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Looking south west from the top of Humber Lane to the crest of the hill, where the rebel army probably deployed.
 
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Looking south west from the top of Humber Lane to the hilltop known as Burrand Furlong.
Short Walk

1 ¾ miles mainly on unmetalled tracks. This is an extract from the long walk for those with limited time. It is recommended that lay-by stop is made when driving to the village as this gives a good perspective of the battlefield from the lower ground.

First visit the church. The battlefield monument is set against the outside south wall of the tower. There is the usual spurious tradition, reported by Clarke (1993), that the battered stonework at the church entrance is due to the sharpening of swords prior to the battle. Inside the church, in the base of the tower, the 1987 interpretation panels are on display (The tower door is not normally locked but just stiff).

Leaving the churchyard and turn right down the lane, which then bears to the left when it appears out of the deep hollow way and onto the edge of the floodplain of the river Trent. In the 17th century this was the main road from Newark to Nottingham as it may also have been in the 15th century. However it was not along this road that either army advanced to the battlefield. The heavily wooded steep scarp on the left, rising up on to the hilltop, would have made any troop movement along this route highly vulnerable. In early May there are bluebells here, but this is not a firm indicator of ancient woodland and it is possible that this woodland did not exist in the 15th century. On the right the flat pastures and arable fields of the floodplain, which were enclosed in the 18th century, will have been meadow and marshland at the time of the battle. Earthwork evidence of ancient river channels can be seen running through this area on the 1940s aerial photographs and close to the road in the field one such feature can still be traced, running parallel to the lane. Various authors suggest that the rebel army crossed the Trent at the Fiskerton ford, at the far end of the meadow, and crossed this ground into Stoke. The route of the medieval road has gone, replaced by the straight modern lane which you will encounter a little further on. It seems unlikely, though not impossible, that the rebels would have made such a potentially hazardous crossing of the Trent when within just a few miles of the enemy. Molinet, the 15th century chronicler, actually states that the rebel army crossed at Newark and marched to Stoke along the Foss Way, a much more plausible approach for a major army. It is perhaps more likely that some of the routed rebel troops, fleeing down the Red Gutter, attempted to escape across the Trent by this route.

A little further on the lane to the former Fiskerton ford and ferry turns off to the right. It is possible to walk to this former crossing of the Trent, but it is a 1.5 mile round trip and given the uncertainty about its significance in the battle this is not recommended. Continue another 250 yards and the opening of Red Gutter can be seen on the left. This narrow gulley is not now publicly accessible, but it gives relatively easy access to the hilltop, compared to the steep slopes elsewhere. It is claimed that some fleeing rebel troops used this route to escape from the battlefield.

Return to the car and drive back into the village. Park and walk up the Humber Lane. This may have been the other main route to Nottingham in the 15th century, known as the Old Foss. As the lane leaves the village it becomes a deep hollow way, reflecting many centuries of use. The first gateway on the left hand side (300 yards from Church Lane) gives a view across the small pasture field of ridge and furrow and settlement remains. Two of the mass graves previously mentioned were found south western edge of the field. Continue up the lane. You have now passed out once more into what was open field in 1487. The lane rises gently towards the hilltop, reflecting the very gentle nature of all the slopes on the battlefield except those dropping down into the Trent valley. From the top of the lane you can see in front of you the summit of the hill, where Henry is said to have raised his standard after the victory. The monument that marks the site of the Burrand Bush, which had been planted where Henry raised the standard, lies nearby but is not accessible. Burne placed the rebel army’s initial deployment on the hilltop facing south westward and the action beyond that, where we walked along the Trent Lane. Some other authors argue for a rebel deployment roughly along the line of the Humber Lane, where you are standing, with the royal army deploying on the lower ground across the Foss Way (A46) to the south. If that is correct then from here you have a clear view of across the heart of the battlefield. Whichever interpretation is correct, some of the routed rebel troops must have fled through this location to the Red Gutter, which is 500 yards to the north west. Many more probably fled towards East Stoke, in the direction you must now return, many ending up in the mass graves adjacent to the village. Retrace your steps into the village.

 

   
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