rupert". A field name recorded in Radway parish in the 18th century as 'Hovel Meadow,("Prince Rupert's hovel.")' cannot be located. Modern housing, forming part of Kineton, was constructed on adjoining enclosures south west of the Rupert's Headland, and began to encroach upon the site in 2015.

Mollington

The King's army wound its way in the very early morning [of the 23rd] through Mollington and Warmington, Charles wearing a suit of silver armour, with a black velvet surcoat and the collar of the George.
A History of Oxfordshire. (John Meade Falkner). 1899.

Not only a Royalist billet the night before the battle, but the king and much of his army are also believed to have passed through Mollington on their way to Edgehill, while one old local tradition curiously also records a place-name close by as Prince Rupert's Tent.

The position of his tent is to be seen in an old map of Warwickshire.
Archaeological Journal.
(George Miller). 1889.

The “King's Ley Copse” (Trad)

George Miller, a local historian and descendant of Radway's famed Sanderson Miller was published in the late 1800s and often demonstrated unique knowledge of the area's relationship with the battle. It is only from him we learn that his ancestor (the 18th century squire of Radway) had planted copses to mark battlefield locations.

His omission of any traditions relating directly to King's Leys Barn (in 1889 & 1896) provides supportive evidence of their relatively recent invention, but he does declare that a clump of trees were planted close by in around 1736 by Sanderson Miller to mark where the king had passed the night in his carriage.

He also tells us that the trees were cut down in 1863 to enlarge the farm-yard and it is known that the barn, at one time, formed part of a collection of small farm buildings (and stood at their southern corner).*

Other publications from this era demonstrate an ignorance of such a theory and appear to simply relate an established narrative - up until this time - of the king returning to the hills. Sanderson Miller may have been influenced by Henry Beighton's vague and approximate map of 1728 which curiously shows the tent of Charles the 2nd somewhere around this central region.

Slowly the scattered Royalists collected around their banners, and retired over the hill, from which they had descended […]
Bygone Warwickshire. (William Andrews). 1893.

Regrettably, this particular folklore, which influenced George Miller's hypothesis of where the battle lines reached at the end of the day, are heavily (and satisfactorily) contradicted by several contemporary accounts from the battle and clearly record the king and most of his army returning to the hilltops as night fell.

* One reference to theses buildings includes the 1886 and 1891 OS maps. The later and current King's Leys Spinney nearby is unrelated.

Contemporary enclosures

Recent research suggests that these three (or more) enclosures were present during the battle. For several traditional deployment interpretations this detail would be particularly relevant, but it may also illustrate influence brought to the routes of cavalry passing through, and from, Parliament's right-wing.

Their age and existence are implied by the perimeter of the Battle Farm estate map drawn in 1701.

Hilltop enclosure

The upper slopes of the Edgehill escarpment are traditionally thought to have been rough open heath and grass land, with perhaps a small wood sitting above the Radway Grange parkland, at the time of the battle. But in addition to several stone buildings already occupying the hilltop at what is now the Edge Hill village, recent research also proposes that here a 445m long enclosure, later known as Wood Closes, also predated the battle.

Use the 1756 terrain map to view its footprint.

Cavaliers and the Blacksmith (Trad)

At the well-known 'Egge cottage', there has long been a local tradition that Cavaliers had their horse's re-shoed before the battle. This stone cottage was designed and built by Radway's squire, at the end of his parkland, in around 1743 as one of the earliest cottage ornés. As Sanderson Miller's first example of his Gothic revival architecture he designed prominent rounded towers at two corners as well as originally including random masonry standing against its outside walls; all to provide the impression that it had been created from pre-existing old ruins. He would repeat this romantic vision elsewhere, including other projects within the Edge Hill village.

This local folklore arguably provides yet another example of anything of apparent antiquity, morphing into anicdotes concerning the battle.

Village lore has always claimed that there was possibly a blacksmith's shop on the site [of Egge Cottage]. It was said to be the oldest building in Edge Hill and at the time of the Civil War it is claimed that horses were shod there prior to the Battle of Edge Hill [sic].
Ratley - The Story of a Warwickshire Parish.
(J.Ashby & D.Batchelor).
circa 2006.

However, 16th century stone cottages are known to have existed in the village, or hamlet, making the basic premise of this tradition conceivable, but one contemporary account states the very Smiths hid themselves, that they might not be compell'd to shoe Horses, of which in those stony ways there was a great need [sic]

.

Adjacent and running northwards along and through this region of the wooded scarp, one set of modern authors have interpreted a pathway to be the escarpment's original route, but these wooded pathways were in fact created by Sanderson Miller in the mid-eighteenth century when he extended his estate further north above the town after the enclosure of Radway. This section - running from the road down past the rear of the cottage - was however originally part of an ancient route which led almost directly down to Radway and was eventually incorporated, by Miller, into his shanty ruins and tower complex as a grand entrance to his estate from the hill top.

Battle historography curiosity (Trad)

George Salmon of Long Itchington and friend of Radway's Sanderson Miller was the cartographer of Radway Field's 1756 enclosure map. Within it he was clearly influenced by Henry Beighton's 1728 map when he reproduced Beighton's battle interpretation within a decorative cartouche in the footer of his document. While Beighton included some approximate locations of places supposedly relating to the battle, Salmon's much larger scale document committed to placing details more exactly.

As a curiosity (reflecting beliefs of the time) at this spot Salmon pitches Beighton's tent for the young Prince Charles, who along with his brother was present at the battle. (Confusingly, within the actual map Salmon labels the tent's location as 'King Charles Tent', but elsewhere - as like Beighton - describes the battle between Parliament and Ch:1st, and then labels the tent as 'Tent of Ch:2nd and K⋅James'. i.e. the brothers Charles the 2nd and King James). Beighton appears to position his tent close by but on the Banbury road behind the Royalist forces.

Mr [Sanderson] Miller has again been with me […] He mentions with what reluctance he left a surveyor at Radway, employed in taking plans of the field of battle near Edgehill. This he purposes to enrich with a number of anecdotes, gleaned from his neighbourhood; which must probably render it extremely entertaining, and surely Edgehill fight was never more unfortunate to the nation, than it was lucky for Mr. Miller!
Extract from a William Shenstone letter to Richard Jago (poets).

Our modern and detailed understanding of events now establishes any such tent as extremely unlikely if nonsensical, but again highlights the local attention once given to this small area for having royal connections with the battle. This detail provided by Salmon may cast concerns over the accuracy of other battle related references in his document.

Langdon Lane

As an established track providing a shortcut for carriages and wagons from the newer end of Radway to the Banbury road in the direction of Kineton, Langdon Lane is clearly established by the mid 18th century, but it remains only probable that a rough route existed during the battle.

The length of the lane traverses across the routes three broken brigades of Royalist infantry would have taken as they ran back towards Edgehill. Archaeological evidence also suggests where some had been pursued by horse mounted Parliamentarians and a musketeer's powder box cap was also found towards the centre of the modern field - possibly next to an ancient hedge - to the west of this marker.

View the 'Archaeological Finds' layer to reveal traces of archaeology, including pistol fire presumably from Parliamentarian cavalry, behind the lines of Royalist infantry, as the battle continued.

Graves Furlong

There are several documented battle grave sites at Edgehill, but in addition this region is labelled as 'Graves Furlong' in George Salmon's 1756 enclosure map and may indicate another location for the dead relating to the battle. It would be the only record of a mass grave site on the eastern (Royalist's) side of the Radway brook, which divided the two armies as night fell. Before burial, the bodies were collected and piled into heaps:

the [Royalist] enemy slaine, for they lay on their own ground, twenty, and thirty of heapes together
Edward Kightley

Not necessarily related, but a curious account is recorded in a 1937 publication of workmen unearthing several skeletons, although no specific location is provided. (Where were those pipes?!):

[…] a good many years ago, two Radway men, draining a field on the site of the battle, came on a row of skeletons, laid side by side. The men calmly cut them across and laid the pipes through them!
History of Radway. (Hunt, Dickens & Land). 1937.

Unknown scattered burials remain possible towards or within the Radway parish and away from the central rout.

… and the skeletons of human bodies are frequently discovered [at the battlefield].
'A topographical dictionary of England'. (Ed, Samuel Lewis). 1848.

One Parliamentarian Chaplain wrote:

[…] for upon Tuesday myselfe, with some friends and neighbours of Kynton and Wellsborn, viewed the dead then unburyed, and where there was one in our quarters, there were foure in the enemies, I pray to God to send peace amongst ys, that I may never see the like again [sic]
A More True and an Exacter Relation. Nov 1642.
[…] Captain Kingsmill, who was killed [in] Radway parish according to the 1756 map, was buried in Radway churchyard. This confirms that the slain were buried in the parish in which they fell. It therefore seems likely that Graves Furlong, recorded in Radway in 1756, is the site of a mass grave for those that fell in that parish. If correct then this could have implications for the numbers killed in the battle, as the vicar of Kineton's estimate [of 3300] might only relate to burial in his parish.
Battlefield Archaeology of the English Civil War. (Glenn Foard). 2012.

Ed. Note (above): It remains highly speculative where Kingsmill was killed, as the original effort to commemorate such a location appeared in an earlier 18th century map by Beighton, in a very vague and broad region of his document (traversing parishes), which also features other details later inspiring/influencing the 1756 enclosure map. Although there is a story of his mother paying two men for a year to search for Kingsmill's body (which seems incredibly unlikely that they could have succeeded), the attempt to locate one man's location where he died on 18th century maps is unique and clearly only attempted due to the celebrated effigy of Kingsmill at Radway's Church (which was installed over two decades after the battle by his mother). Other battle related inaccuracies from the 1756 map only underpins doubts that Kingsmill's supposed location recording where he fell can surely only be hopelessly approximate (if not wholly invented) *. If he were originally buried at Radway then presumably other Royalists of rank would also have been moved to Radway from the battlefield, of which there is absolutely no record. Graves Furlong - largely due to its location and its modern name - remains a probable location for a battle related burial site (although Roman and Anglo-Saxon occupation in this region is known).
* (This is the same document which imaginatively and inexplicably locates a tent for the young Charles II within the same vicinity).

The King's breakfast (Trad)

Variations of a popular, if unlikely, local tradition relate how the king breakfasted at a cottage in Radway. Most probably evidence of entrepreneurial tourism, details have included the table he ate at - although its eventual fate is unknown - and the fact the cottage was demolished in 1882. The cottage is often described as having been situated directly below Radway's tower:

In the village of Radway, at the foot of the hill, is a cottage in which tradition says the king and the princes breakfasted on the morning after the battle, and an old table was formerly shewn [shown] as the one they used, but it has been sold as a relic.
William Howitt (1839).
The King is said to have taken breakfast, on the morning of this eventful day, at a cottage in the village of Radway immediately below the present Round House.
Alfred Beesley (1841).
Those who have visited the battle-field will be told how the King breakfasted at a cottage at Radway immediately below the Round House.
J. Tom Burgess. (1874).
The cottage at the foot of the hill near Radway, which tradition pointed out as the one in which the King breakfasted, has been pulled down.
Edwin Walford (1886).
The next morning the King walked to the village of Radway, where he breakfasted at a cottage, in which was preserved the old table, on which his meal was served. The cottage was pulled down in 1882.
George Miller. (1889).
[…] breakfasted at a cottage […] and contained, fastened into the wall, the old table on which the meal was served.
George Miller. (1890).
On the following morning (Monday) he [the king] breakfasted in a cottage which formerly stood below the Round Tower, and which was pulled down a few years ago.
Charles James Ribton-Turner. (1893).
There was a cottage in Radway (now pulled down) which was situated in what is now a corner of Mrs. Carey's garden, where tradition has it, that the King breakfasted on the morning of the day of battle. More probably it was the morning after.
History of Radway. (1937).

This local folklore is contradicted by several contemporary accounts of the king and his army relocating to the hills - towards Warmington - during the night with one contemporary account also explicitly describing how the king ate the next day:

Night made them sound a retreat, of both sides say the parliamentarians. I shall not contradict it. This I am sure that the king was master of the field where he dined the next day upon a drum head and stayed within 4 miles till the dead were buried.
Contemporary Newsletter/Letter. First published by G.Davies. 1921.

One contemporary report indicates that the king had spent the next day - after the main battle - 5 miles to the south east at Hanwell (House).

Estimated location - consulting 18th century map, 19th century drawing and descriptions and where 'Mrs Carey's residence is understood to have been by modern Radway inhabitants. The national archives also appear to confirm a Mrs Carey at 'Grange Cottage' (or Grove Cottage).

The King's cottage (Trad)

Concerning a once popular local folklore of the king breakfasting in the village, Alan Sharkey in his 2003 'Forgotten Heroes' (of Radway) booklet offers his hypothesis that the king actually ate at an alehouse next to the grange (presumably in this vicinity). While the building has long been demolished, he believes the building's doorstep can still be seen.

Here an approximate and speculative location also targets an old route through the village, called 'Grange Lane', which journeyed up the hill.

Mr Sharkey has offered to pin-point the doorstep location in due course.

Edgehill memorial stone

A roadside Edgehill battle memorial monument. Erected by Warwickshire County Council in 1949 - replicating the earlier version standing within the central battlefield - it reads:

The battle of Edgehill was fought on this ground October 23rd 1642. Several hundred of those who fell in the fighting both cavalier and roundhead lie buried near this stone.

The twin memorial stands within the MOD camp at Graveground Coppice.

Edge Hill House / Sunrising Inn

A building with origins dating back to the early 17th century, it is also the site of Edgehill battle traditions.

At the point where the pathway enters the Stratford-on-Avon road stands Edge Hill House (the Sun Rising) wherein years ago were some curious relics of the fight: breast-plates, swords, matchlocks, and a sword supposed on the evidence of emblems in its decoration to have belonged to the Earl Lindsay, who commanded the royalists forces prior to the battle, and who received his death wound in the fight.
Edge Hill: the Battle and Battlefield. (Edwin Walford). 1886.
The Earl of Lindsey, commander of the Royal Army, was mortally wounded and together with his son Lord Willoughby taken prisoner. The Earl was first carried to Edge Hill House, and then conveyed in a coach to Warwick Castle, expiring on the Tuesday morning just as he reached the Castle. […] Among the other relics [from the battle, was] a beautiful piece of tapestry work said to be a portion of the hangings of the bed on which Lord Lindsey lay when wounded.
Shakespeare's Land. (C. J. Ribton-Turner). 1893.

It remains highly unlikely that Lindsey was brought here and contemporary accounts describe the use of a barn for the commander and his son following the battle.

[…] the earl of Lindsey received a shot in the thigh, which brake the bone. He was straight carried to a little village hard by and by some clowns discovered to the earl's commanders, and by them carried from thence to Warwick, where he died. [sic]
Contemporary Newsletter. Pub by G.Davis. 1921.

This is also said to be the setting for the well known painting 'The eve of the Battle of Edge Hill, 1642', by Charles Landseer (1845), showing his council of war under the tree called the King's Oak, at the farm house and being served by the farmer and his daughters. (C. J. Ribton-Turner). It is not known, and remains unlikely, that Charles visited this region of the escarpment on the day of the battle.

Once a well known and celebrated Inn it also occasionally features within modern Edgehill battle traditions for claiming to have served the king his breakfast on the Sunday morning.

[…] from Edgcote by way of Warmington leaving sons at Knowle Hill & himself breakfast at Sunrising, a house at the south eastern end of the hills.
Warwickshire. (John Lisle). 1936.
[…] Charles came south from Southam through Wormleighton to Edgcote - through Warmington, left his boys at Knowle Hill, had breakfast at the Sunrising house, & then returned to the "high point" at the very centre of the hill.
Highways & Byways in Shakespeare's Country. (Hutton). 1914.

Additional burial site(?)

[…] a place called Battle Farm, where several of the slain were interred; and in a field about a mile to the west of the town [Kineton] is a tumulus covering several hundred of them
A topographical dictionary of England. (Ed, Samuel Lewis). 1848.

This 19th century text appears to provide a poor or confused location for the well known 'Grave Grounds' region, at the centre of the battlefield, but if the author hasn't mistaken west for south, it potentially captures a "lesser known" burial site somewhere in this region. There are tumulus candidates west of Kineton.

Grave(s)

Contrary to many researchers' best efforts there remains considerable confusion as to the amount or actual locations of battle related grave sites at Edgehill.

This is the approximate spot suggested as a possible grave site by G.Foard* founded from historic maps.

One source attributes this record specifically to Beighton (1767 [sic]) but positions it within the eastern corner of the, sharp cornered, enclosure nearby, 150m to the west. This is the area approximately shown in a map by Henry Beighton of 1725, with the label Gravis Chappel yard and shows five rectangular shapes**; presumably graves. The location, from Beightons basic large scale map, could locate this feature westwards, adjacent to Little Kineton and almost anywhere within the modern sports grounds.

It remains unknown whether this yard has relations with the battle, as its thought that the Chapel stood within the village, but its proximity to the attack on the Parliamentarian baggage train may have provided an obvious burial site (for soldiers and civilians killed). Inexplicably Charles R.B Barrett may possibly be the only author - until very recently - to refer to these potential battle burials in his battlefields compendium of 1896. His description appears to fit the location and he provides a sketch from the perspective of the Battle Farm estate.

Far in the distance towards Kineton, in a small bush dotted field, those slain by Rupert in his cavalry charge and pursuit were buried.
Battles And Battlefields In England. (Charles R.B. Barrett). 1896.

* Conflict in the pre-industrial landscape of England: a resource assessment. G.Foard. 2008.
** Not shown in his 1728 version.


A 'Shipston-on-Stour' Ordinance Survey Draft map drawn in 1813, captures a rectangular feature, now lost and seemingly beneath the much later Bridge Street road leading into Kineton and it appears to be associated with 'Great House' (as labelled in 1834) to its east, but completely removed from OS mapping by 1884-1893. It might be tempting to speculate whether this is the 'yard' or a once formal landscaping which incorporated it?

When Stephen de Segrave died in 1325 he was seised of 'a rent from the keeper of the chapel of Little Kyngton', [Little Kineton] but no other reference to this chapel has been found, except that 'the late chapel of Kyngton and its site', with 1 acre of arable in Great and Little Kineton, was included in a multiple grant to Thomas Fisher.
Parishes: Kineton with Combrook. (p 103-108). A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 5, Kington Hundred. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1949.

The “Officer's Grave”

The Reverend of Radway - George Miller - in his article for the 1889 edition of the 'Archaeological Journal' describes a second battle related grave site location, using the place known as Grave Field, as a relative coordinate, and describes its location again in 1890:

The officers were buried by themselves, about 200 yards [182m] distant, in a north easterly direction.
George Miller. 1889.
The dead were buried on the field of battle in two graves, […] the other [being the officer's grave] one field from the brook on the Kineton side [west of Radway brook], and one field from the old turnpike gate
Illustrated Naval & Military Magazine.
(George Miller). 1890.

While this location appears to contradict some written descriptions of where an additional battle related Grave pit is located by antiquarian authors from the late 19th century, maps from 1893 (Ribton-Turner) and 1896 (Miller) undeniably clearly illustrate an additional grave located north of the primary Grave Ground grave pit. In conjunction with two early OS maps showing a toll gate on the Banbury/Kineton road at the parish border, and the field-scape recorded by the OS map of 1886, Miller's written 1896 descriptions do indicate this region as the site for an officer's grave (and could be located almost anywhere within the previously defined field which once ranged a little to the west of the modern MOD Yardley Chase road). (Use the 1947 terrain view).

The bodies of the dead were buried in two graves, one in the centre of Essex's position, and the other one field from the old turnpike gate on the Kineton road.
Rambles round Edge Hills.[sic] (George Miller). 1896.

Confusingly, the 1893 map made by Victorian travel writer C.J. Ribton-Turner prefers to credit this site as the grave of Captain Kingsmill - whose effigy rests in Radway village – seamingly based upon little more than officers of rank were buried hereabouts. (The Warwickshire Historic Environment Record (HER) also records this location, as Kingsmill's which is seemingly informed by the same Ribton-Turner sketch map which in turn uses a John Bartholomew & Co base map; circa 1888). At one time a local tradition seems to have confused an imaginative reference to where Kingsmill was killed - being recorded in some earlier maps – as his battlefield burial site (which was located south eastwards in a nearby field).
(Kingsmill is documented to have been buried in Radway's churchyard).


A turnpike gate, according to an early OS draft (from 1812 for Ladbroke), and noted on the OS first edition map (as 'TG'), is shown at the parish boundary on what is now the B4086. Radway resident George Miller is thought to have provided the only references to an officers grave pit with the usual interpretation of his directions (shown here), which also conform with Ribton-Turner's interpretation shown in his map.

Ribton-Turner's map (in his 'Shakespeare's Land', 1893) was used by Captain J.G Grant to record his 1979 archaeological finds (map 'C of HER 1198'). The underlying details (of minor lanes, brookes and the coppice) recorded in the Bartholomew base map do not appear to be particularly accurate. Grant's document appears to be the same source cited as 'Unpublished document' by the Warwickshire HER (No: 1198) - which the author of this website has inspected.

“The Grave”

This is the principle and renowned mass grave site for the Battle of Edgehill containing an estimated 500, or more, dead. An ancient foul pit - recorded hereabouts in the Kineton tenth century charters - provided a convenient burial and is later described by several sources to have demonstrated a raised gradient, and even grass of a deeper emerald green.

Human bones, and fragments of weapons, are often found in the vicinage [of Graveground Coppice]
'Beauties of England & Wales (Warwickshire)'. (Britton). 1814.
the slain were promiscuously thrown into a pit
Warwickshire Delineated. 2nd ed. 1821.
[…] here was the grave in which the common soldiers were buried.
Archaeological Journal. (George Miller). 1889.

At one time the site featured a memorial and a small path led to it, which is also shown in early maps. The location provided here is taken from map regression with the first edition 1836 OS map (and also corresponds accurately with the triangular pattern created by its inclusion along with Battle and Thistle Farms in a Yates & Sons map from 1787-89).

Confusion surrounds the battle grave sites at Edgehill, with accounts interchanging and confusing landmarks, numbers of dead and locations. Ironically these are often only exacerbated by authors attempting to resolve any disorder. Occasionally this main grave site is relocated 140m towards the eastern corner of Graveground Coppice, such as originally illustrated by a Ribton-Turner map ('Shakespeare's Land', 1893) - and possibly the 1890 OS map - as the grave occasionally became associated with once being marked by a Wych Elm tree (but described in 1893 as being in the centre of the field, with which the OS map location corresponds). It appears possible that Ribton-Turner recorded the tree's location (which, for a time, was traditionally believed to mark the grave) and not the actual grave site.

One of the more accurate placements is deduced by the Warwickshire HER project; with seemingly a metric conversion of Alfred Burne's 1950 directions. The HER record suggests it is likely a site for the Parliamentarian dead, but it remains equally (or more) likely that there was no discrimination, which would be partly corroborated by casualties for both armies having fell here and that most of the dead across the landscape had been stripped where they lay (and their allegiance could not have been determined). The HER (record) confirms that no trace of the pit was visible by 1999 (presumably due to the building work and landscaping of the modern munitions camp).

[The next morning] about daylight we saw the enemy upon the top of the hill: so that we had time to bury our dead, and theirs too if we thought fit.
Ludlow

George Miller, writing for Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine in 1890 also describes a second grave and that one of the graves, that of the officers, was dug near by [to the main grave] (shown to the north on this map).

In recent years - as part of the major Edgehill survey - an attempt to locate the mass grave(s) in areas of the landscape using ground-penetrating radar was unsuccessful.

Red Road

The ancient lane commonly known as Red Road, but occasionally described as the Welsh Road or King John's Lane, cuts across the plain from Little Kineton and ascends the hill (as King John's Lane) to the south of Radway.

It has featured variously within secondary narratives and interpretations of the battle, but it remains almost certain that much of Parliament's army will have used it - particularly for moving heavy artillery - as it travels directly from their known camp to Bleadon Hill at the centre of the battlefield and where is now believed to be the centre of the Parliamentarian deployments. In part the perspective produced by its use, at its highest point, may even have influenced Essex's chosen locations.

The enemy drew down the hill, and we went into the field near Keinton. The best of our fieldpieces were planted upon our right wing […]
Official Parliamentary Account.

Its route - skirting the western edge of Graveground Coppice - survives within the 1947 aerial photography (available within the 'Terrains' overlays).

Lower Bleadon field

In the fields round these farms, and especially in one on Battle Farm called Lower Bladon [Bleadon], sloping towards Kineton, large numbers of bullets have been discovered.
'Shakespeare's Land'. (C. J. Ribton-Turner). 1893.

View its dimensions using the Battle Farm 1701 'Terrains' overlay.

Graveground Coppice

This plantation was not present during the battle and is named after the principle mass grave site nearby within the adjacent field once known as Grave Ground.

It is traditionally interpreted that Graveground Coppice (or a smaller earlier version of it) formed the basis for several Victorian accounts to convince each other that a mass grave was covered by the coppice, but alternative sources faithfully describe its true position to the south/east of this small wood (where a small copse may have once stood).

The copse of fir–trees is said to have been a pit at the time of the battle, into which five hundred bodies were thrown
Howitt's Visits to Remarkable Places. (William Howitt).
2nd ed. 1839.
bodies were thrown into a contiguous pit, the site of which is marked by a clump of firs
Black's Guide to Warwickshire. Including the 1881 ed.
A few yards onwards on the left [along Red Rd], we arrive at a larch coppice or spinney termed the Little Grave Ground, in which 500 of the slain were interred.
'Shakespeare's Land'. (C. J. Ribton-Turner). 1893.
[…] planted with fir trees that have their roots in a deep pit, into which five hundred bodies were thrown.
Picturesque England - Its Landmarks & Historic Haunts. (L.Vanlentine). 1893.

Countless early Victorian references to this wood might possibly have inspired interpretations of other copses close by - whether past or present - which may have been thought to mark grave sites.

Battle Holt

This is the surviving remnant of the former Battle, or Battleton, Holt. This wood, or fox covert, wasn't planted until decades after the battle but its name - taken from the estate of Battle Farm, on which it once stood - has always caught visitors and map readers attention. Its name is regularly included within place name lists which record landmarks evoking the battle and has even been used to substantiate the battle's close proximity.

The view from next to Battle Holt is captured in this 1922 photograph. It is also visible within the 1947 aerial image of the battlefield using the 'Terrains' overlay.

“Grange Lane”

An ancient path, or carriage track, led from the hilltop and down through, what are now, the Radway Grange grounds and is thought to have been made by the Monks of a small convalescent cell in the middle ages, which was based on the slope. The 18th century owner of Radway Grange landscaped the area and is thought to have possibly resurfaced the track, with the route still discernable amidst the grassed parkland today. After the track – which is still a public footpath within the modern wood – makes a sharp corner heading up towards Radway Tower, it is thought unlikely that horses could have used it beyond this point, but one author from the 1960s had argued its use by the king's heavy guns; which is now almost certainly incorrect while also unnecessary.

But it remains tempting to speculate that some soldiers may have recognised its convenience in the hours and days following the core battle.

Kingsmill's Grave (Trad) & “Kingsmill Killed”

About 400 yards to the east of the wych elm in the upper corner of a field on Radway Grounds Farm adjoining Watts's Bushes are the stumps of an oak and a fir tree, which mark the grave of Captain Kingsmill.
Shakespeare's Land. (C.J. Ribton-Turner). 1893.

This area is a traditional locality described as Captain Kingsmill's grave. Twenty eight years after his death - fighting for the king at Edgehill - his mother erected a memorial to him at Radway's Church, which quickly established his celebrity amidst the local population. While several elements of Kingsmill's tradition (his burial and his death) are nonsensical, legend also has it that cannoneers targeted Kingsmill by way of his conspicuous white horse, wounding him in his thigh; but this is more likely to have confused origins with the well documented account of Lord Lindsey dying through loss of blood after being shot through his thigh bone during the battle. 'Shakespeare's land' (1893) records that it was once marked by the stumps of an oak and a fir tree [early OS maps potentially record these trees], but perhaps most famously the Radway 1756 enclosure map also associates this specific location with Kingsmill. It doesn't record his grave but merely repeats the label first provided in Henry Beighton's map (from 1728) covering a very general and unspecific area of where he was killed, which indulges the Captain's local fame.

Certainly Captain Kingsmill, who was killed by a 'cannon bullet' at the western edge of Radway parish according to the 1756 map, was buried in Radway churchyard.
Battlefield Archaeology of the English Civil War. (Glenn Foard). 2012.
King Charles I

King's Crown (Trad)

King Charles arrived at Edgehill on the Sunday morning and from its heights surveyed the enemy through an early telescope. It is reported that he said:

I never saw the rebels in a body before […] I shall give them battle: God and the prayers of good men to him, assist the justice of my cause!
Memoirs of Prince Rupert, and the cavaliers - now first published from the original manuscripts. (Bartholomew Eliot George Warburton). Vol 2. 1849.

Here a ring of beech trees recorded the location where tradition believed the king first made his observations and used the telescope. In the early 18th century the squire of Radway - Sanderson Miller - had planted a grove or copse of trees in three separate locations to commemorate sites thought to be associated with the battle. Arguably, the 'King's Crown' is the one example which maintains any significant plausibility.

When the King arrived at the Hills, he made a careful examination of the enemy's forces with a telescope, from the point called Knoll End. The spot where he stood has been raised into the shape of a crown, and was planted with a clump of trees early last century by one of my ancestors.
Archaeological Journal (Royal Archaeological Institute): George Miller. 1889 (Vol 46).
The exact spot is called the "Crown" or the "King's Crown." It is marked by a beautiful circle of great beeches. The effect of this ring of fine trees is to a certain extent marred by the seedling trees that have sprung up within and around it.
History of Radway. (Hunt, Dickens & Land). 1937.

By 1950, Alfred Burne in 'The Battlefields of England', describes it as being at the ridge-top at Knowle end and a few yards to the east of the road, but it is obscured by the plantation that now covers the whole ridge.

While the general region around the camp lane junction is a similar or equal height, this position would afford views back towards the king's marching infantry - approaching from the south east - for officer's arriving in the morning, allowing them to monitor the army's progress. (The descent from its position down to the road is particularly steep).

King John's Lane

This hillside section and continuation of Red Road - still known here as King John's Lane - remains an active bridleway today and has occasionally been thought to have provided access to the battlefield for the Royalist left-wing in secondary narratives, such as Peter Young's 1967 publication. When considering the latest deployment interpretations this now appears improbable, but curiously the Rev George Miller - writing in 1896 - believes this section did not exist until after Radway's 1756 enclosure act? Although this is thought unlikely, the route does appear in maps made from around 1787 (William Yates & Sons), but does not appear in Henry Beighton's map of 1728. This may be the basis of Miller's claim, but if he was correct, it might explain why Prince Rupert descended at Sun Rising Hill (on the Tuesday) and not here.

Former Ratley Grange

Contrary to the impression often created, this area of the escarpment did feature a collection of stone buildings at the time of the battle. The village of Edge Hill was previously known as Ratley Grange, as the original Grange itself was an administrative centre (formerly owned by ecclesiastical monks at Stoneleigh) and once loosely occupied where the current Castle Inn public house car park now sits. Its significant stone structure was later utilized for shanty ruins by Sanderson Miller in the 18th century, and at least two 16th century stone cottages were also known to exist in this immediate area.

Grave Field

The field which contained the battle's main mass grave pit has been known as Great Grave Ground, Grave Field and Grave Ground.

The position of the graves in which the slain were buried is about 200 yards south of Thistle Farm, the ground bearing still the name of the Grave Field, and a wych elm marks the site of one of the graves.
Edge Hill (Edwin Walford). 1886.
Between the farm-houses, but in the last-named farm [Thistleton/Thistle], are two grounds, one arable and the other pasture, called the 'Grave Grounds.'
The History of Banbury. (Alfred Beesley). 1841.

It is also thought that the contemporary descriptions of bodies being put into piles largely relates to this area:

There seems little doubt, from the evidence discussed […] that these reports [of heaps of bodies] relate to the area later known as Grave Ground. Where the bodies lay far more scattered they may well have been collected up by cart, as is reported in similar situations on other battlefields, and brought in to the churchyards or to the main mass graves for burial. If that is the case then there may be few if any isolated graves scattered across the areas of the rout.
Battlefield Archaeology of English Civil War. (Glenn Foard). 2012.
"[…] the next day (such spectacles being rare and sad) Mr. Clark and I [Richard Baxter a preacher from Alcester] rode to the field to view what was done, where we saw the dead bodies of Englishmen slain by one another." It was indeed a sight to leave a lasting impression […] with its heaps of dead lying buried in hastily dug trenches […]
A History of Oxfordshire. (John Meade Falkner). 1899.

Occasional references to trees with their details variously - and sometimes ambiguously - illustrated in some early maps which collectively feature contradictory details, locations and even varying tree species, are all indicative of local traditions found elsewhere across the battlefield, while the interpretation of trees marking battlefield features continues as an Edgehill tradition even today. It remains possible that antiquarian references to copses trace back to the earliest suggestions that Graveground Coppice (to the west) was planted on - and to commemorate - the main grave site.

Watts Bushes (Site of)

For centuries an area of gorse and thickets in this region was known as Watts Bushes, which a public footpath once passed through. The landmark was adjacent to the battle's known mass grave and the region known as 'Grave Ground' or 'Grave Field'.

A tentative but persuasive connection may indicate that the landmark was named after a Dr William Watts who was Prince Rupert's chaplain. He was said to have accompanied him in all the battles which he fought with the parliamentarians (and if correct, could also indicate a region of gorse which was already present during the battle).

The 'bushes' are still visible in the 1947 aerial imagery within the Terrains overlays.

General region of Parliamentarian occupation

as it grew dark two Regiments at last made a stand; and having the Assistance of Cannon, and a Ditch before them, held us play very handsomely
Official Parliamentarian Account.

Accounts relate that some of Parliament's army remained in the field in the region they had forced the Royalist army back to during the battle. Modern interpretations concur that the Radway brook (and its ditch) created a natural dividing line for both sides towards the close of the battle.

The main body of the Parliamentarians also retired from the bleak plain to the "warmer quarter" of the Keinton [sic], but leaving a brigade of observation on the advance position which they had won on the eastern extremity of the battle.
Memorials of John Hampden. (Nugent). 1832.

Skeleton

Site of a skeleton discovered with the point of a sword penetrating its breast bone. Experts have estimated the date between 1540 and 1750.

The battle appears to have raged all along the line from thence [Bullet hill] to a point in the valley below […] where a skeleton was found a few years ago with the point of a sword sticking in the breast bone […] which was discovered when some drains were being laid just below the [Edge Hill] house
Shakespeare's Land. (C. J. Ribton-Turner). 1893.

The likelihood that this discovery relates to the battle is reasonable, as fleeing soldiers scattered far and wide from the immediate battlefield, but it also raises the possibility that its unearthing encouraged some early interpretations of the battle lines stretching as far south as Sun Rising Hill.

This is the spot recorded by the Warwickshire HER which was informed by an Ordnance Survey Record Card from 1968 and a map included in 'Shakespeare's Land', but not for the first time the book's map(s) somewhat contradict the written description(s).

Gunby Cottage (Trad)

This is the setting for the tale of a proud baker standing guard outside his shop protecting his wares after the battle:

At the other end of the village stands a house called Gunby. Long ago this was a baker's shop. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that what was long ago a baker's shop has been altered and added to till it is now Gunby. It is said that the baker stood at the door of his shop with his sword drawn in his hand to defend his bread from the hungry soldiers on the day after the battle.
History of Radway. (Hunt, Dickens & Land). 1937.
A house at Radway, called Gunby Hall, was in those days a baker's shop. The day after the battle the baker stood at the bake-house door, with sword in hand, to guard his bread from the hungry soldiers.
Illustrated Naval & Military Magazine.
(George Miller). 1890.

This folklore would contradict the ruthless manner with which the travelling armies could acquisition supplies, but the detail of setting the scene on the following day adds a modicum of curious plausibility.

Mass Grave Tumulus? (Trad)

A supposed mass grave was described as a small mound in this region 80yrds from the road by travel writer Ribton-Turner in 1893 and elaborated upon by Burne in around 1950, but this location appears to have been interpreted as a battle related burial by suspiciously few sources and seemingly due to little more than the presence of a small tumulus. Such objects seem to have been reasonably common in this vale, whether as earthworks from early mills or preserved in ancient Anglo Saxon place names [The 'low' of 'Dadlow Quarter']. One example is found just over 1400m to the south east along the same road - thought to be Post Medieval and either constructed as, or once used as, an early windmill base - and has also long been incorporated into Edgehill battle mythology as the 'King's Clump'.

Burne (writing in the 1950s) would also give his opinions about tumuli concerning the first civil war battle of Newbury and state There is scarcely a battle burial pit in the land that is raised perceptibly above ground level: and naturally so, for uncoffined corpses waste almost to nothing and the ground becomes level again.

It remains inexplicable why this particular mass battle grave - which would have been created quickly in a day - should feature a mound. Engineers building the MOD base extension here in recent years have also claimed never to have encountered such a grim discovery. The landmark, which in all probability was another ancient tumulus, has also added to a general confusion by potentially and occasionally being confused with the main grave by brief mentions in 19th century publications.

[…] about a mile farther, on the road to Edgehill [Red rd] is a place called Battle Farm, where several of the slain were interred; and in a field about a mile to the west [south?] of the town is a tumulus covering several hundred of them [sic].
'A topographical dictionary of England'.
(Ed, Samuel Lewis). 1848.
In the field on the right [when looking towards Edgehill] of the road [Red road, now removed] about eighty yards from the hedge is a small mound,- which marks another spot where a few of the dead are interred.
Shakespeare's Land. (C.J. Ribton-Turner). 1893.

Two graves in this vicinity have consistently been reported, with a grave for the officers believed to have been 200yrds in a north easterly direction from the main mass grave pit. While some antiquarian reports appear to confuse actual locations, the place names of 'Lesser Grave Ground' and the 'Great Grave Ground' also confirm a long established understanding that there was a primary grave location and a second smaller site. Theoretically this makes a supposed third mass grave in this vicinity - uniquely topped with a mound - west of the road, redundant.

The bodies of the dead were buried in two graves, one in the centre of Essex's position ["The Grave"], and the other one field from the old turnpike gate on the Kineton road.
Rambles round Edge Hills.[sic]
(George Miller). 1896.

George Salmon's three dots (a fourth being the tittle above a lowercase j) marked as Graves in the decorative cartouche of his 1756 enclosure map for Radway might be interpreted in different ways, but the third seems most likely to relate to the place name - recorded in his map - of Graves Furlong, northeast of the Radway brook and within the Radway parish.

Fleeing infantry attacked

Collections of musket, carbine and some pistol bullet battle archaeology have been found in this region, and could conceivably illustrate where cavalry charges, led by Royalist Sir Charles Lucas (and Captain John Smith), were directed — as well as where Royalist Horse troops may have caught up with men escaping the scene.

Contemporary accounts and archaeology may indicate that this area - which was described as moore in 1701 - was one region where much of Parliament's leftmost infantry regiments fled to - channelled by the hillside to the south - after and during the initial Royalist cavalry attack upon Parliament's left-wing.

Bullets fired as hail-shot from cannon have also been recovered here and its thought that these may relate to accounts of Royalist overshots during the earlier stages. This may also explain the traditional accounts of numerous 'bullets' found in Lower Bleadon Field (adjacent to the south east) and demonstrate a trajectory over the shallow basin/valley of Parliament's infantry positions on their left (as located in the 2009 interpretation).

Use the 'Archaeological Finds' layer to reveal modern discoveries of battle archaeology.

Kingsmill's Monument

The current church of St Peter was built in 1866 and features many stone details salvaged from the church it replaced, but its connection with the battle is most famously commemorated by the fine effigy of Captain Henry Kingsmill who died fighting for his king. Legend has it that he was targeted by a rebel cannon by way of his conspicuous white horse as he descended the hill; mortally wounding him in the thigh. Whatever the actual circumstances, his grieving mother was moved to save for a lasting memorial to her son and 28 years after his death eventually established a memorial at Radway in 1670.

An inscription reads:

Here lyeth, expecting ye second comeing of our blessed Lord and Saviour, Henry Kingsmill, Esq., second son to Sr Henry Kingsmill, of Sidmonton, in the county of Southampton, Knt, who serving as a captain of foot under his Matie Carles the First, of blessed memory, was at the battell of Edge Hill, in ye year of our Lord 1642, as he was manfully fighting in behalfe of his King and country, unhappily slain by a cannon bullet, in memory of whom his mother, the Lady Bridget Kingsmill, did, in the forty-sixth yeare of her widowhood, in the year of our Lord 1670, erect this monument. 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.' [sic]

Originally situated within the graveyard of an earlier church (260m to the south), it was relocated to the grounds of the present building, but after suffering vandalism by local boys it was then relocated to its current position inside the tower (with the lower legs removed to fit the allocated space* which may also explain the missing head top, with circumstances indicating it may have once sported a broad rimmed hat). J. Tom Burgess, offers a sketch and suggestion of the monument's original appearance, while it was still located outside, in his book from 1874.

In the Church at Radway there is a monument to Captain Kingsmill who was killed at the end of the battle, as he was riding a white horse. He was buried in a field about a quarter of a mile from the present church.
Illustrated Naval & Military Magazine.
(George Miller). 1890.

The effigy's attire is said to represent the fashions of the era in which it was carved and are not strictly representative of the styles Henry Kingsmill himself would have known. Some local traditions also believed his actual (or original) burial site was within the central battlefield in the grounds of the old Radway Grounds farm. See 'Kingsmill Killed' footprint icon. (* A foot belonging to the effigy was rediscovered at the church in 2012). A nineteen eighties battlefields walking guide claims a "local collector" is said to have removed his helmet.

Earlier Church (Site of)

The earlier Radway church - which was contemporary to the battle - was replaced in 1866 by the current church of St Peter nearby, but its plot and graveyard footprint remain. Adjacent to a public footpath - which is now lined by many of the churchyard's gravestones - the church's foundations were excavated around 2002 as part of a larger archaeological investigation concerning the battle.

Its speculated that the church may have served as a field hospital during the battle but no evidence of this can be found. The grounds were also the original location of the famed effigy of Captain Kingsmill, which now sits within the present Radway church.

The absence of any burials at Radway attributed to men originally wounded in the battle appears at odds with some suggestions that the village would have been full of the wounded and dying. Alternative supposition imagines that anyone not left on the battlefield and any walking wounded - along with any soldiers assisting the injured - would have much preferred the relative safety of returning to the hills close by in the company of their army. Several burials at Warmington (and a few said to be buried to the south of Ratley Church) appear to demonstrate this.

[…] tradition says [the old church] was used as a Royalist field dressing station. Some sources state that near the churchyard entrance is the gravestone of Elizabeth Heritage; she died in 1645-6 and supposedly helped the wounded of both sides. Unfortunately, there is no proof of this and we could not find the stone.
Edgehill - The Battle Reinterpreted. (Scott/Turton/Von Arni). 2004.

The small church once stood across the northern edge of the ornamental grave cover which survives near the centre of the enclosure.

There are many records of burials of those who died after the battle in parishes in the neighbourhood. The registers of Cropredy, Eydon, Newbold Pacey and Warmington all mention burials.
History of Radway. 1937.

Bell Tower Tale (Trad)

The 12th century church at Burton Dasset is the traditional location for the wild and fantastic folklore of Oliver Cromwell watching the battle from the bell tower and then descending by swinging from a bell-rope. Now known as nonsense, it is also understood that Cromwell was approaching the battlefield from the northwest while events were already unfolding and was involved with the engagements with Royalist cavalry pursuing their enemy beyond Kineton.

Regrettably, this 'fairytale' originated from the early historian Sir William Dugdale who is believed to have written the 17th century volume 'A short View of the late Troubles in England'. (People watching battles from bell towers were a common and long established tradition repeated through traditions related to other battlefields).

The chapel - restored in 1632 - is however the setting for vandalism by Parliamentarian troops not long after the battle.

Beacon House (Trad)

Tradition has long reported that news of the battle reached London via a series of beacons starting at the Burton Dassett beacon tower and sent by members of the Parliamentarian army. Light from the flame reached Ivinghoe in Buckinghamshire and was then relayed from its own beacon to Harrow on the Hill.

Tradition has it that some Sheppards 40 miles away […] saw it & their minister fired a beacon which was seen at Harrow-on-the-Hill (London).
Pleasant Spots & Famous Places. (John Alfred Langford). 1855.

Warmington graves

At Warmington there are several burials and graves of men who fought for the king at Edgehill.

When approaching the south porch of Warmington's Parish Church from the road, on the right of the path is a simple headstone of a scottish Royalist soldier who died of his wounds from the battle.*

Between the south porch and the gate "Here lieth the body of Alexander Gourdin, capitaine, buried the 25 day of October, Ano Domini 1642". [sic]
Highways & Byways in Shakespeare's Country. (Hutton). 1914.
The monument […] is an unusual survival, because it is a free standing gravestone. […] such monuments from the Civil War are so rare.
The Battlefields Trust website

The local register also records the churchyard as being the final resting place of Richard Sannes, who was Captaine of a Foote companie, a gentleman of Worcestershire buried on the 24th. The records continue:

Seven others were buried in Warmington Churchyard shortly after, whose names I know not; and it is reported that one or two more were buried within the fields and precincts of Warmington aforesaid.
The field mentioned in this extract is on the hillside east of the Church. The winde was a cart road that twisted up the hillside. In the year 1850 a skeleton of a man was found and re-intered in the Churchyard.
History of Radway. 1937.

* One of the smaller headstones, set back beyond the main first row, with a clear uninterrupted route from the path and standing almost in isolation.

Great Holt

What makes the battlefield difficult to locate with precision nowadays is that some copses that were present at the time of the battle have been cut down […]
The Battlefields of England.
(Alfred Burne). 1950
- And -
The English Civil War. (Peter Young & Richard Holmes). 1974.

Recent research indicates that this area - later defined by an enclosure or field once known as Great Holt - was potentially occupied by a small wood or copse at the time of the battle.

Enclosures numbered 101 and 102 in a map from 1701 were already known as Little Holt and Great Holt, respectively, before the map was drawn. View the 1701 map in the 'Terrains' overlays. A 'holt' fieldname also survives in the later 1733 Little Kineton enclosure map.

All Saints Church, Chadshunt (Trad)

At Chadshunt Church, a local tradition has it that some of Rupert's men dragged some Parliamentarian soldiers out of the church and out of holy sanctuary, but this appears to have been confused with the real events of a small Parliamentarian force retreating to the church during a skirmish in 1644, which in turn appears to have influenced early commentators perceptions of the battle's limits in this region.

Rupert continued in unsparing pursuit even into the streets of Kineton and as far as Chadshunt.
Edge Hill: the Battle & Battlefield. (Edwin Walford). 1886.

Essex's life guard had also billeted at Chadshunt - once much larger - under Captain Draper the night before.

Additional Parliamentarian forces

Late in the day (Sunday) additional units of Essex's army were finally arriving at the town from westerly directions and quickly confronted the mêlée of Royalist cavalry which was continuing its pursuit of scattered Parliamentarian forces beyond the streets of Kineton.

Ramsey's men who, with few exceptions […] made all speed for Kineton, hotly pursued by the victorious Cavaliers. Nor was Prince Rupert able to check more than a very small portion of them; this was finally achieved by John Hampden's force, who they met on the Warwick road north of Kineton.
Battles In Britain, 1642-1746. Vol 2. (William Seymour). 1975.

Hampden's and Grantham's regiments of Foot arrived - it is often deduced - via the Warwick road where their numbers had been quickly swelled by a composite force led by a Captain John Fiennes (which included a troop of Horse commanded by Captain Oliver Cromwell) not far from the town.

In a contemporary account Sir Richard Bulstrode, riding amidst the troops of the Prince of Wales' regiment, states how they had also pursued men beyond the battlefield:

[…] till we met with two Foot Regiments of Hambden and Hollis and with a Regiment of Horse come from Warwick to their Army, which made us hasten as fast back as we had pursued [sic].
Richard Bulstrode

Although a recent study considers it possible that Hampden (and the Earl of Essex, the day before) approached Kineton via this road (B4086) Glenn Foard reasons that the modern A422, from Stratford, and then the minor road through Pillerton and Butlers Marston seems the most likely approach.


Further afield at Newbold Pacey the parish register records the death of a soldier on October 29th 1642 who was wounded in that great battell between ye king and the parliament oct 23rd.

Windmill hill (Trad)

The Burton Dassett hills (and Windmill hill) have traditionally often been associated with Cromwell and Fiennes - observing the battle - but all serious studies of the battle concur that this possibility is in direct conflict with the evidence.

One county history also speculates:

The approach of Essex [Parliament], the number of his forces and his intentions became known to Prince Rupert [Royalist], through the pickets which he had judiciously stationed on the high ground at Burton Dassett.
History of Warwickshire. (Clive Holland). 1906.

Saddledon Street (Trad)

A street name originating from tales related to the saddling of horses by Parliamentary troops as they made their way through the village: Tradition records this lane as the location for the story of soldiers stopping for refreshment.

The soldiers having got a supply of bread, rode on till they came to a little lane, where there was a farmhouse with a yard in front of it. Here they unsaddled their horses, and proceeded to make a meal, washing down the new bread with beer and cider which they obtained from the farmhouse. Having rested and refreshed themselves, they resaddled their horses - the lane has ever since been called Saddling Street - and proceeded to join the King.
Rambles round Edge Hills.[sic] (George Miller). 1896.

Tysoe was billeted by Parliamentary troops the night before, and in the days following the battle are recorded to have abused the hospitality of Giles Eliot, the Tysoe alehousekeeper.


Further afield at Little Wolford's 15th century manor house a 1930s restoration was careful to preserve the bloodstained stairs reputed to derive from the battle.

Former road/route

A detailed Yates & Sons map of 1787-89 shows the current road from Arlescote leading westwards to the Banbury/Kineton road potentially didn't exist at that time*, but does show a clear and established route from the village centre directly uphill southwards, to join with Camp lane. It is reasonable to suspect that this route was at least as old as the hamlet, before being superseded by the later road. This route would probably have been used by troops arriving via Arlescote or descending and ascending from the escarpment's plateau.

(* Although a historic terrain plan by D. Pannet, first pub 2012, does show it. However, in support of the Yates map, the road's route clearly cuts across ancient ridge and furrow and ridge and furrow headlands; evident using the Satellite map view).

Oxhill Church

In the church aisle is the grave of Royalist officer Daniel Blackford who died aged 59 in 1681, with an epitaph that includes When I was young I ventured life and blood, Both for my King and for my Country's good.

Although unclear when, traditional folklore memory claims that a parish clerk was killed outside the entrance by Parliamentarian troops - who had hammered on the door during a service, angered by the outspoken royalist vicar - by a blow from a heavy cavalry sword.

Rupert's raid

By the early hours of the Tuesday following the battle, most of the Parliamentarian army had left Kineton for Warwick, when Prince Rupert along with two regiments of Horse and two of dragoons opportunistically arrived in the town - via the Tysoe road to the south west - to raid what remained of the Parliamentarian supply train which was preparing to follow on. Rupert's men acquired arms and ammunition wagons as well as Essex's own plate and a cabinet of private letters and heartlessly dealt with any injured soldiers they found. One contemporary account describes the scene as Essex had left it:

the Earle of Essex left behind him in the village 200 miserable maimed soldiers, without relief of money or surgeons, horribly crying out upon the villiany of those men who corrupted them

While another reveals the fate of many once the Royalists arrived:

a party of horse under Prince Rupert, who […] fell into the town of Keinton [sic], where our sick and wounded souldiers [sic] lay, and after they had cruelly murdered many of them, returned to their army.

A London Royalist Newsletter reported:

Prince Rupert the next morning before day with some of his troop set upon some the earl's troops in some villages and slew them.

Unknown hills

A Parliamentarian Chaplain is said to have spotted the Royalists from a hill and authors occasionally wonder about which hill a body of Parlimentarian forces arriving at the scene during the battle was originally positioned upon before falling back and joining Hampden on the Warwick road.

But this raised ground (which stretches across to Red road), when combined with the steady climb from the main Parliamentarian camp at Little Kineton, could be a contender for the hill that Adoniram Bifield - Chaplain to Cholmley's regiment - first spotted Rupert's cavalry upon Edgehill early that morning. He rode back with the news:

[…] it pleased God [to make him] the first Instrument of giving a certain discovery of it, by the help of a prospective glass from the top of a Hill
Adoniram Bifield letter, British Museum.

Hampden's action

Colonel Hampden and his men had quartered the Saturday night at Stratford and were leading additional Parliamentarian troops towards Kineton when they encountered and engaged Royalist cavalry pursuing fleeing Parliamentarians from the battlefield.

While it has been typically assumed Hampden (and Essex, the previous evening) approached Kineton and the battlefield via Charlecote along the route of what is now the A4086, the author of a recent study of the battle prefers this route through Butlers Marston (via Pillerton, and the A422 prior to that) as their most likely approach.

While supported by early cartography there may also even be archaeological support for this interpretation as a small collection of bullets including carbine, pistol and musket calibres as well as a bullet possibly used by artillery, have all been found in recent years in this vicinity.

Colonell Hampden, who with the other Brigado of the Army (which came with the Artillery and Ammunition which was behinde) was by this time come near to Keynton, and the enemie's Troops falling upon him as they pursued our men that ran away, he gave them a stop, and discharging five pieces of Cannon against them, he slew some of them; whereupon they returned in some fear and disorder [sic]
Nathaniel Fiennes

Evidence for the main Parliamentarian camp being between Little Kineton and Kineton, may also imply the main army's arrival the previous evening from this direction.

For further details of Hampden's approach, view the alternative location (battle marker icon) along the Warwick road, north west of Kineton.

Influential case-shot

This area yielded significant bullets fired as hail-shot (which would have been fired from cannon) during the 2004-7 metal detecting survey. The survey's director states:

A number of discrete groupings can be seen from the [basic] 10m [metal detecting] survey and these have been confirmed and reinforced through [more concentrated] resurvey. This is most clearly seen with the apparently isolated firing [here], which has been resolved into a single oriented spread, which may represent firing from a single artillery piece.

It is thought most probable that this was a Royalist field gun which had been advanced across the field with the infantry as they marched. The possible presence of an ancient parish boundary hedgerow running north south here may explain the cannon's location or limits to its range as it moved with the infantry from their original starting positions.

Radway brook

This watercourse - sometimes called Ramsey's stream - has been straightened and improved since the battle, but it is widely agreed to represent the ditch described in contemporary accounts which divided both armies as night fell.

It can be viewed via the standard map cartography options or traced by the heavy tree line running north to south when using the satellite image view.

Battle archaeology

The 2004-7 systematic metal detection survey of the battlefield produced results and patterning which suggests a core pattern of bullets running in a north-west to south-east orientation (from the lower ground to the west of this marker, south-eastwards, across what is now Graveground Coppice and towards the modern munitions bunkers); representing the main infantry clash.

The Royalist infantry marched towards the stationary positions of Parliament. Essex's forces fired their artillery guns at the Royalists as they approached, while its also thought that the king's infantry moved their smaller field guns forwards as they advanced. Through this vicinity (to the east and west) bullets fired as hail-shot from cannon have also been recovered.

Thus one might expect the musket firing at Edgehill to have generally occurred when the enemy had closed to around 50m and to have been at or near point blank. Indeed, for Ramsay's cavalry wing a distance of about 40 yards (37m) is specified [by contemporary accounts from the battle].
Battlefield Archaeology of the English Civil War. (Glenn Foard). 2012.

It's been suggested that bullets recovered from the shallow valley to the west (of this marker) may also indicate Parliamentarian reserves engaged with Gerard's brigade. The region of no or thin archaeology immediately to the north and north-east of this marker is also interpreted as potentially the route taken by Gerard's brigade as they retreated east towards the Radway brook.

View the 'Archaeological Finds' dynamic layer.

Royalists assemble in a meadow

Captain Nathaniel Fiennes - a participant of the battle - states twice that the Royalist army placed themselves in a fair Meadow and at the foot of the hill after he describes how most of their horse drew down on their right hand.

Various place names for this vicinity clearly captured in the 1756 pre-enclosure map for Radway field establish an extensive region of broad meadow which corroborates with the contemporary descriptions of the battle from the previous century. This general region is almost certainly the area where the Royalist army first assembled - having first descended the hill - and before formally deploying.

the meadowing pastures with the green mantles [are] so embroidered with flowers that from Edgehill we might behold another Eden
John Speed (Cartographer), 1611.

Musketeers take cover

Interpretations of archaeology across the battlefield have produced many considered insights for interpreting weaponry use and action across the battlefield, but one modest and isolated find (here) literally bares the markings of a small piece of human narrative.

[…] one ball of musket calibre which had been removed from the gun barrel using a worm [being a corkscrew type device for removing items from the bore]. This indicates where one musketeer stood - adjacent to a small section of ancient hedge - but it is unclear whether this was the first stage of the battle, when fighting was for control of the hedgerows, or much later, when this area probably lay well beyond the main action.
Battlefield Archaeology of the English Civil War. (Glenn Foard). 2012.

Archaeologist Glenn Foard also tentatively suggests that other bullets retrieved from along hedgerows on this northern periphery of the battlefield (including those to the west and east of this marker) might perhaps represent cavalry action against musketeers who had fled to the hedgerows.

View the 'Historic Terrain 1642' overlay, and the 'Archaeological Finds' layer.

Infantry cut down

A scatter of musket related artefacts were retrieved in this area during a major survey, which battle archaeologist Glenn Foard has described as suggestive of a clash in which substantial numbers of infantry were cut down in the open field, as they fled from the early defeats of the Parliamentarian left-wing cavalry and parts of their left-wing infantry.

Saker fire

In this wider region, archaeology identified as hail-shot was recovered as part of the 2004-7 survey.

In the critical moments immediately prior to the two bodies [of opposing armies] closing to hand to hand fighting, a saker [medium sized cannon] firing a single case [of case-shot] could deliver firepower equivalent to about 130 musketeers. […] Used in this way, it was standard practice for armies to employ 'case shot to break the front of an enemy'. Though galloping guns could be moved forward with advancing battalions, it was the army taking a defensive posture [Parliament at Edgehill] which was most easily placed to employ hail-shot to best effect. […]
For Edgehill hail-shot, with a mass of 30-38g, a maximum range of circa 150 — 200m might be expected, but with the most effective range probably half that. This is important information when considering the likely position of the attacking force when the hail-shot was fired.
Battlefield Archaeology of the English Civil War. (Glenn Foard). 2012.

You can use the 'Add Measurement Markers' functionality from the map menu.

Powder box cap

Uniquely, over twenty artefacts related to servicing muskets have been recovered from the large open ground and region of the battlefield, between the present day DSDA military camp and Little Kineton.

For the battlefield visitor crossing this broad open area of the vale, it is noted that a musketeer's powder box cap was discovered here close to this public footpath, perhaps unknowingly dropped as its owner ran for his life or more possibly where he was killed.

Fleeing musketeers

Artefacts yielded from the 2004-7 systematic survey of the battlefield and which are related to the battle (including powder caps, primer nozzles, and other possible musket related items) were largely recovered across the broad open areas between the central or main action and Little Kineton. Battle archaeologist Glenn Foard suggests This may reflect the degree to which musketeers were cut down not in the main action but in the parliamentarian rout and the attack on their baggage train.

This region alone produced a single scatter of 5 powder box caps. Their discovery was close to Lucas' traditional position (to the west):

The scatters of powder box caps in particular are suggestive of at least two clashes, in which substantial numbers of infantry were cut down in the open field.
Foard. 2012.

The King on Monday

There is a contemporary report that indicates the king spent the Monday - following the main battle the previous day - around 5 miles from the battlefield at Hanwell House. A direct route would have been provided by, what are now, the modern B4086 and B4100 roads.

The King all the time of the fight [seemingly referring to military actions on the Monday] was at Sir Edward Copes house at Hanwell.
A Continuation of Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages [sic]. Pub 17th c

In conjunction with other reports which locate the king back on Edgehill - having returned to the vantage point with views over the battlefield - during the Monday morning after the battle, we might speculate that Charles travelled south to Hanwell later in the day/that evening. Now more commonly known as Hanwell Castle, the king (Charles I) is believed to have previously been entertained here prior to the war. However, years later James II stated that the king had returned to his former quarters at Edgecote during the Monday evening, although a typical route would require more than a 10 mile journey.

A separate document also indicates the king headed further from the battlefield during the Monday to around Hanwell's distance:

[…] he [the king] dined the next day [after the main battle] upon a drum head and stayed within 4 miles till the dead were buried.
Contemporary Newsletter/Letter. First published by G.Davies. 1921.

On the day of the battle the wind blew in a north-westerly direction:

On that Sunday Rector Harris gave his two customary sermons at Hanwell, only a few miles away, and 'took it for a great mercy that he heard not the least noise of the battle till the public work of the day was over, nor could he believe the report of a fight till a soldier, besmeared with blood and powder, came to witness it.
A History of Oxfordshire. (John Meade Falkner). 1899.

Royalist trees (Trad)

The slopes of this stretch of the escarpment were first decoratively planted by the squire of Radway and famed landscape designer, Sanderson Miller, in the 18th century; mostly with beech trees. Originally the new woodland didn't extend as far north as Knowle end but in the intervening years the canopy has extended northwards to reach the descent of the road, as well as creeping down slope to fill a broad basin inset above Bullet hill.

Since Miller exercised his fondness of planting small clumps of trees to commemorate at least three supposed battle related locations - back in the mid 1700s - the assumption that any trees elsewhere may also have been inspired by the battle appears to have become established (including where the princes watched the battle, potentially the locations of grave pits and plantations around the Bleadon hill/Battle farm area).

By the 20th century, plantations had been established on the poorer ground around Battle Farm and the wood was well developed on the steeper slopes of Edgehill. It is thought that the plantations were intended to represent Parliamentarian units.
English Heritage Battlefield Report for Edgehill. 1995.

Surprisingly this phenomenon still continues to be demonstrated in recent years, most notably - and without any factual evidence and being based upon little more than romantic assumption - when a handful of late 20th century country guidebooks claim that this wooded hillside was originally planted to represent the Royalist Army.

This is Edge Hill. These massive beeches were planted in the 1700's to mark the positions of the Royalist Army in 1642.
Warwickshire County Council Centenary Way leaflet. 1990s.

As like other assumptions, traditions, and myths associated with the battlefield, this suggestion creates an inaccurate impression of the army's position(s) and the complete invention of Sanderson Miller's rationale.

(It is also documented that Miller fashioned the pathways through this wood after his acquisition of the land which stretched across and above the village).

Rupert's Cavalry return

The other Particular was of Sir Philip Stapleton, who, when five Troops of the Enemies Horse returned from Pursuit of our Left Wing, and from Plundering some of our Waggons [sic], and passed by the Outside of our Rear upon the Left Hand, went and charged them with his Troop, and made them run; but they finding a Gap in the Hedge, got away, and returned to the rest of their broken Troops, where they rallied and made up a kind of a Body again.
Official Parliamentarian Account

With the tradition of Rupert's Headland to the north of the battlefield now debunked - by this project - Prince Rupert and his horsemen's documented return to his infantry (after a pursuit of Parliament's left wing and his attack upon their baggage train and camp) is claimed to have been made from a westerly direction passing through this region, south of the battle, by Henry Beighton in his map of 1728 ("Prince Rupert Joined"). This is in apparent keeping with modern research which successfully locates the region of the Parliamentarian camp largely at Little Kineton, the Royalist Cavalry's known return being late in the day and the interpretation that the fight by this time had intensified and manoeuvred to a region close to the Radway brook (north of this marker). In conjunction with recent historic terrain research, if Martlemere Furlong (immediately south) is assumed to have still been largely enclosed during the battle (due to descriptions of Parliament's use of hedges to the front and right of their cavalry wing), then the gap used by royalist cavalry - as described by the official Parliament report - fits with the 1756 enclosure map evidence that this region of the parish boundary hedgerow no longer existed by the 18th century and may seemingly have already been falling into disrepair during the previous century.

The combination of these scattered details enables the potential to locate the very region (and the hedge) whereby Rupert and a number of his reformed cavalry rejoined the action late in the afternoon or early evening.

Historic terrain influence

There was between the Hill and the Town a fair Campaign, save that near the Town it was narrower, and on the right hand some Hedges, and Inclosures: so that there he [Essex, commanding Parliament] placed Musketeers, and not above two Regiments of Horse, where the ground was narrowest; but on his left Wing he placed a Body of a thousand Horse […]
Clarendon

It is thought that this hedgerow [use the satellite view option] may also have been present during the battle and that it once defined part of the boundary between the original Great and Little Kineton common fields. If correct, then - when viewing the 2009 deployment interpretation - this appears to create a clear pinch point and narrowing of the open terrain between the north and south hedged perimeters of the open terrain once created by the common fields present during the time of the battle. (View the 'Historic terrain 1642' for additional illustration).

Our Left Wing of Horse, advanced a little forward to the Top of a Hill, where they stood in a Battalia
Official Parliamentarian Account

As described by a contemporary account, Essex deployed Parliament's army across the open space where the ground was narrowest. If he had presumably sought flanking protection from enclosures and a boundary hedge, this could also explain his deployment trajectory (as shown in the 2009 deployment interpretation). Furthermore, it potentially demonstrates that Ramsey's leftwing cavalry would have been disadvantaged, being behind a small hill and without views of any potentially fast approaching royalist horse. But contemporary accounts do describe how Parliament's leftwing cavalry would march forward, up a hill, prior to the battle and take up a new position some distance forward of their infantry. (Only then - when viewing their direct opposition - would they thin and extend their left cavalry in width).

For our [Parliamentarian] Army, it was drawn up upon a little rising ground, and being amongst the [Parliamentarian leftwing] horse, I could not well discern how the foot were drawn up; only I knew they were most of them a good space behind the horse
Fiennes
the earl with great dexterity performed whatsoever could be expected from a wise general
Clarendon

Parliamentarian Right

Parliamentarian right–horse cavalry

Parliamentarian Centre/Infantry

Parliament's Captain-General: Earl of Essex.

Essex employed the principles of Dutch battle formations, but at Kineton Field it's commonly understood that he used six files of eight men in a regiment (as opposed to the usual ten men deep), having adopted the latest English variation of the Dutch model.

For further detail click upon the polygons of later deployment conjectures.

Parliamentarian Left

Parliamentarian left–horse cavalry

Royalist Right

Royalist right–horse cavalry, led by Prince Rupert.

27 troops of Horse and 3 troops of draggons.

Royalist Centre/Infantry

Sir Jacob Astley (1579-1651): Sergeant-Major General.

17 regiments of Foot: Drawing from the accounts of Sir Richard Bulstrode of how the Royalists were drawn up and deployed for battle, its clear that Rupert preferred the Swedish version of preferred battle formations, with the horse three deep in each wing and the foot (centre) lined six deep.

Astley commanded the infantry and with Dutch Army experience he had also once tutored Prince Rupert.

For further detail click upon the polygons of later deployment conjectures.

Royalist Left

Royalist left–horse cavalry, led by Lord Wilmot.

16 or 18 troops of Horse and 6 troops of dragoons.

Dragoons or Musketeers

Young (1967) creates his distinctive bracket shape, incorporating and illustrating musketeers lining a hedge on the left flank. Smurth (1984): Also adopts Young's design, but lists these troops as infantry. Tincey/Roberts (2001): 300 commanded musketeers in the hedges. Scott et al (2004): Placed in front of the left horse.

Infantry Reserve

Sir John Meldrum's Regiment

Sir John Meldrum/Lord Saye & Sele's Regiment. Sir John Meldrum (d.1645): Commanded an infantry brigade at Edgehill. (Fairfax's Regiment deployed as part of the second line). Its believed that Meldrum's own regiment probably held the post of honour on the right of this line. (℮ 700).

Meldrum was a scotsman and professional soldier who had military experience serving in Ulster and the Netherlands. Four months earlier he had publicly ended 36 years of service to the monarchy, choosing to serve Parliament instead, while blaming the misguided policies of the King's advisers.

Sir James Ramsey's wing

Sir James Ramsey: Commissary General of Horse. 24 troops of Horse and 400 commanded musketeers (from Holles' regiment) amongst the Horse. Ramsey will also have commanded 300 musketeers (from Ballard's regiment); placed amongst the hedges in this region and around his left flank. This left-wing also featured 3 pieces of heavy artillery.

Ramsey's Regiment of Horse: 4 troops (℮ 240)
Ramsey's
William Balfour's
Edward Clarke's
Crohn's
Sir William Waller's Regiment of Horse (on the right):
5/6 troops (℮ 240)
Waller's
Horatio Carey's
Anthony Milemay's
Sir Faithfull Fortesque's
Arthur Goodwin's Regiment of Horse (on the left):
6 troops (℮ 360)
Goodwin's
Sigismund Alexander's
Robert Vivers'
Thomas Sanders'
Richard Grenville's
Philip, Lord Wharton's *
Edwin Sandys' Regiment of Horse: 4 troops (℮ 240)
Sandys'
Edward Berry's
George Austin's
Thomas Lidcott's
Earl of Bedford's Regiment of Horse: 2 troops (℮ 120)
John Flemming's
Adrian Scrope's
John Urry's Regiment of Horse: 4 troops (℮ 360)
Urry's
Arthur Evelyn's
Simon Rudgely's
As a Scot hired by Parliament and fighting for pay, he also demonstrated the essential weakness of the mercenary, he would retreat when the odds seemed against him.
Edgehill 1642. (Tincey & Roberts). 2001.

Ramsey's tactics of waiting to receive the enemy's charge and rely upon a volley of shot to the stop them would spectacularly fail. With detached musketeers being cut down by the Royalist Horse and his own cavalry quickly dispersing and fleeing, Ramsey himself, amidst the panic and confusion, realised the situation was irretrievable and left the field to ride directly to London with news of defeat.

* Philip Wharton: The battle was a turning-point in Wharton's life. Not only did it mark the end of his soldiering, but it was also the beginning of the legend of his physical cowardice. Hostile accounts alleged that he not only ran from the battle, but hid in a saw-pit, 'like a puttock in a marsh.' The war was to see many generals in full flight from stricken fields.
Saw-pit Wharton. (G. F. Trevallyn Jones). 1967.

Denzil Holles' Regiment

Holles' regiment of Londoners (℮ 1130, 400 detached) would be quickly engulfed by his own army's fleeing left-wing cavalry and then by the pursuing Royalist right-wing Horse, but they stood firm and he did his best to rally some of the fleeing Parliamentarians.

[…] when he [Holles] saw them come running towards him, [he] went and planted himself just in the way, and did what possibly he could do to make them stand; and at last prevailed with three Troops to wheel a little about, and rally;
Official Parliamentarian Account

Charles Essex's Regiment

Commanded by Essex (d.1642). (℮ 600).

Charles Essex had previous military experience and commanded an infantry brigade at Edgehill but was killed during the battle. His father - who commanded a company of Foot within the regiment - was taken prisoner.

Many of Charles Essex's infantry regiment fled with Ramsey's left-wing cavalry during Prince Rupert's initial charge. Most of their enemy's cavalry would have rushed through their ranks, sending them into disarray, killing some instantly and leaving most of those who remained running for cover or simply back towards their camp.

Thomas Ballard's Regiment

Ballard had previous military experience before Edgehill and was the acting Sergeant Major General. (℮ 776, 300 detached). He commanded a brigade of 4 infantry regiments at Edgehill.

As the battle unfolded Ballard's regiment had marched up the slope from the lower terrain (or basin, as utilised in the 2009 interpretation) of their original positions to become part of the frontline. He led the pike-blocks of four infantry regiments (including the Earl of Essex's and Lord Brookes') forward to compensate for the loss of men from the field during the initial cavalry actions - particularly amidst Parliament's left-hand infantry. They engaged the enemy while Balfour's and Stapleton's cavalry units continued to attack the Royalist's centre and left of centre regiments.

Lord Fielding's Regiment

Lord Basil Fielding's Regiment of Horse. 6 troops: Fielding's, …, Robert Burghill's, John Hale's, Samuel Luke's, …. (℮ 360).

Bedford's & Balfour's troop of cuirassiers

The Earl of Bedford's and Sir William Balfour's cuirassiers - Effective commander was Sir William Balfour. Balfour's detached troops of Horse / Balfour's troop of cuirassiers & The Earl of Bedford's troop of cuirassiers. This was cavalry supporting the Foot in the centre, and many were of the cuirassier variety, being protected by full body armour. (℮ 150).

Balfour was a Scott and an experienced professional soldier who had served in the Dutch Army. He was effectively the commander of the Parliamentarian cavalry.

Along with Stapleton's regiment his actions with these cuirassiers proved instrumental in reversing the fortunes of the Parliamentarian army after its initial cavalry defeats on either wing. Balfour advanced through the gaps of the frontline regiments and attacked the flanks of three opposing regiments virtually unchallenged, and completely routed Feilding's Brigade.

While the Parliamentarian infantry eventually managed to force the Royalist infantry back towards where they had started, Balfour was able to breakthrough and beyond the Royalist battle line and even managed to reach their field gun positions. Laying his hand on a Royalist Cannon, he demanded nails to hammer up the touchholes of their big guns but was forced to settle upon cutting their ropes instead, making them almost impossible to manoeuvre.

A party of Balfour's Horse would also come close to capturing the king's two young son's, making a beeline for them from the left side of the Royalist infantry. But once they were recognised the Prince's entourage successfully took cover within or behind the small enclosure around the 'King's Barn' (and now known as 'King's Leys Barn).

Some of these horsemen were also described in one contemporary account as having been fired upon with case shot, from a Cannon, by their own men due to confusion caused when a body of horse appeared advancing towards us from that side where the enemy was. Ludlow's account continues to explain that very little damage was done and partly due to our gun being overloaded, and planted on high ground.

Sir William Balfour's Regiment

Sir William Balfour (d.1660): Lieutenant General of the Horse. 6 troops: William Pretty's, Lord Grey of Groby's, Nathaniel Fiennes', Sir Arthur Haselrig's, Walter Long's, Francis Dowett's. (℮ 360).

Parliament's right-wing horse was commanded by the Earl of Bedford (effective commander: Sir William Balfour). Balfour was a Scott and an experienced professional soldier who had served in the Dutch Army. He was effectively the commander of the Parliamentarian cavalry, and would prove instrumental with his detached troops (within Parliment's centre).

Sir Philip Stapleton's Regiment

Stapleton's detached troops of Horse / Stapleton's troop of cuirassiers (Lord General's Lifeguard), & Captain Nathaniel Draper's troop of harquebusiers. This was cavalry supporting the Foot in the centre. (℮ 150).

Sir William Fairfax's Regiment

Sir William Fairfax (1609–1644): Commander of his own regiment. (℮ 750).

Sir William Fairfax's Regiment from Meldrum's Brigade had been placed in the second line and the Lord General's Regiment may have been deployed in two divisions. This allowed each gap between the first line regiments to be covered by a regiment in the second line.
Tincey & Roberts. (Edgehill 1642). 2001.

Most of Fairfax's regiment fled as soon as the Royalist left-wing horse broke through at the start of the battle, but he and around 100 men remained.

Parliamentarian Dragoons (Right)

Dragoons: Horse mounted musketeers.

Colonel John Browne's and Colonel James Wardawe's Dragoons. 12 troops: Browne's, Wardlawe's, Gilbert Blair's, Sir John Browne's, Robert Mewer's, William Buchan's, Rober Marine's, James Wardlawe's, George Dundas', Alexander Nerne's, John Barne's, James Stenchion's, Archibald Hamilton. (℮ 1000).

Young (1967): The Parliamentarian right dragoons are positioned squarely on the highest point of Essex's hill, level with the rest of the battle array. Tincey/Roberts (2001): Placed in a forward position ahead of the frontline. Scott et al (2004): Positioned forward of their main army.

Royalist Dragoons (Right)

Dragoons: Horse mounted musketeers.

Henry Washington - 3 troops: Washington's, James Usher's, Hutchinson's.

Young (1967): Usher. Places the Royalist right dragoons well north of the Banbury road, and out–flanking the Parliamentarian left. Tincey/Roberts (2001): Colonel James Usher's Dragoons. Scott et al (2004): Usher/Washington.

Lord Bernard Stuart

King's Lifeguard

Lord Bernard Stuart (1623–1645). 1 troop. (℮ 150).

Commanding the King's Lifeguard of Horse Stuart provides us with the descriptive record of how the Parliamentary cavalry waited to receive their charge.

They stood still all the while upon the hill expecting the charge so that we were fain [forced] to charge them uphill and leap over some 5 or 6 hedges and ditches […] Upon our approach they gave fire with their cannon lined amongst their horse, dragoneers, carabines and pistols, but [… we] came more roundly to them with all their [our] fire reserved …
Lord Bernard Stuart

His brother, George, died at the battle.

Charles Cavendish - serving as a volunteer within the troop - so distinguished himself by his valour at the battle that he was given the command of the Duke of York's troop, left vacant by the death of Lord Aubigny.

Sir William Vavasour was a member of the Council of War as well as Lieutenant-Colonel of the Royal Lifeguard, but was taken prisoner during the battle.

Originally the King's Lifeguard of Horse shouldn't have been involved in the cavalry charge as it was technically a reserve to guard the King. Upon their request the King had allowed them to extend the Royalist Horse front line and perhaps this is why they found themselves amongst the hedges and ditches Stuart described.

The King had given leave unto his own Volunteer-Guard of Noblemen and Gentlemen, who with their attendance made two such Troops […]: for a vanity had possest that Troop, (upon a little provocation, or for a word of distaste the day before, or being called, The Troop of Shew [Show]) to desire this honour of being engaged in the first charge.
Sir Philip Warwick
Sir Thomas Byron

Prince of Wales' Regiment

The young Prince Charles II was not a combatant. 8 troops of Horse: Sir Thomas Byron's, Lord d'Aubigny's, Lindsey's, Northampton's, Westmorland's, Charles Cavendish's, Davidson's, Crawford's. (℮ 500).

When we came within Cannon Shot of the Enemy, they discharged at us three Pieces of Cannon from their left Wing, commanded by Sir James Ramsey; which Cannon mounted over our Troops, without doing any Hurt, except that their second Shot killed a Quarter-Master in the Rear of the Duke of York's Troop.
Sir Richard Bulstrode

Tip: When viewing deployment conjecture 2009 don't overlook the King's Lifeguard details (single polygon) on the extreme right of the Royalist right-wing cavalry.

Sir John Byron

Sir John Byron's Regiment

John Byron (1599-1652): (Two calvery units). 6 troops of Horse: Frank Butler's, Sir Richard Byron's, Gilbert Byron's, Allen Apsley's, Edward St John's. (℮ 250). Byron's Regiment also included a seventh troop: His Majesty's Lifeguard Regiment of Horse (including Sir William Killigrew's - servants of the regiment) - ℮ 150 - but these are believed to have been with the King.

Byron commanded Rupert's second line of cavalry, having served within the Dutch Army.

Prince Rupert's diaries would express disappointment in Byron for allowing his reserve to engage in a disordered chase of the fleeing Parliamentarians from the rebel's left wing.

Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert's Regiment

Prince Rupert (1619-1682): General of the Horse. 7 troops of Horse: Richard Crane's, Daniel O'Neale's, William Pennyman's, Dillon's, Thomas Dallison's, William Legge's, Lewis Dyve's. (℮ 500).

Rupert commanded the Royalist Cavalry as well as being the King's nephew. He was 22 years of age at Edgehill, but had significant military experience and knowledge (having served in the Dutch Army). His charge towards the Parliamentarian cavalry is well-known as is his status within the Civil War.

Rupert would later write of the instructions he issued to his cavalry at Edgehill:

[…] march as close as was possible, keeping their Ranks with Sword in Hand, to receive the Enemy's Shot without firing either Carbin or Pistol, till we broke in amongst the Enemy, and then make use of our Fire-Arms as need should require.
Prince Rupert, Memoirs.

Prince Maurice's Regiment

Led by Henry Washington at Edgehill (1615-1664): Lieutenant-Colonel. 4 troops of Horse: Prince Maurice's Lifeguard, Sir Ralph Dutton's, Thomas Sheldon's, Guy Molesworth's. (℮ 180).

This regiment was originally raised by Colonel James Ussher, as "Prince Maurice's Dragoones", the previous month. Men from Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Leicestershire - including 27 year old Henry Washington.

Dragoons during this century were mounted infantry, using horses for mobility but usually dismounting to fight.

A contemporary Royalist account informs us that the regiment followed the orders of Washington (and not Ussher) at Edgehill and that Washington with his Regiment of Dragoones descended Edgehill first, in order to possess some enclosures and briars on the right Hand of our Army.

The regiment had successfully cleared enemy musketeers from the hedges before taking their positions and prior to the right-wing's cavalry charge. Captain Francis Gawdye, from Norfolk, was wounded in the thigh, but the regiment suffered few casualties and was able, or ready, to assist Rupert in the final stages of the battle.

Charles Gerard

Charles Gerard

Charles Gerard (1618-1694): Brigade Commander. Gerard's Brigade of Foot - 3 regiments: Charles Gerard's, Sir Lewis Dyve's, Sir Ralph Dutton's. (℮ 2000). Gerard had served within the Dutch Army.

Opposed only by the weakended regiments of Ballard and Holles, Gerard had less to do to hold his place in the line [once they had advanced to Parliament's positions] and was able to make a steady withdrawal to cover the retreat of the other Royalist brigades…
Tincey & Roberts. (Edgehill 1642). 2001.
John Belasyse

John Belasyse

John Belasyse (1615-1689): Brigade Commander. Belasyse's Brigade of Foot - 3 regiments: John Belasyse's, Thomas Blagge's, Sir William Pennyman's. (℮ 1800).

Belasyse had no previous military experience, yet raised 6 regiments of Horse and Foot at his own expense but was wounded in the battle.

As the Royalist Foot advanced towards the enemy, this reserve brigade (and Byron's) moved forward to fill the space left for them by the front line, creating a single battle line.

The brigade suffered many casualties during the battle once Thomas Ballard led his own regiment and Holles' regiment forward into the Parliamentarian frontline to engage them.

Richard Fielding

Richard Fielding (d.1659): Brigade Commander. Fieldings's Brigade of Foot - 5 regiments: Richard Fielding's, Sir Thomas Lunsford's, Richard Bolle's, Sir Edward Fitton's, Sir Edward Stradling's. (℮ 2600). Fielding had served within the Dutch Army.

At Edgehill Fielding's regiments were routed with Fielding, Lunsford and Stradling taken prisoner and the brigade falling victim to the armoured cuirassiers of Balfour's and Stapleton's horse troops, without any cavalry protection of their own.

Unfamiliar with their Swedish brigade formations Fielding's regiments were cut down piecemeal with the loss of Fielding himself as a prisoner […], which leaderless fled back towards Edgehill.
Tincey & Roberts. (Edgehill 1642). 2001.

Later that same day, Fielding - who had been captured by ten Parliamentarians - was rescued by Captain John Smith (of Grandison's Horse Regiment).

Sir Nicholas Byron

Nicholas Byron (1600-1645): Brigade Commander. Byron's Brigade of Foot - 3 regiments: King's Lifeguard, Lord General's, Sir John Beaumont's. (℮ 1800).

Byron had served within the Dutch Army and it was within his brigade that floated the Banner Royal. Both Byron and the Earl of Lindsey were wounded.

Along with the rest of the infantry's frontline, Byron's brigade had reached their enemy to within around 100 metres (or within musket shot) when they were charged by Parliamentarian cavalry. But under his command his men had managed to withstand the attacking manoeuvres of Stapleton's horse regiment, with his musketeers taking defensive cover tightly packed below the protection of their pike-men's long pikes, frustrating the Parliamentary Horse which was unable to break them.

The enemy's body of foot, wherein the king's standard was, came on within musquet-shot of us; upon which we observing no horse to encounter withal, charged them with some loss from their pikes, tho very little from their shot; but not being able to break them, we retreated to our former station. [sic]
Ludlow.

11 of 13 colours (Standards) were lost from the King's Lifeguard of Foot as the regiment was eventually routed. Under the combined pressures of Essex's and Lord Brooke's own Foot regiments to their front, Stapleton's cavalry at their flank and Balfour's horsemen to their rear they eventually collapsed and ran for Edgehill, but not before also loosing their army's Banner Royal. Sir Edmund Verney was killed but had fought gallantly carrying the banner - managing to kill two assailants while also using its pole as if it were a pike during 'push of pike' clashes - before being cut down.

It was observed that the greatest slaughter on our side [Parliament's] was of such as ran away, and on the enemy's side of those that stood; of whom I saw about threescore [60] lie within the compass of threescore [60] yards upon the ground whereon that brigade fought in which the King's standard was.
Ludlow.

Henry Wentworth

Henry Wentworth (1594-1644): Brigade Commander. Wentworth's Brigade of Foot: Sir Gilbert Gerard's Regiment, Sir Thomas Salusbury's Regiment, Lord Molineux's Regiment. (℮ 1800).

Wentworth had served within the Dutch Army.

While Wentworth's men had absorbed initial pressure during the fight they failed to press home any attack on Meldrum's regiment and are thought to have withdrawn from the battle - no doubt in considerable disarray - amidst the confusion of cavalry attacks upon the left side of the Royalist's battle line.

Salusbury's Regiment recovered their honour [at the battle of Brentford] having behaved poorly at Edgehill where they had served under Wentworth.
Clarendon
Earl of Carnarvon

Earl of Carnarvon's Regiment

Robert Dormer, 1st Earl of Carnarvon (1610–1643). 4/5 troops: Carnarvon's, Sir Charles Lucas', Richard Neville's, Alexander Standish's, … (℮ 200).

Sir Charles Lucas was the Lieutenant Colonel and during the initial cavalry successes - which saw most of the cavalry leave the immediate battlefield pursuing the enemy - he would prove the exception and managed to rally 200 horsemen to launch attacks from behind Parliament's lines.

Sir Thomas Aston

Sir Thomas Aston's Regiment

Part of the left–wing of Horse - Reserve (or second line). Sir Thomas Aston - Baronet of Aston (1600–1645). 3 troops: Aston's, Sir James Bridgeman's, Flemming's. (℮ 150).

Aston - who had been a proffesional soldier - was appointed colonel-general of dragoons a few days before the battle. His dragoons beat off the Parliamentarian dragoons on Parliment's right-wing to clear the way for Wilmot's cavalry charge.

Lord Grandison

Lord Grandison's Regiment

William Villiers - 2nd Viscount Grandison (1614–1643). 4 troops: Grandison's/Edward Gerard's, Sir Richard Willys', Lord John Stuart's, Francis Bertie's. (℮ 200).

Captain John Smith, serving within this regiment, would successfully recapture the King's Royal Banner, after it was lost from the King's Lifeguard of Foot (Byron's Brigade). He would also rescue Richard Feilding who had been taken as a prisoner during the battle.

Lord Digby

Lord Digby's Regiment

George Digby (1612-1677): Led Wilmot's second line (or Reserve) of cavalry. 4 troops: Digby's/Henry Harris', Thomas Weston's, Richard Herbert's(?), John Lane's. (℮ 150).

Digby had joined the King at York during the summer and raised a regiment of horse - serving as its colonel - and fought with distinction at the battle.

But while gallant his fundamental lack of military experience on the day demonstrated an inability to accurately follow orders.

Lord Wilmot

Lord Wilmot's Regiment

Henry Wilmot (1613-1658): Commissary General of the Horse. 6 troops: Wilmot's/Robert Walsh's, Edward Fielding's, Paul Smith's, John Harvey's, Price's, John Frenchville's/Jammot's. (℮ 360).

As Commissary General of the Horse, Wilmot was second in command to Rupert and had also seen service in the Dutch Army. The charge of his left-wing cavalry, at the start of the battle, enjoyed the same success as the right-wing Royalist cavalry.

Towards the dying stages of the battle - when some troops of the Royalist Horse had eventually returned to the main battle - Wilmot, apparently considering the fading light, is quoted in his response to the suggestion for organising one last cavalry charge as saying:

… we have got the day, and let us live to enjoy the fruit thereof.
Clarendon

Royalist Dragoons (Left)

Dragoons: Horse mounted musketeers. (℮ 500). 6 troops.

Sir Arthur Aston (1590-1649): Sergeant-Major General of Dragoons. 3 troops: Edward Grey's, ('Lieutenant Colonel' ?), Ralph Hebburne's.

Sir Edward Duncombe's Regiment of Lifeguard dragoons. 3 troops: Duncombe's, ('Lieutenant Colonel' ?), ('Major' ?).

Aston had served in the Polish and Swedish armies and had been appointed only a few days beforehand, but demonstrated courage and dexterity, to beat off the apposing musketeers amidst the hedges and ditches with his dragoons.

Young (1967): Dragoons. Tincey/Roberts (2001): Colonel Edward Grey's Dragoons, Colonel Edmond Duncombe's Dragoons. Scott et al (2004): Grey (left) & Dunscombe (right).

Gentlemen Pensioners

1 troop: Lieutenant Sir William Howard. (℮ 150).

William Legge's Firelocks

(℮ 150). Largest artillery: 2 demi-cannon, 2 culverins, 2 demi-culverins.

De Gomme shows Killigrew's Troop and Legge's Firelocks with the King […] This may have been where they started.
Edgehill - The Battle Reinterpreted.
(Scott et al). 2004.

Young (1967): Legge's Firelocks. Scott et al (2004): Heavy Guns & Legge's Firelocks.

The Lord General's Regiment or Horse

6 troops: John Gunter's, Lord Brooke's troop, James Sheffield's, Henry Ireton's, Edward Wingate's, Thomas Temple's. (℮ 360).

The Lord General's Regiment of Foot

Reereguard (Grand Division 1). The Earl of Essex's Regiment. (℮ 950 in total).

[…] the Lord General's Regiment may have been deployed in two divisions.
Tincey & Roberts. (Edgehill 1642). 2001.

The Lord General's Regiment of Foot

Reereguard (Grand Division 2). The Earl of Essex's Regiment. (℮ 950 in total. i.e, this division: 475).

Sir William Constable's Regiment

Constable's Regiment: (℮ 700).

Lord Robarte's Regiment

Robarte's Regiment: (℮ 500).

Lord Mandeville's Regiment

Mandeville's Regiment: (℮ 600).

Tincey/Roberts (2001): … or Lord Wharton's Regiment.

Lord Wharton's Regiment

Wharton's Regiment: (℮ 500).

Tincey/Roberts (2001): … or Lord Mandeville's Regiment.

Sir Faithful Fortescue, acting as major, captained a troop of horse in support of Wharton's regiment:

Even before the battle of Edgehill, the Parliamentary commander Lord Brooke had made a speech to his assembled soldiers in which he accused foreign mercenaries of wishing to […] grow fat on England's misery. […] As the rival armies deployed against each other on the field of battle at Edgehill a few days later, a Dutch lieutenant in Parliament's service […] galloped across to the Royalist lines. The defector was […] John van Gerrish […] and he brought word that his captain, Sir Faithful Fortescue, was poised to desert to the king with his entire troop. When the Royalist horse charged forward a few minutes later, Fortescue's men […] turned on their former comrades, spreading alarm and confusion throughout the Roundhead ranks. It was one of the most notorious acts of treachery of the entire Civil War […]
Mark Stoyle.
(Soldiers And Strangers: An Ethnic History of the English Civil War). 2005.

When Rupert charged, Fortescue drew off his troop from Wharton's regiment, but many of his men forgot to discard their identifying orange scarfs and 18 of his 60 men were killed or wounded by the cavalry they had joined.

Sir Henry Cholmley's Regiment

Cholmley's Regiment: (℮ 1100).

Lord Brooke's Regiment

Brooke's regiment (℮ 750), led by their brigade commander, Thomas Ballard, and along with the Lord General's Regiment, are said to have successfully:

forced that Stand of Pikes, and wholly broke those two regiments [of Royalist infantry], and slew and took almost every man of them
by the offical Parliamentarian officer's account.

Sir William Waller's Lifeguard

Details of the left-wing within 'Sir Ramsey's Wing'.

Arthur Goodwin

Details of the left-wing within 'Sir Ramsey's Wing'.

Sir Samuel Sandys

Sandys (1615-1685).

Details of the left-wing within 'Sir Ramsey's Wing'.

Earl of Bedford

Details of the left-wing within 'Sir Ramsey's Wing'.

Sir John Urry

(d. 1650).

On the outbreak of the civil war he espoused the cause of parliament, and in June 1642 was nominated lieutenant-colonel of the fourth troop of horse appointed for Ireland under Philip, Lord Wharton.

Further details of the left-wing within 'Sir Ramsey's Wing'.

Cannon

At Edgehill the Royalist artillery was led by Sir John Heydon (d.1653).

The Tincey & Roberts (2001) and Smurthwaite (1984) deployment conjectures include the depiction of heavy artillery.

Royalist Army

Typically estimated at 13,500 men.

View information from other detailed deployment layers for further details.

Parliamentarian Army

Typically estimated at 12,500 men on the field.

View information from other detailed deployment layers for further details.

The 1947 terrain is "active". The 'pop–up' information bubbles, for depolyment plans and terrain, are disabled while the 1947 map (black & white) overlay is active/visable.

1947 terrain

These RAF vertical aerial photographs from January 1947 have provided some important evidence for reconstructing the battle's landscape. While they show areas where the archeology will have been destroyed (and offer the potential to explain the lack of results/finds in some areas during modern surveys), and explain certain crop markings, they also illustrate where deep ancient field 'ridge and furrow' persisted (before extensive modern ploughing commenced in the 1950s and not too long after industrialised farming), which in turn helps convay an open field system still largely in use at the time of the battle.

Historic Terrain 1642

This basic representation of the 1642 landscape illustrates the uninterrupted open terrain created by the combined Radway, Kineton and Little Kineton common fields. A handful of enclosures and hedgerows did exist within the open plain.

Edgehill was not wooded at the time.

(See the 'Historic Terrain 1642' section, within the 'Help & Keys' for further details).

The 1701 enclosures of Battle Farm

The full Battle Farm Sketch Map and survey reveals many clues concerning how the terrain in this area might have appeared during the battle.

Published here for the first time and discussed in detail in the 2011 battlefield terrain conjecture.

Birmingham Libraries & Archives. Battle Farm Sketch Map. Z/2832.

Radway Field survey - George Salmon 1756

The pre-enclosure map and survey for "The Enclosure of the Common Field called Radway Field", which came into the possession of the Warwickshire County Record Office in the 1970s and provides important clues for interpreting the battlefield as it may have appeared in 1642.

It features some details which explicitly relate to the battle and potentially substantiates parts of an earlier map by Henry Beighton. The myriad of place names recorded by Salmon also convey general information regarding the terrain, such as Little Furze, The Meadow, Meadow Furlong, Meadow End and a Waterland Furlong in the heart of the battlefield.

Warwickshire County Record Office. Radway pre-enclosure map. G.Salmon. CR1596/197.

Archaeological Finds

This 'Archaeological Finds' dynamic overlay provides an impression of the spread of bullets recovered from across the battlefield from the 2004/2007 survey.

See the 'Help & Keys' menu for further details.

View of Essex's hill

You can open/download a much larger and higher resolution photograph of the Earl of Essex's small round rising hill as seen from Castle Wood, Edgehill:

Essex's hill (0.5 MB)

You may need to click upon the image in your browser to increase it's size.

View of the Edgehill battlefield

You can open/download a much larger and higher resolution photograph of this definitive view across the Edgehill battlefield:

Battle of Edgehill from Bullet Hill (2 MB)

You may need to click upon the image in your browser to increase it's size.

View of Edgehill

You can open/download a much larger and higher resolution photograph of this view across the battlefield towards Edgehill, from the approximate traditional position of the Parliamentarian right:

Edgehill from Parliamentarian right (1.5 MB)

You may need to click upon the image in your browser to increase it's size.

King Charles Road (Site of)

This location represents where a track known as the "King Charles Road" once took a direct route to King's Leys Barn. Some local tradition celebrates the King's carriage making its way down this track, having been sent for from near Knowle-end (on the hill), for the King to pass the night in and within the vicinity of the barn. But the popular folklore of the King spending the night on the battlefield remains incorrect.

Views west also survey the general start of the old open field and area described as meadow in contemporary accounts.

Click and drag the orange Street View 'Pegman' to the marker's location and then look west

Western edge of Radway Field

Although originally twice as long, this enclosure potentially existed during the battle, but the parish boundary hedgerow on its western edge (on the right as you'll look at it) was present during the battle.

You can also use Street View to travel through the newly conjectured starting positions of Charles Gerard's Regiment.

Click and drag the orange Street View 'Pegman' to this position on the road and then look south. You can move along the road for improved views.

Profile of Essex's hill

This viewpoint provides a near profile view of the southern, and highest, point of the small round hill which the Parliamentarian army partly utilised. The rise is now covered with a wooded canopy.

Click and drag the orange Street View 'Pegman' to the marker's location and then look east.

Parish border & a swell in the landscape

Some historians have paid diligent attention to the undulations in this region. Contemporary accounts also imply hidden sightlines.

The view of this subtle rising ground - looking towards the parish border - is available as a higher resolution download: Rising ground looking towards Edgehill (1.2 MB)

You may need to click upon the image in your browser to increase it's size.

The Parliamentarian hill

You can open/download a much larger and higher resolution photograph of this view towards the Parliamentarian hill:

Parliamentarian positions (1.2 MB)

You may need to click upon the image in your browser to increase it's size.

Contradictory topography?

Here, three of the best known deployment conjectures (which are available as dynamic overlays within this website) position the Parliamentarian left cavalry, but can this and would this subtlest of mild inclines be described as charging uphill, as famously described by Lord Bernard Stuart:

They [the Parliamentarian left-wing] stood still all the while upon the hill expecting the charge so that we were fain to charge them uphill
Lord Bernard Stuart

The slightly elevated rise and subtle land ripple, used by the parish boundary, is just about evident on the eastern side of the field as the land disappears under the boundary hedgerow.

Check for yourself by using Google's Street View. Click and drag the orange Street View 'Pegman' - from the left side of the screen - to this position on the road and then look south across the field. You can move along the road for alternate views.

Flat terrain

Looking south, down the Yardley Chase Road, and surveying the broader landscape using the elevated position afforded by Google's Street View, provides a clear impression of the level nature of the terrain in this area of the battlefield. There is the subtlest of mild rises in ground level from east to west, which is arguably difficult to notice or describe as uphill? This could - when compared with contemporary accounts - challenge many traditional battle deployment conjectures for Parliament's left-wing positions.

Rising ground becomes obviously evident to the west of this scene (in the next field to "your right"). The slopes face northeast. Views from the roadside of Nibsbury field (opposite the roadside battle monument, northwest of this junction) also reveal falling gradient, which should be combined with the rising ground on the south side of the B4086.

Click and drag the orange Street View 'Pegman' to this position on the road. Click and 'grab' the screen/view to rotate the scene and to pivot the view left and right.

Cavalry camp

View the area used as a Parliamentarian cavalry camp (across the small river and covering the hillside).

Click and drag the orange Street View 'Pegman' to this position on the road. Click and 'grab' the screen/view to rotate the scene and look south.

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Help & Keys

Help - Using the map

  • Use the 'Battle of Edgehill Website' button to show or hide the website's main navigation (or click any black & white circular 'X or "Close" tag' to close the website navigation)
  • Use the options along the top menu to reveal battle footprints (icons), modern public footpaths, army deployments and more. (Click again to hide them, particularly if the map becomes too crowded)
  • Mouse–Over battle footprint icons to reveal simple labels
  • Click on the battle footprint icons and army deployment polygons to reveal more information. Click the small 'X or "Close" tag' to close, or click another icon/polygon instead
  • Change the terrain of the map using the options at the top right of the map
  • Use the Zoom slider, on the left, to adjust the map's scale, or double click on a location in the map to zoom in. (Switching to Satelite terrain increases the zooming scales and options)
  • Use the navigation Pan controls, on the left, to move the map, or click and hold (grab) the map to move it
  • Click and drag the small 'Pegman' icon (at the top of the Zoom slider) onto any road - with all viable roads highlighting in blue - and then release, to use Google's Street View. (Within the Street View mode, as well as using the obvious controls, you can also click and grab/drag the screen or view, to rotate left or right)
  • Click the small 'x' (in the top right of this panel) to close this help information.

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Battle of Edgehill Website

Show and hide the website's navigation menus. ('Reset Map & Page' will return the map and webpage to its original default state).

For a complete list of all web pages within this web site: Site Map.

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Battle Footprint Markers

The principle feature of the website. This layer illustrates locations relating to the battle and the battlefield. Zoom out to reveal markers further afield.

(Click on the icons to reveal their information).

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Photographs & Paths

Locations of photographs, routes of public rights of way, permissive paths and recommended views for 'Street View'.

  • Click the camera icons to view photographs (or drawings) taken from, or representing, the location. (Tip: If too many icons are tightly grouped, switch to Satellite view, and zoom in).
  • Please note: This website cannot accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the public rights of way and permissive paths, illustrated here, and/or the latest status of permissive paths. Always consult a map. Some land owners have clearly redirected some routes around crops and perimeters in a reasonable fashion - please respect these minor alterations.
  • Click and drag the orange 'Pegman' icon to the 'large arrow' icons for relevant views of the battlefield. Clicking the 'large arrows' will provide additional information.

The Paths

Public Rights of Way = red. Permissive Paths = pink.

Featured are the most relevant and useful footpaths which can be used in conjunction with the roads and lanes to view the battlefield. Bing maps features all public footpaths and bridleways, as well as the 'Battlefields Trail' route (when viewed at the correct scale and using the 'Ordinance Survey' view option). Street-Map.co.uk also features the public footpaths and bridleways around the battlefield (when viewed at the correct scale).

  • The permissive path across Bullet Hill is funded by English Heritage & English Nature.* County Reg No: 030A/745. For further information, contact: Countryside Commission. Tel: 0121 233 9399. (Note: In high summer — July/August — parts of this path can become unpleasantly overgrown; so take a "beating" stick!).
  • The permissive paths south and west of the munitions depoe (curving around the 'Oaks' plantation) form part of the Battlefields Trust 'Battlefield Trail' (Edgcote, Cropredy Bridge, Edgehill)
  • The 'permissive path' highlighted along Red Road (near Little Kineton) is officially recorded on some OS mapping as Other routes with public access. This now forms part of the Battlefield Trail. (See below).
  • The permissive paths shown towards the southern area of the battlefield are provided by the Upton Estate.
  • For comments, issues or problems concerning the public footpaths or bridleways, please contact: Warwickshire County Council. Tel: 01926 413427. Email: paths@warwickshire.gov.uk
  • Photographs taken from within the general Defence Storage & Distribution Agency (DSDA) Kineton zone were taken with permission and under supervision. You must observe signs and not trespass onto this land as you will be prosecuted.

*Due to government cuts a sign explained that this path had closed for a period of time during 2011, but it currently appears to be open and in use again (and is clearly way marked).

Note: The footpaths and bridleways north of the Oaks plantation (the large wood on 'Essex's hill') appear to have changed more than once in recent years but are reassuringly well signposted. There is however one small exception as one Battlefield Trail way–marker incorrectly points in unison with a standard footpath marker (which leads to a dead end). If walking from the Radway direction, when you reach the south western corner of the Oaks plantation or woods, simply turn right (up slope and as the Trail guides describe) skirting the wood. Cross the track lines and simply follow the metalled road, left, 'around the hill'. Furthermore, contrary to some now dated mapping (mentioned above), the footpath, trail and bridleway now extends along the open metalled lane all the way to Red Road, which provides much improved views in this important region of the battlefield. (And presumably a big 'well–done' to the Battlefields Trust & Warwickshire County Council).

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Add Measurement Markers

Each click of this button adds a new pair of Markers - at the central position of your map - which can be used to measure distances across the battlefield. Click the button once and then click and drag the red and black marker - which will have a '0 m' label - to a new position. You can do this with both corresponding Markers. Tip: For distances over 1 kilometre, you can create several pairs; then manually reposition them to link and chain them, in order to achieve detailed distance measurements. For best results use the Satellite terrain option and zoom in on the map. To delete the Markers, simply use the 'delete' option provided in the menu.

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Terrains

Historic Terrain 1642

A rudimentary representation of the historic terrain of the 1642 battlefield, demonstrating the fundamental open field landscape utilised by the battle and made up of the combined Radway, Little Kineton and Kineton common fields.

This open, unenclosed and largely uninterrupted, area was principally made up of hay meadow (1), some ploughed arable farming (notably around the Graveground Coppice region)(2), moore (3) and lowland heath (4) around the Kineton side and to the rear of Parliament's positions, with significant gorse growth also through their centre and right deployments (5). One or two small copses may also have been present in slightly elevated areas. Some historic enclosures have been specifically included to the north and south which may have been integral to events and referenced within contemporary accounts. A handful of enclosures, along with their adjoining parish boundary hedgerow are included within the central area. Radway village was tightly surrounded by small enclosures. (The Edgehill escarpment was not wooded at the time).

In conjunction with Foard's 2009 deployment suggestion, the 'open space' terrain appears to make keener sense of Clarendon's virtually contemporary account and description of the Parliamentarian army deploying where the ground was narrowest.

Tip: Set the map's terrain setting to 'Map' (instead of 'Satellite') option, to reveal and highlight the Radway brook and its ditch - sometimes called Ramsey's stream - running north to south across the centre of the battlefield. This is a topographical detail also influencing events.

(This 'Historic Terrain' layer turns "off" the Radway Field 1756 layer due to it's slight planimetric inaccuracy). 1: Radway, 1756 doc & contemporary accounts. 2 & 5: Contemporary accounts & Battle Farm, 1701 doc. 3: Battle Farm, 1701 doc. 4: A tenement in 1655 from Kineton describes six acres of furze & heath (WRO L6/549).

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Battle Farm 1701

The Battle Farm Sketch Map and survey of 1701 reveals many clues concerning how the terrain in this area may have appeared, less than 60 years earlier during the battle.

The survey made of this farm estate and its enclosed fields appears to capture a young farm in transition and is subsequently estimated to have first become established approximately during the mid second half of the 17th century. It provides detailed land usage information and unique place names, as well as improving upon the lineage and proximity to the battle of fieldnames featured in a 1733 Little Kineton enclosure document.

Published for the first time by this website, it was also first studied for Edgehill battlefield research by the battlefield terrain conjecture resource and review, which discusses its revelations in detail.

Reproduced with the kind permission of: Birmingham Libraries & Archives. Battle Farm Sketch Map. Z/2832.

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Radway Field 1756

George Salmons' pre–enclosure survey of 1756: This document which came into the possession of the Warwickshire County Record Office in 1975 features important details concerning water courses, hedgerows and boundaries when understanding how the terrain may have appeared in 1642. Published here for the first time in full with the kind permission of the record office.

In addition to its obvious insights this document also appears to accurately pinpoint, for the first time, some of the battle related details depicted by Henry Beighton in his own 1728 map.

Reproduced with the kind permission of: Warwickshire County Record Office. Radway pre-enclosure map. G.Salmon. CR1596/197.

(Turns "off" the 'Historic Terrain 1642' layer, due to slight planimetric inaccuracy of the 1756 map). Click upon the map for further information.

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Photographic 1947

In 1947 the RAF photographed the entire county of Warwickshire. These aerial photographs of the battlefield - here seamlessly merged and published for the first time - capture the terrain possibly prior to intensive ploughing and shortly after the construction of two Royal Ordnance Department depots. In areas they capture the last visual details of some important field enclosures while also helping to explain the results of subsequent archaeological surveys. (Click upon the 1947 aerial photograph for further details).

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Registered Boundary

The official battlefield boundary as recorded in English Heritage's Register of Historic Battlefields.

While battlefields still have no legal protection the creation of the Battlefield Register educates and encourages planners to consider the importance of a designated battlefield before any development can take place. Edgehill is the largest site on the register and was designated in June 1995.

Edgehill provides the most secure example [of registered battlefield boundaries] as it has the most comprehensive data set for any English battlefield. Here, based on the new analysis [including 2004/2007 archaeological survey], it would appear that the Registered boundary includes all the core cavalry and infantry action and much of both royalist and parliamentarian rout, the latter including various subsidiary actions. However, only part of the attack on the parliamentarian baggage train in Little Kineton has been included within the boundary. […] On the northern edge of the battlefield the probable extent of the royalist dragoon action, taking the hedgerows at the beginning of the battle to facilitate Rupert's attack, may be partly excluded, although, again, incomplete survey makes it impossible at present to determine the extent. On the south the boundary seems likely to take in all the action on that flank, while on the southeast it is likely to include most of the royalist infantry rout as well as the meadow area where their army initially assembled. Uncertainties over the exact definition of boundaries, even in such a well studied battle as this, are highlighted by the recent find of isolated case shot, made further to the southeast on the lower slopes of Edgehill, suggesting close-quarter action involving artillery beyond the Register and survey boundaries.
G.Foard, 2008.

Boundary illustrations are available online and are published in the English Heritage publication 'British Battles' (Ken and Denise Guest, 1996).

The battlefield also has a National Monuments Record (English Heritage), with a monument number of: 335142.

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Army Deployments

This selection of deployment conjectures or interpretations form part of the historiography of the Battle of Edgehill while they also represent the key alternative deployment interpretations of modern studies.

Royalists: Are shown to the south (bottom) or to the east (right).
Parliamentarians: Are shown to the north (top) or to the west (left).

Click on their coloured polygons for detailed information. Included within most information windows are also the estimated numbers of men or horse. E.g. (℮ 500). Individual regiment details/listings supplied by: Edgehill - The Battle Reinterpreted. 2004.

These plans represent where the armies are considered to have initially deployed, and don't represent the movement seen by cavalry action, for example, or the positions of both armies at the close of the battle.

Deployment suggestions & plans currently omitted: All, and more, of the most significant deployment interpretations of modern times have been included in this website, but for completeness, concerning further study and the historiography of the Edgehill battle, included in a separate document are details of the remaining Edgehill conjectures (or varying illustrations depicting deployment positions) currently omitted.

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Conjecture 1950: Lieutenant–Colonel Alfred Burne

A classic interpretation possibly representing the first fully considered supposition of the battle for the modern era. First published in 'The Battlefields of England' (1950), Burne also records several important details relating to the physical geography of the battlefield. Surprisingly, Burnes' plan is still reproduced in modern publications.

At the centre, both armies stand approximately 745m apart.

Best reproduction from Burne's basic sketch map & plan.

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Conjecture 1967: Brigadier Peter Young

Arguably the definitive template and most influential deployment conjecture concerning studies of the battle. Largely emulated in countless Civil War works and Battlefield guides, for decades this conjecture unofficially occupied the position of established and unchallenged orthodoxy. Young's 'Edgehill 1642' (1967) continues to be an authoritative benchmark for any Edgehill research.

The armies stand square to the escarpment and 1.72 kilometres apart.

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Conjecture 1970s: David Pannett

In the 1970s, while researching the wider historic landscape, Pannett recognised his work bore influence upon how the Edgehill battlefield might be interpreted. His initiative to reconstruct the contemporary battlefield terrain and shape, for the first time, led to his interpretation of where the initial frontlines may have deployed. Remarkably, over seventy years earlier, George Miller had already illustrated his interpretation of where Parliament initially deployed their army in his own battlefield map showing an identical position and orientation across the battlefield in 1896. Pannett's suggestion is included here due to its potential as being the first Edgehill example of a deployment interpretation based largely on historic terrain reconstruction.

At the centre, both armies stand approximately 755m apart.

Pannett's deployment conjecture was first published, with attribution to him, by the Battlefields Trust in 2005, and as reproduced here. (Previously it was available within English Heritage's Battlefield file at their registry in Swindon; although all apparent knowledge of the document is now lost?). However, Pannett's original - primary source - hand drawn plan, (eventually published in 2012), shows significantly different positioning and locations, which may necessitate a reworking of the version depicted here. (The 2004/7 archaeological base plan eliminates Pannett's original locations).

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Conjecture 1984: David Smurthwaite

From the compendium: 'The Ordnance Survey Complete Guide to the Battlefields of Britain' (1984).

In many ways this is the "classic" deployment plan and is featured here as it enjoys the accolade of having been reproduced and used by, at least, three other publications: 'Walking & Exploring The Battlefields of Britain' (John Kinross, 1988), 'English Heritage, British Battles' (Ken & Denise Guest, 1996) and 'Two Men in a Trench II' (Tony Pollard & Neil Oliver), 2003.

Both armies stand approximately 1.6km apart.

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Conjecture 2001: Keith Roberts & John Tincey

A popular and accessible, yet authoritative work; this was the first dedicated book about the battle for over thirty years: 'Edgehill 1642: First Battle of the English Civil War' (2001).

The author's expertise in Swedish and Dutch formation and Pike and Shot tactics progressed, and arguably, established the battle formations deployed at Edgehill.

The book features three engaging birds–eye view illustrations of the battlefield, including suggested terrain, some hedgerows/enclosures and an area of ploughed land. Their suggested deployment positions within the battlefield achieved some traction.

Both armies stand approximately 1.44km apart.

Artillery is represented by the triangular 'arrowhead' symbols.

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Conjecture 2003: Foard/Pannett

Battlefields Trust document '371.pdf' dated and copyrighted 2003, illustrates a distinctly unusual interpretation by Foard/Pannett (and also features the Roberts & Tincey 2001 conjecture) and is available from the Edgehill section of the Battlefields Trust website (although the conjecture was not formally "published" in an academic journal). It features again in their Battlefields Trail (Edgcote, Cropredy Bridge & Edgehill) leaflet, first published (copyrighted) in 2004. In 2005 the Trust updated the interpretation panel at the Castle Inn, Edgehill, with the Foard/Pannett conjecture. (The plan is also reproduced in document 'deployments.pdf' - from the Trust's Edgehill website section).

Both armies of this conjecture stand approximately 760m apart, while the Parliamentarian positions adopt the same position and similar orientation, first illustrated by George Miller in his 'Rambles round the Edge Hills'[sic] book of 1896.

In 2004 - 2007 one of the conjecture's two authors, Glenn Foard, as Battlefields Trust Projects Officer directed the archaeological survey of the site and authored an interim report in 2005.* It featured the publication of Pannett's similar 1970s deployment supposition and lent support to its rationale. The Edgehill survey has potentially been proven as a critical test case for battlefield archaeological methodologies elsewhere. (See 'Foard's Conjecture 2009').

*Battlefields Annual Review - ISBN: 1 84415 281 2

Also in 2003 a very similar deployment plan was published in the revised second edition of the well–known battlefields compendium and guide 'The Military Heritage of Britain and Ireland' (Martin Marix Evans) and is 'ahead of the curve' by including the suggested hedgerow perimeter which presumably influences the conjecture.

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Conjecture 2004: Christopher Scott, Alan Turton, Dr Deric Gruber Von Arni

A thorough, considered, original and comprehensive study of the battle featuring a detailed narrative, discussion and deployment interpretation: 'Edgehill, The Battle Reinterpreted' (2004). Notably, the book also proposes an alternative deployment pattern.

The centres stand approximately 1.8km apart.

Plan reproduced from their formal deployment plan described as The deployment of both armies (p67). A computer–generated conjecture, overlaid upon a birds–eye view aerial photograph - within the book's central coloured plates and labelled as The armies on the field - illustrates differing positions with both armies' notably positioned further forwards (towards each other).

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Conjecture 2009: Dr Glenn Foard

Battle archaeologist Glenn Foard published his initial archaeological findings and a new battlefield deployment interpretation in 2009: Foard, G., The investigation of early modern battlefields in England, in Schlachtfeldarchäeologie: Battlefield Archaeology, H. Meller, Editor. 2009, Lamdesmuseums für Vorgeschichte: Halle, Germany. (p117–125, in English). This was a compendium of the Central German Archaeological Conference of Oct 2008.

Foard's interpretation based predominantly on the landmark 2004-2007 large scale systematic archaeological survey of the battlefield provides a remarkable, robust and persuasively conclusive result.

As the Battlefields Trust Projects Officer, Foard directed the Edgehill survey - which was grant aided by the Local Heritage Initiative - and included experimental ballistics firing, historic terrain reconstruction and re-evaluation of historic documents.

For locating or improving the understanding of many battlefields Foard recommends landscape archaeology to reconstruct a historic terrain to better locate within the landscape the documented events and military history, but to then validate any hypothesis with the battle's archaeological evidence. While Foard clearly doubted most previous conjectures which proposed locations for Edgehill's initial front lines, and supported a significantly different suggestion as early as 2003, the archaeology left by the action across Edgehill's battlefield ultimately informed an entirely original interpretation.

The centres stand approximately 1km apart.

In the Edgehill survey the three main sets of evidence for the battle have been explored in the form of an historic terrain reconstruction; a reanalysis of the original documentary accounts of the battle; and the large scale survey of the battle archaeology. The integration of these three data sets has provided the basis for a major reinterpretation of the battle. The result has been the reorientation of the battle lines by 90 degrees from past studies based on military history alone, and to show exactly how the different elements of the action can be securely fitted into more than 5 km² of the landscape.
Foard, 2009

The battlefield reinterpretation was again illustrated, along with some further archaeological detail in May 2012 (The Archaeology of English Battlefields - Conflict in the Pre-Industrial Landscape. G. Foard & R. Morris). The most comprehensive review of the survey was published in Dec 2012 - based on Foard's original PhD thesis of 2008: (Battlefield Archaeology of the English Civil War. G. Foard).

Read more: Further selected details and quotes concerning the survey/project.

Please note: Foard's 2009 illustration of deployment positions did not label the individual units, but the battle formations were familiar and they have been assumed here to follow the Tincey & Roberts pattern. Flanking dragoons were not included within the 2009+ illustration(s).

The author of this website comments about the new battlefield interpretation on the 'About this website & battlefield' page (The 2009 New Interpretion).

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Archaeological Finds

Between August 2004 and March 2007, the Battlefields Trust undertook a major survey of the Edgehill battlefield using systematic metal detecting across 5 km² of the landscape. Directed by Dr Glenn Foard the survey produced 1096 lead bullets and helped Foard determine a reorientation of the battlefield and suggest the logical starting positions for each army. (Published in 2009).

A total of 3250 artefacts were collected and retained during the Edgehill survey. Of these 1096 are early modern lead bullets of a wide range of calibre and type. Only a handful of the other non-ferrous items are almost certainly of military origin, by far the largest group being the 29 powder box caps and priming flask tops from musketeers bandoliers. […] The Edgehill bullets can be subdivided into five main groupings by calibre and type: 497 ball of musket calibre; 155 ball of carbine calibre; 295 ball of pistol calibre; 34 slugs of carbine or pistol calibre; and 127 balls fired as case from artillery.
Foard, 2009

For the general viewer this 'Archaeological Finds' dynamic overlay provides an impression of the spread of bullets (only) recovered from across the battlefield. The survey established a broad and comprehensive base survey with a consistent sampling rate, from transects spaced at 10m intervals, which produced an informed picture of the action across the landscape. Key areas were then resurveyed more intensely with areas of case shot most notably also providing evidence of artillery positions. Significant areas of the central battlefield could not be surveyed as the archaeology had been destroyed by modern construction (such as the DSDA munitions bunkers and landscaping), previous 20th century silos, sheds and rail tracks (as seen in the 1947 verticals) and modern plantations (including Graveground Coppice), but the survey methodology produced sufficiently meaningful patterning on which to base credible interpretations.

Detail of the archaeology - including specific details illustrating the significance of the different calibre and type of bullet and where they were discovered - were first published in: Schlachtfeldarchäeologie: Battlefield Archaeology, H. Meller, Editor. 2009.

A selection of quotes concerning this milestone survey (and the related project) are compiled within the 2009 conjecture - expanded page.

Additional Archaeology: As well as numinous reports of musket balls, cannon balls and general battle detritus recorded in antiquarian books and by Young in 1967, two additional, but smaller, metal detecting surveys of significance also recorded finds from the battlefield. Available here is a compendium of archaeological finds from the Battle of Edgehill.

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