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The Battle was important but the site is a large field in Leicestershire
Bosworth Battlefield (Leicestershire)
Member Name: darren55
Bosworth Battlefield (Leicestershire)
Advantages: Nice walks
Disadvantages: Not a huge amount here
After reading then reviewing Alison Weirs The Princes in the Tower non-fiction book I happened to be driving between Birmingham and Sheffield and saw sign posts for the Battle of Bosworth field so decided to visit the site.
Battle of Bosworth Field
The battle happened in 1485 between Lancastrian forces of Richard III and the Yorkist Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII. The battle bought to an end the century long war of the Roses with the introduction of the Tudor royal family which would reign for the next century. Richard III was the last Lancastrian king; he was also the last Plantagenet king and the last to die on the battlefield. Richard had usurped the throne of his nephew Edward V after the death of Edwards's father and Richards brother Edward IV. The fate of the battle and Richards life hinged on the actions of certain powerful dukes who during the switched allegiance to Henry from Richard. Richard lost the battle and his life and the future of England was determined for the next hundred years or so.
The modern battle site
So travelling along the M42, take the exit which points towards Tamworth and the battlefield is signposted in the dark brown which denotes all historical sites in the UK. Follow the signs, drive through Market Bosworth, go along the A555 until you almost reached Cadby and follow the crown signs for the visitors centre. The visitors centre is reached by a longish lane which is bannered on the left with the name of Bosworth. The lane is slightly uphill and the visitor is guided to a couple of smallish car parks. Parking costs £1.50 and there are signs all around about looking after your valuables and locking your car.
The car parks are slightly higher than the visitor centre and the visitor walks down a short path into the centre. The first item is a mock medieval village which is being constructed in autumn 2010. The centre itself is a large square surrounded by low buildings; there is a restaurant, a tourist information room, toilets, gift shop and the heritage centre. There is also a information centre which costs £6 to enter and tells the visitor all about the battle, the history, the main players and where the events happened in the local vicinity. There are also interactive elements with vocal outputs from members of the army, Richard, Warwick, Henry Tudor etc. This is fun and keeps the kids interested but the main interest is the armour, swords, cannons etc which are examples of typical items used in 1485. There are some genuine pieces of battlefield relics, old shields, armour, coins, etc.
£6 for this seemed a lot for an individual person, there are deals for families and under 3's go free.
Well as the name suggests the battle site is still a set of large fields, some of the borders are wooded and there is a nice walk between the site and the nearby Ambion Hill. Indeed, some historians think that the battle is nearer the hill than the site of the tourist centre. So, after walking around the centre it was nice to walk around the fields where such an important battle happened but when you get down to it it is a set of large fields with nothing really of interest. You can go on guided tours during the summer but they tend to be weekend based if you desire to know what happened and where.
The battle is one of the most important events in English history but the site is to be a honest a bit dull, the centre is small and the interactive elements felt a bit steep for £6. Ultimately if the weather is nice and you want to go for a walk in some lovely Leicestershire countryside then its a nice place to visit. However, if you want more than its probably not the place for you.
Summary: A nice place to visit for an hour but not for much longer