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Leadman, 1891, Battles in Yorkshire, title page
Recommended reading on the battle

The context of 12th century warfare in England and Normandy, particularly of the battles, was examined by Oman in 1898. The subject has been more recently considered by Bradbury, providing an important if brief review of battlefield tactics of the period.

The most extensive and well referenced discussions of the battle are those by English Heritage and by Leadman. However there is no completely satisfactory account, especially because of the problems of inadequate location of the events and lack of reconstruction of the historic terrain. Almost all the secondary works simply repeat a traditional interpretation that was first developed by Leadman, Barrett and others in the 19th century. Only Bradbury challenges the traditional location of the action, but his brief review of the battle provides no new supporting evidence, simply turning on its head Burne’s argument about the site of the mass graves.

It should also be noted that Professor David Crouch has suggested, in lectures, that previous analysis of the battle is flawed and that the reference to the Standard should in fact be translated as a fortified emplacement not a standard in the more usual sense of a flag and rallying point. From this he argues that the English forces were present at the battlefield at least a day before the battle, to construct this defensive work. This appears to run contrary to all the other evidence for the battle, military practice of the period and all other translations of the texts, but in the absence of a published and fully referenced paper it is difficult to adequately assess the validity of the arguments and so they are not dealt with anywhere else in these web pages.


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