Archaeology of the Battle

The most systematic work undertaken on the Lostwithiel battlefield has been by Mr John Andrews who has metal detected in recent years the area to the north, east and south of Tywardreath, the fields along the Tywardretah-Castle Dore Road and along the road from Castle Dore toward Gollant.  Details of the work undertaken around Tywardreath are available in Dr Natasha Ferguson's PhD thesis (  The distribution of large numbers of bullets some seemingly aligned along north-south running hedgerows suggests this marked the parliamentarian efforts to fight off the attack from St Blazey by Goring and Bassett on 31 August on which the contemporary accounts are largely silent.  The distribution of shot as shown suggests that more fighting occurred to the south of the Tywardreath than to the east and north, but until the intensity of detecting in these areas is known it will not possible to be certain about this conclusion.   

Mr Andrews’ metal detecting along the Tywardreath-Castle Dore road has identified no battlefield related objects, but significant volumes have been found between Castle Dore and Gollant,(pers comm. Natasha Ferguson quoting John Andrews)  confirming the final royalist attacks on the parliamentarian units in that area. 

This work shows the potential for battlefield archaeology to enhance our understanding of the battle of Lostwithiel and particularly of 17th century warfare in enclosed terrain, on which subject contemporary military manuals are largely silent.


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