The Battlefield

There has been broad agreement between almost all authors writing on the subject since the 16th century that the battle took place in the area between the villages of Sutton Cheney, Shenton, Dadlington and Stoke Golding in west Leicestershire. This general location, first mapped by Saxton in 1579, encompasses almost all the alternative battlefield sites discussed below and is described hereafter as the ‘traditional location’.

Within the traditional location there are now three main alternative areas which have been suggested as the actual battlefield, each championed by at least one of the main works on the battle. The ‘standard’ interpretation, as currently presented in the visitor centre and on the guided trail which places the action on Ambion Hill, had been based on the work in the 18th century by Hutton, refined by Nichols and variously reworked by others in the 19th and 20th centuries, most substantially by Williams.

Understanding of the battle of Bosworth has however been in chaos since 1985 when Richmond questioned the standard interpretation. This was followed up soon after by a more detailed study by Foss. This was a milestone in the study of pre-industrial period battles, particularly in its attempt to reconstruct the historic terrain. He has built a detailed, soundly argued case which establishes irrefutable evidence as to the broad area within which the battle of Bosworth was fought. These key facts of historical geography should now be placed at the centre of all future research on and interpretation of the battle.


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