Battalia Volume I 2017


The Defeat of the sons of Harold in 1069

By: Nick Arnold BA, M.Phil

Original content reproduced with the permission of the Devonshire Association with original


In June 1069 two sons of the slain King Harold raided Devon with a fleet of at least sixty-four ships. The raid ended in complete defeat. In the course of two battles fought in a single day, the raiders lost most of their army. Conflicting locations for these events offered by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Orderic Vitalis have hampered any reconstruction of the raid or an appreciation of its significance. However close study of the sources and the estuary of the Taw and Torridge suggests that Northam in north Devon was the most likely battlefield.


The Battle of Radcot Bridge, 2-3 May, 1645

By: Gregg Archer


The events of the English Civil War that took place in late April 1645, during Cromwell’s ‘raid’ around Oxford, helped cement Oliver Cromwell’s reputation as an excellent commander of horse. Due to the Self-Denying Ordnance his military future prior to the raid was somewhat in doubt, however, the results of his operations around the royalist capital at Oxford contributed to his confirmation as the Lieutenant General of the New Model Army cavalry. The skirmishes around Oxford at Islip Bridge, Bampton and Radcot Bridge were militarily insignificant, but the wider effects and repercussions for both the royalist and parliamentarian causes during the middle part of 1645, were much larger than the battles that were fought. This article seeks to examine one of those skirmishes – Radcot Bridge – in detail, in an attempt to outline a coherent narrative of events from the few extant sources on the battle. Although a defeat for Cromwell, the following narrative seeks to explain how the victory influenced the royalist strategy for the summer campaign to the detriment of their cause and how Cromwell’s success led to his appointment. Finally, its purpose is to explain how these events helped bring disaster to the
Oxford Army at the battle of Naseby; the beginning of the end for the royalist cause in the First Civil War.


Maidstone 1648

By: Simon Marsh


Divisions within Parliament and the New Model Army following the end of the first Civil War (1642-1646) and a failed counter revolutionary coup in the City of London in 1647 encouraged King Charles I to plot with Scottish lords to restore his power. Highhandedness by the parliamentarian committee in Kent separately led to a popular uprising that was exploited by the king's supporters in May 1648. Faced with a parallel revolt in South Wales, unrest in Essex and Surrey, and Scottish plans to invade England in support of the king; Parliament resolved to deal with the rebels in Kent, despatching Sir Thomas Fairfax with elements of the New Model Army. After small scale actions at Blackheath and Norfleet, Fairfax probably observed the breakup of the rebels following a rendezvous on Barham Heath and resolved to take Maidstone. Crossing the Medway above the town, Fairfax attacked early on the evening of 1 June. This article looks at the events of the 1648 Maidstone campaign, examining why a small New Model Army force was successful in ending a large scale revolt in Kent. It examines the nature of the hard fighting in Maidstone, Fairfax's superior generalship and identifies failings on the part of rebel commanders.

The Battlefields Resource Centre