Monday 23 April 2012

Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain

Did you learn that rainbow mnemonic too?


And that battle took place in 1485 just ten miles from Kirby.


Just a few years ago, a badge was found in the shape of a boar [Richard’s emblem] and historians revised their original ideas about the location of the Battle of Bosworth Field – so it is a few miles away from the fancy Heritage Centre – but still very close by.

Boar-badge of bosworhtsite

We went on Saturday morning with Steph and Mark and had an interesting time finding out about the battle, and how people lived in Mediaeval Times. Les Routiers De Rouen were holding a re-enactment, so we got to meet some fascinating characters. I always thought ‘routiers’ were French lorry drivers, but apparently that’s the old name for mercenaries!


This guy was a total fanatic and very proud to tell us all about his armour and weaponry.

The clothes were incredibly heavy, and under the metal armour men wore heavy quilted jackets as extra protection.

He delighted in explaining how one finished off the enemy, sticking daggers through the slits in their visors etc. Gruesome!


DSCF3619Next to him was a tent where a lady was displaying all the baked goods which would have been fed to the army.

I was rather concerned as the plate of tarts on the bench at the back appeared to be DSCF3620topped with cranberries. Surely, I said, cranberries are native to America, so the army at Bosworth would not have had them? I am not sure they were happy I said that!


This guy was a crossbow man, or was he a cross bowman?

I am not sure!

Their costumes were carefully made to be as authentic as possible.

There were some tents in another corner of the field and also an archery display.

Having spend ages with Les Routiers we went to look round the main part of the heritage centre, pausing briefly for Steph and Mark to DSCF3621pose in the stocks.

Inside there were excellent display panels, interactive sections, and informative videos. DSCF3624


We pulled levers, pressed buttons, watched videos and flipped boards to learn more about the battle and its place in our history.


DSCF3627The re-enactors were apparently Yorkists [the losing side] – but as Mark is a Lancastrian, we considered ourselves to be among the winners!

There was armour to dress up in.

We all had a go at the ‘pulling a longbow’ machine.

Mark won [just!] .DSCF3629

Edit – sorry, I’m informed that Bob and Steph scored the same as Mark. I came last [of course]

Here’s Richard III

Once a King, always a King…as they say!

Having seen all we could we then went into the coffee shop for a cuppa and shared Cornish Pasties.

I would definitely recommend the Battlefield Centre for a good family day out, especially warlike little boys. We encountered a Beaver Pack, and also a dozen children there to celebrate a Birthday Party [they had their own special talk from one of the soldiers, followed by party food and balloons in the cafe!] Website is here



One final comment – the correction on the display panel was already there when we arrived. None of us is responsible for changing less to fewer here!


  1. Wow thats incredible. looks like an amazing place to visit.

    X x

  2. Sounds like a great day out - Son 2 would love the warlike aspects!

  3. Well now, maybe I could visit with two very warlike little boys and one tall archer in July! I don't believe you on the correction, by the way!

  4. I think my 'big boy' would enjoy an outing there too!
    Jane x

  5. We visited the heritage centre a few weeks ago with friends from Derby. It really is very good and we also had fun trying on chain mail and armour. Recommend as a day out for all ages.

  6. I'll second that . It's a lovely place . We start at the cafe by the boats and walk thro. to the battle site

  7. I remember reading an absolutely fascinating account of the Battle of Bosworth Field - I think it was in one of Alison Weir's books (the account, not the battle). :)

    I like that badge.

    1. I do not know anything about Alison Weir - but have now found her website
      and will check her out at our library.


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