Monday, 11 May 2015

Battlefield 1403

Battle of Shrewsbury Hotspurs side Coat of ArmsOne of my favourite days out is to the site of the Battle of Shrewsbury that took place in 1403. Battlefields are places of great heritage to us and I think it is wonderful when for the majority they are preserved and not threatened with housing developments. Battlefield Heritage Park is one such place that is preserving a unique location, promoting learning and a place to discover our history.
Les Miles des Marches re-enactors Les Miles des Marches are a local historical re-enactment group that frequently use the site to show aspects of Medieval life from combat to crafts. The day we visited they had set up a camp and had it not been for the blustery conditions I was all set to have a go at the archery. Another time....
 Battlefield-Church-SpringBattlefield Church was built here as a chantry chapel on the site of the burial pit of those souls who lost their lives in the bloody 15th century battle. An uprising led by Sir Henry 'Hotspur' Percy against King Henry IV led to a most ferocious fight on the fields here where over 6000 lives were lost including that of Henry Percy. The deadly longbow was used by both sides, darkening the skies with the sheer amount of arrows.carved-heart Walking the battle trail past farmer's fields and hedgerows so peaceful except for bird song, it is hard to imagine such a scene of so many being killed. Brutal times. There's a couple of routes to take and a map from the centre or the church helps you to look out for and identify key points

The church, St Mary Magdalene is no longer in use as a place of worship. It's owned by the Churches Conservation Trust and inside is a real treasure trove. The skeleton key to the church is obtained from the nearby Battlefield 1403 centre and then it's a pretty walk down a country lane, Passing through the romantic carved wooden lychgate stands a wonderfully Gothic church with a churchyard carpeted with primroses at this time of year.  Battlefield-Church-St-Marys Inside is a whole wealth of information on the Battle of Shrewsbury and heraldry. Lots tapestries, artwork, books and in the vestry is a fantastic diorama of the battle. You can potter around to your own devices and it's a great learning opportunity for the children. woven-shields
Sir Toby
felt-battle Battle-of-Shrewsbury-model stained-glass-chapel
Sir Henry Percy Shield
Battle-of-Shewsbury-felt-art Henry-Hotspur-Percy Outside are many references to the battle with a statue of  Henry IV above a window and gargoyles and grotesques of mythical creatures and soldiers.  It's very eerie to imagine there is a mass burial pit somewhere very close and could be just under the ground where you stand.King-Henry-Battlefield-ChurchBattlefield-Church-gargoyle decorated church pinnacle Shrewsbury Battlefield Back at the centre, there is an exhibition area that was taken over by a children's party when we were there, cool party, plenty of armour and weapons to have a look  at.

Across the way is a farm shop and cafe that are both very, very nice. Every time I visit I come out with bags of cheeses, pies and scones, delicious. Also a great range of local history and Medieval related items so Toby is happy with a knight book or figure. But the Sparrow's Cafe! Oh my, oh my, possible the best cake in the Universe. Cannot recommend enough.

Plus, did I mention - the walk, the exhibition and entry in the church all free. Super day out and even better if the re-enactors are there.
foot-soldiers chain (mail) 14th century coats-of-arms-surnames Sir John Calveley Battle-of-Shewsbury Exhibition CentreJust to end on a bit of a Horrible Histories. The future Henry V (known as Prince Hal at this point) was at the battle, his father was Henry IV of course. He was hit by an arrow that was lodged into his cheek. He battled on but afterwards was the nasty work of removing the barb by the royal physician. He invented an instrument to remove it, cleaned the wound with wine and honey. Prince Hal recovered but was left with a nasty scar. Portraits you see of Henry V are from one side, perhaps avoiding his scar being portrayed   Prince-Hal-arrow-in-faceSir Nicolas Longford died at the Battle of Shrewsbury 1403

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

33 comments:

Gretta Schifano said...

I didn't realise that these locks were causing so much damage. They're a sweet idea but it sounds like it's all got out of hand.

Mama Syder said...

I do love the padlock idea but so sad that they damage the bridges, I didn't know that x

Mellissa Williams said...

I have never seen these before. It's a shame if they are damaging historic bridges. I have a Welsh lovespoon loving carved

Globalmouse said...

I have left a lock in Paris a few years ago and I love the idea behind it but it definitely seems to have gone a bit crazy and now I'm seeing them over and over again in different locations I agree they're a little unsightly!

Coombe Mill (Fiona) said...

My children were trying on some medieval armour just like this at a National Trust house this weekend. so educational and interesting reading your post though I did shudder at the image of the skies black with arrows it does make you so grateful to be around in the modern age! Thank you for sharing with me on country Kids.

Anne said...

I've not seen them before, and initially appear quite cute but I can see how they can become a problem. I've got a box of old fashioned love letters from many moons ago, and I guess you could write your initials on tree?

Sarah Bailey said...

I've heard of these before, but never seen them myself. I think if its becoming something that is happening everywhere, rather than just isolated spots it is getting out of hand, especially if its damaging the bridges.

Kara said...

I do live this idea, would love to see it in real life

Beautyqueenuk said...

This is such a fabulous idea and so cute too x

Sarah Ebner said...

What a brilliant place to visit - right up our street, as we love history. I also studied the Wars of the Roses (and Tudors) so I know I would find this fascinating. A great read, thanks very much

Michelle Ordever said...

What a fascinating place - anything that really immerses children into history is a good thing, and the sort of place we'd visit!

Bek B said...

This looks like a fantastic place to visit! We love places like this as we are really interested in history. It's great to hear that this appeals to children as well.

Erica Price said...

Thank you for this post. It's really interesting. Shrewsbury is well within day trip distance, but I'd not heard of this site before. Since going to Stratford at the end of last year H has been interested in Henry V so he'd enjoy that connection. One for a weekend or the school holidays I think.

angela said...

What a brilliant place to visit! I love history as does my husband and our son is starting to learn little bits at school x

emmaand3 said...

that looks like a fab place to visit.

Vaichin@RamblingThroughParenth said...

These are so charming. Nah, texting is just not in the same league when it comes to love.

Mama Syder said...

Ohhh this is my idea of a good day out. I do love visiting a historic place, with lots of lovely things to loook at and learn about x

Jen Walshaw said...

Wow, there is so much history there, you can almost taste it. What a fab place to visit. I love history and know that my kids would love this sort of place too

pinkoddy said...

It is a great way for anyone to learn about it all never mind children. Love all the bright colours.

Kara said...

How interesting. I used to live near Hastings and loved going to visit and watch the actors re-creating the battles

Beautyqueenuk said...

I visited Hastings with school (many years ago) and absolutely loved the history x

Globalmouse said...

I love places like this - history that's made really interesting. I love that Church too, what a great trip out with kids.

Nayna Kanabar said...

What a lovely gft idea so personalized too.

Jaime Oliver said...

awww this is right up my street i love history and battlefields .. I used to be a member of the civil war reenactment The Sealed Knot .. it was such an amazing time

Carolynne @ Mummy Endeavours said...

What an interesting place to visit, so much to see and do

Clare Nicholas said...

These are so cute - I've heard of them but not seen any - obviously love is not rife where I live

Vaichin@RamblingThroughParenth said...

Looks like an absolutely fantastic place to visit. And such a lovely way to learn history.

Stephs Two Girls said...

Think they did this on Neighbours! Probably didn't help the issue :(

Stephs Two Girls said...

I'd love a go at archery too! Love the church gate shot :)

Ickle Pickle said...

I think the padlocks are such a lovely idea - but not if they are causing damage. Kaz x

Keri-Anne said...

i haven't ever done a love lock but reading through the comments, i love the idea of the on wire fences instead of bridges :)

Lindy Hamilton said...

That looks like a really interesting place to visit, I bet my nephew would love it there.

Ickle Pickle said...

Gosh how fab! I think my eldest son would love this. Kaz x

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