Battle of Northampton - History and Facts | History Hit

Battle of Northampton

Northampton, England, United Kingdom

The Battle of Northampton was a battle in the Wars of the Roses and a major victory for the Yorkists.

Lily Johnson

07 Jul 2021

About Battle of Northampton

The Battle of Northampton was part of the Wars of the Roses and took place on the 10 July 1460, resulting in a major victory for the Yorkists.

Battle of Northampton history

Having been defeated at the Battle of Blore Heath, it was not until the end of June 1460 that the Yorkists became strong enough to risk a return from exile.

Being joined by Yorkist supporters, the Earls of Warwick and Salisbury – along with Edward, Earl of March (the future Edward IV) – had gathered enough support to attack London. Here they succeeded in capturing the city, except for the Tower of London, which remained in the hands of the Lancastrians.

Leaving the Earl of Salisbury and a small band of troops to defend their gains in London, Warwick set off to confront Henry VI before he had time to rally his forces.

Henry meanwhile had been in Coventry and decided to move his troops to Northampton to forestall the Yorkists in their march north. Having ensconced himself near Northampton close to Delapre Abbey, Henry settled in to await the Earl of Warwick. The battle took place on 10 July.

The battle itself was a short affair, despite the presence of large forces on both sides. Victory went to the Earl of Warwick and the Yorkists, after treachery within the Lancastrian ranks. At this juncture, the Duke of York felt it was safe to return from Ireland.

After the victory, the Yorkists forced Henry VI to sign an Act of Succession, which named the Duke of York as his heir, even though he had a son of his own. This of course alienated his wife, Queen Margaret of Anjou, who refused to accept these terms, and the two sides were soon under arms once more.

Battle of Northampton today

Today it is difficult to see much evidence of the battle itself, but some areas of Northampton Battlefield are still accessible through the parkland of Delapre Abbey.

Around half of the battlefield is covered by a golf course yet public footpaths give access to this area, with a particularly good view over the site available at the 13th tee – just be sure to stick to the footpath!

Inside Delapre Abbey may also be found an interactive exhibit on the battle, while nearby sits one of the 13th century Eleanor Crosses, dedicated to the memory of Queen Eleanor of Castile.

Getting to Battle of Northampton

Northampton Battlefield is located between the A508 and A45 in the town of Northampton, with free parking available for visitors at Delapre Abbey.

Northampton train station is a 30-minute walk away, while a number of bus services stop at Delapre Crescent, a 10-minute walk away.