Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Wars of the Roses

Ds has become a Young Archaeologist this summer. The benefits of this include free admission (usually only for him, unfortunately) to a range of UK historical sites. The membership pack came with a booklet of relevant sites, two of which are within easy driving distance of our house. I'm rather ashamed to think we lived here nearly twenty years and I hadn't been to either before.

Yesterday, we went to Bosworth Field heritage centre and country park. This was the site of the final battle in the Wars of the Roses, in which Lancastrian Henry Tudor, later Henry VII, defeated Yorkist King Richard III.

The actual battlefield site has moved! It was thought at one time to have been fought on the hill, but you can read here how archaeological investigation found cannon balls and gilt badges in a field nearby, which was therefore identified as the actual battle site. This is what it looks like now:

This is the route we took to get there, with dh and ds doing a spot of brass rubbing for the children's activity trail (£1 from the visitor centre, and you get a free poster if you complete it).

On the hill is a memorial to the soldiers who died:

And in the visitor centre courtyard is a stone erected for Richard III, although his body was supposed to have been taken to Leicester, and buried somewhere there.

Someone had left white roses at the foot, and one was wedged into the plaque too. White roses of Yorkshire for Richard of York.

We had an excellent day out. The activity trail for children was engaging and interesting also for adults - we especially liked the sound recordings. Tips for visitors to keep costs down, bring your own picnic. There are plenty of picnic tables. Admission to the exhibition is pricey at £7.50 per adult, but there is a family ticket available for £15. Or, if you have a Young Archaeologist like ds, they can get in for free.

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