For the last two hundred years the debate has raged about the true location of the Battle of Bosworth. In March 2009, a group of dedicated metal detectorists working on the Bosworth Battlefield Survey have discovered evidence that would change the history books forever, and open a whole new chapter in the story of the Battle of Bosworth…
After four years of intensive archaeology, the team have identified the area where at least a substantial part of the battle took place.
Please note: The battlefield is situated on private land and is not freely accessible to the public at the moment.
Evidence of early field artillery
|Bosworth has yielded over 30 cannonballs or ‘round shot’, which is the largest number ever to be found on a European medieval battlefield site and is more than has been found at all the other European medieval battlefields put together. These findings have changed the way historians are viewing the role of cannon in late medieval battles and there is still more research to be carried out. The cannonballs are on display in the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.|
Where was Richard Killed?
Bosworth archaeologists have been looking for evidence of Shakepseare’s marsh, in which King Richard’s horse was said to fall. Specialists have under-taken soil analysis over a wide area of countryside in an attempt to locate the marsh. In March 2009 samples were sent to Bradford University and the results proved that the area, known locally as Fen Hole, was a marsh in medieval times. In the Autumn of 2009 a member of the detectorist team found an iconic object in amongst other battle debris – the Bosworth Boar. The white boar was Richard’s livery badge. This little, silver gilt badge would have been made for Richard’s Coronation in 1483 and was almost certainly lost by one of his knights at the battle. Could this badge, found only metres from a medieval marsh show us the place where Richard died ‘in the thickest press of his foes?
The Bosworth Boar.
The Bosworth Boar is a silver-gilt livery badge depicting a boar and was recovered from the edge of Fen Hole. The Boar image was King Richard III's own personal device and would almost certainly of been worn by a Knight of King Richard's retinue. The Bosworth Boar is a vital clue in locating the site of the clash and also in pinpointing what could be the exact location where Knig Richard III died.
As a result of archive and historical research over the last four years, it is now almost certain that Crown Hill, in the nearby parish of Stoke Golding, and previously the ‘anecdotal’ location where Henry was crowned after the Battle, was indeed the location where Henry became King of England. A Document from Leicester Abbey in 1470 shows the field called Crown hill Field by 1604 was called Garbrodys at the time.
The partnership between the County Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, local landowners and the Battlefields Trust has worked well to relocate the Battlefield. We are now working to define the boundaries of the battle and to agree a conservation plan to ensure protection for the Battlefield for present and future generations. Battlefields have yet to receive statutory protection under law, but Leicestershire County Council knows that English Heritage is working very hard to improve safeguards and public appreciation of their significance.
Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre is in the ideal place to act as the gateway to the Battlefield; the exhibition has been updated to reflect the new finds and their significance, and a new external trail for visitors is now open.
Leicestershire County Council would like to thank everyone who has been involved. We are all immensely proud of what has been achieved.