Development on part of the English position at Newburn Ford

Historic England say no change in Heritage at Risk battlefields

12 November 2023

Three historic battlefields remain on Historic England’s 2023 report on Heritage at Risk. 

The report, released on 9 November, revealed that the medieval battlefield at Boroughbridge (1322), Bishops War battlefield at Newburn Ford (1640), and Civil War battlefield at Adwalton Moor (1643) were all at risk from development pressures.

Historic England, working with local planning authorities, landowners and other organisations, has managed to remove other battlefields at first Newbury (1643), Braddock Down (1643) and Stamford Bridge (1066) from the Heritage at Risk register over the last ten years.

Whilst the three battlefields remaining on the risk register have been there since before 2013, some progress in managing the threats they face has been made and in its most recent report Historic England described them as being in a ‘generally satisfactory [condition] but with significant localised problems’.

Actions and strategies to better manage the problems the battlefields face have been identified, but none have yet been fully implemented. At Adwalton Moor, Historic England was working with the local planning authorities to ensure the Local Plan managed the risks better and at Newburn Ford it said ‘a report on the significance of the battlefield is now being used to inform planning decisions’. At Boroughbridge no information was provided on planned actions.     

Overall, at Boroughbridge and Adwalton Moor the risk was stable or improving, but at Newburn Ford, the risk was still declining or unclear. 

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, summed up the purpose of the Heritage at Risk programme saying ‘[it] shines a light on our historic sites most in need and can help to attract funding and help’.

The Battlefields Trust continues to engage with Historic England on battlefield issues and has offered assistance on Heritage at Risk battlefields if Historic England judge there are things the Trust can do to help.

The Battlefields Resource Centre