battle fought between King
Henry IV and the rebellious
Harry Hotspur six hundred
1. Start at Battlefield Heritage Site car park on the A5124. Go through the small gate and climb up the mound.
(Look towards the church. What seems like a cluster of quiet fields now was the scene of a bloody battle in 1403! The sky was black with arrows and English blood soaked the ground. This is where knights in armour were ripped from their horses by a constant deadly rain. A hundred thousand arrows fell in the first minute of the battle)
2 Leave the mound and go left heading towards the corner, near the road. Follow the path to the next corner and go through the gate.
3 Turn right and follow the path through the next gate and keep going passing an information panel.
(Harry Hotspur was the son of a powerful northern lord. He’d marched south from Northumberland hoping to raise an army to fight the new King. The rebel Owain Glyndwr had also promised him help from Wales. Harry’s army were tired from walking and hadn’t had breakfast. Worst still his squire had left his favourite sword behind!)
4. At the corner go right, through the gates, heading for the church.
(One sword doesn’t win a battle. Harry’s men were hungry and not standing in the best place to fight. The King’s men were well fed, and outnumbered Hotspur’s army 2 to 1. King Henry’s army attacked from the higher ground to the west. First the archers filled the air with arrows, then the knights charged in like steamrollers. Thousands died in the first five minutes)
5. At the junction, go straight on following the path through the trees. Keep going to the gate.
(In desperation, Harry led a charge against the King, hoping to kill him and win the battle. He failed and was cut down by the King’s body guard)
6. Go through the gate following the path to the church.
(Harry Hotspur’s death was a huge blow to his army who crumbled. Many thousands were killed fleeing the battlefield. Glyndwr’s Welsh army never arrived)
7. There’s another panel here and you can go and look at the church.
(Battlefield Church (St Mary Magdalene’s) was built in celebration of the battle. Many hundreds of soldiers were buried in a big pit near to the church called a ‘charnel’)
Otherwise follow the boardwalk around the fishponds and the path through the fields.
8. After the bridge go through the gate on the right and cross the field to go through another gate.
9. Follow the path back to the viewing mound.
(Harry Hotspur’s body was cut into four bits. Each bit was taken to one of the four corners of the country as a lesson to other rebels. Eventually his body was sent home, stuck back together and buried)