About Bosworth Field – Actual Site
The Battle of Bosworth Field is considered by many to be the last battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the Plantagenet kings of England. The Plantagenets were divided between the supporters of the successors to the Dukes of York (Edward IV, Edward V, and Richard III) and the successors to the Dukes of Lancaster (Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, and Henry VII), and the conflict raged throughout the latter part of the 15th century.
Bosworth Field – Actual Site history
During the Wars of the Roses, the Crown alternated between the two houses of York and Lancaster depending on who had defeated whom at the most recent battle. Both Henry VI and Edward IV lost the crown and were later restored at different times.
The aristocracy was decimated by this constant civil war, and at the end the last heir to the Lancastrian line was Henry VII of the House of Tudor, who had a tenuous claim to the throne (through an illegitimate line).
He met the Yorkist heir Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485, leading a small rebel army against Richard’s larger royal force. Fighting through marshland, the decisive blow came to Richard III when the highly influential Stanley brothers declared for Henry VII. Richard attempted to charge towards Henry, yet was knocked from his horse and killed by enemy troops. Henry VII was then crowned king, beginning the Tudor era in England.
Though most consider Bosworth to be the final battle in the Wars of the Roses, others place the Battle of Stoke Field in 1487 as the final clash, where Richard’s heir, the Duke of Suffolk, was finally defeated.
Bosworth Field – Actual Site today
Until October 2009, it was thought that the Battle of Bosworth Field had taken place at the location of the Bosworth Field Visitor Centre at Ambion Hill Farm.
The real Bosworth Field was only confirmed to the public in February 2010 however, following the excavation of several artefacts at a site around a mile away that was the actual site of Richard III’s demise. Amongst these was a silver badge bearing Richard’s emblem – a boar.
The Bosworth Field Visitor Centre offers 2 kilometre-long guided walks of the battlefield on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at 11am and 2pm – visitors are advised to pre-book and the timings are subject to change.
Getting to Bosworth Field – Actual Site
The actual site of the Battle of Bosworth Field is located in rural Leicestershire. The easiest way to get there is by driving: take the M42 or A5 and exit onto the A444, heading for Bosworth Road or Fenn Lanes. There is parking for £2.50 at the Visitor Centre, from which the guided walks may be taken.