Bosworth Battlefield, Leicestershire
Like Culloden Moor, Bosworth Field was the scene of the final act of one of the dramas of British History: The War of the Roses. On August 22, 1485, the forces of Richard III met those of Henry Tudor in the fields surrounding Market Bosworth, Leicestershire to fight for the crown of Britain. The Battle was the last time a King of England fought in the battle on British soil.
Richard had the advantage. He had the army with the most significant number of troops-until those under the command of Sir William Stanley, who had sworn allegiance to Richard but happened to be Henry Tudor’s stepfather, deserted the King. As a result of Stanley’s treachery, Richard lost. Villagers dug pits and buried the battlefield dead. Meanwhile, Henry VII’s victorious troops took Richard’s corpse back to Leicester where they placed it on ignominious display before quietly burying it.
Historians have long debated the exact location of Richard III’s last stand. In 2009, archaeologists conclusively identified the core area of the battlefield as two miles southwest of the visitor’s center. This identification occurred because of the high concentration of cannonball, gunshot and a small silver-gilt badge in the shape of a boar- King Richard’s emblem that was given out to his followers.
However, the broader area of Bosworth Field is still acknowledged to have been a place of fighting- especially the area around Ambion Hill, where King Richard was said to have rested the night before the fight began. Visitors have also experienced the ghost of the battle. Andrew James Wright quotes one such tale in his book ‘Ghosts and Hauntings in and around Leicestershire.’
During the 1980s, a group of visitors were attending a steam rally, held on Bosworth Field. But as the day wore on, one of the lady visitors began to feel most unusual. Despite the bright sunshine, she felt the day was cold and grey and started to talk to her companions about ‘the hill.’, which she later identified as Ambion Hill. Becoming very distressed, the lady asked for a horse. She claimed she could hear shouting and screaming and the sounds of battle. The visitors had no particular interest in the field’s history so hadn’t noted the date. It was August 22-the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth Field.