Bullet find at Langport

Langport battlefield survey indicates registered area is correct

11 January 2024

An archaeological investigation by the Battlefields Trust of the site of the registered battlefield at Langport has found evidence of the fighting there.

The battle was fought on 10 July 1645 between the New Model Army under Sir Thomas Fairfax and a royalist western army commanded by George Lord Goring. The battle saw the defeat of the last significant royalist army in England.  Its vanquishing much reduced the King's military capabilities and hastened his ultimate defeat.

Two metal detecting surveys in December 2021 and October 2023 found a total of 35 pieces of lead shot. Much of the musket calibre shot found during the 2023 survey was of bastard musket size, which, from surviving contract and establishment records, is known to have been supplied in large quantities to the New Model Army earlier in 1645.

Despite suggestions of other sites in the Langport area, this evidence indicates that the registered battlefield is the correct location for the battle.

Battlefields Trust Archaeological Advisor Sam Wilson said, ‘confirming the location of the battlefield at Langport is important given the competing claims for where the fighting took place. It removes any ambiguities if a development threat arises in the future.’

Battlefields Trust Wessex Region Chair Chris Gravestock added, ‘this type of survey work is fundamental to the Battlefields Trust’s aims of preserving, researching and promoting battlefields as educational and historical resources. The archaeology improves our understanding of what took place during a battle and helps us locate it in the landscape.’

A report on the survey work at Langport is currently in preparation and the Battlefields Trust aims to publish it on its Trust Battlefields Hub in due course.

The Battlefields Resource Centre