Posts Tagged ‘Wakefield’


Battle of Wakefield

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Events in History

Battle of Wakefield

Battle of Wakefield

The Battle of Wakefield was fought on 30 December 1460 in West Yorkshire.  Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Edmund, Earl of Rutland, father and brother of Edward IV and Richard III, were killed.  Also killed was Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury.  Their heads were stuck on poles and displayed over Micklegate Bar, York, the Duke wearing a paper crown.

For a thorough analysis of the battle read Helen Cox, The Battle of Wakefield Revisited:  A Fresh Perspective on Richard of York’s Final Battle, December 1460. You can read more on Helen’s website here.

And for visitors we recommend:  Helen Cox, Walk Wakefield 1460:  A Visitor Guide to Battle-Related Sites

A short description of the various battles of the Wars of the Roses can be found on the website of the Richard III Society (you need to scroll down a bit).

Dorothea Preis

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Visiting Yorkshire?

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

Helen Cox, author of the highly acclaimed The Battle of Wakefield Revisited:  A Fresh Perspective on Richard of York’s Final Battle, December 1460, told us about two upcoming events, which would be of great interest to all Ricardians.

Tomorrow, Saturday 24 March 2012, the event ‘Searching for Wakefield’s Battlefield’ is launched with the aim to find evidence of the battle, which cost Richard’s father, brother and uncle as well as thousands of others their lives.  If you should be lucky enough to find yourself in the area, make sure that you go to the Sandal Castle Visitor Centre and meet Helen in person.  And don’t forget to bring your copy of Helen’s brilliant Walk Wakefield 1460: A Visitor Guide to Battle-Related Sites along!

The feeling among the Yorkists was doubtlessly rather depressed after the loss of the Battle of Wakefield, however, just three months later with the victory of the Battle of Towton on Palm Sunday, 29 March 1461 the Yorkist supremacy seemed complete.

To commemorate this bloody battle (no, I’m not swearing – it is regarded as the bloodiest battle ever fought on British soil) there will be an event hosted by the Towton Battlefield Society on this year’s Palm Sunday on 1 April 2012.  At the event Helen is also launching her new book Walk Towton 1461.  To quote from the flyer:

With Walk Towton 1461, you can follow the Earl’s campaign from his first victory at Mortimer’s Cross to disaster at St Albans, the fierce contests of Ferrybridge and Dintingdale, and the bloody finale at Towton, with an illustrated guide to visiting sites connected with the battles. Each of the four main sections contains a short history, directions to sites (including maps), and information on opening times and admission charges

During the commemoration, you can buy this new book at the TBS Authors Stall in the Barn, Old London Road, Towton for £6.00.  And all of us, who can’t be there, can order a copy of Helen’s latest book as well as of her others from York Publishing Services on for £7.50.

Helen Cox & Alan Stringer, Walk Towton 1461: A Visitor Guide to Battle-Related Sites, Herstory Writing & Interpretation/York Publishing Services, 2012.  ISBN 978-0-9565768-2-8 (Paperback, 70 pages, 20 black-and-white plates, 6 line drawings)

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Walk Wakefield 1460

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Bookworm, Ricardian Places

Walk Wakefield 1460

Book Review:  Walk Wakefield 1460  – today

Helen Cox, Walk Wakefield 1460:  A Visitor Guide to Battle-Related Sites.  Herstory Writing & Interpretation/York Publishing Services, 2011.  ISBN 978 0 9565768 1 1 (available from YPD Books)

I finally received my copy of Walk Wakefield 1460 by Helen Cox.  The subtitle, ‘A Visitor Guide to Battle-Related Sites’, gives a clear indication as to the purpose of the book.  If you have read Helen’s excellent The Battle of Wakefield Revisited and now want to explore where the action took place, this little book is a must.

Helen gives short overviews of the individual battles (Worksop and Wakefield), but the aim is to identify the sites that a visitor today can see.  This is of particular interest for Sandal Castle and Pontefract Castle, where only ruins remain.  She explains clearly which part of the castle the wall fragments come from and what the purpose of the various features was.

She also provides valuable information on opening hours as well as addresses for further information.  Also included are directions on how to get to the places by car or foot.  The book is well illustrated with pictures of the sites as well as maps showing them in today’s landscape (in the case of Wakefield this can be compared to a map showing the outlay in the 15th century).

If you are planning to visit Yorkshire, I can only recommend Walk Wakefield 1460.  I can hardly wait to get a chance to visit the sites to which Helen takes us.

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The Launch of ‘Walk Wakefield 1460’

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

The long awaited launch of Helen Cox’s follow-up to The Battle of Wakefield Revisited took place on 19 March 2011 at Waterstone’s Booksellers in Wakefield.

In Walk Wakefield 1460 Helen is our guide to all the sites connected with the battle.   The book contains a brief history, directions to the sites (including maps), and up-to-date information on opening times and admission charges for visiting.

Helen Cox and her husband Mick Doggett at the launch of Walk Wakefield 1460 (photograph © Mike Wilson)

Helen reported that there was a good turnout for the launch and was particuly happy to see some who had travelled long distance to attend, like a Battlefield Society member from Preston in Lancashire, and a Richard III Society member from Beverley in East Yorkshire.  Some people bought copies of both Wakefield Revisited and Walk Wakefield. Read the rest of this entry »

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Walk the Wakefield Battlesite with Helen Cox

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Bookworm

Helen Cox, Walk Wakefield 1460: A Visitor Guide to Battle-Related Sites, YPD Books, 2011, ISBN  978-0-9565768-1-1

We all know Helen Cox from her fascinating analysis of the Battle of Wakefield

This new book will be essential reading if you plan to visit the site of this decisive battle in the Wars of the Roses,  or are just interested in seeing the historical setting in today’s geography.  Both are aspects which interest me, so Walk Wakefield 1460 has top place on my wish list.

This new book covers the campaign of the winter of 1460, from its opening skirmish at Worksop to the grisly aftermath in York, through sites connected with the battle.  Each section of the concise illustrated guide features a brief history, directions to the sites (including maps), and up-to-date information on opening times and admission charges for visiting.  The sites covered are:

Worksop Priory & Castle
Sandal Castle
Duke of York’s Monument
The Battlefield at Wakefield Green
St Mary’s Chantry Chapel
Pontefract Castle
Micklegate Bar & York City Walls

The book will be launched at Waterstones Booksellers, The Ridings Shopping Centre, Wakefield, on Saturday 19 March 2011, from 11h00 -13h00.  What a pity, this is just before my trip to the UK to attend the Blood and Roses Weekend in Oxford.  Should you be in the area though, I am sure Helen would be delighted to see you and sign a copy for you.

You can also get signed copies of both Helen’s books at the Friends of Sandal Castle Open Meeting at Sandal Castle Visitor Centre on Saturday, 26  March, when she will be speaking alongside popular author Keith Souter on ‘Sandal Castle in Fact and Fiction’.

And for all those who cannot be there, we can order this publication from YPD Books.

Watch this space for more news after the launch!

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Loyalty Binds Me on Amazon

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

We just heard that all the DVDs and CDs of Loyalty Binds Me are now available to buy through Amazon. (US):

Sandal Castle DVD
Sandal Castle Music CD
Middleham Castle DVD (UK):

Sandal Castle DVD
Sandal Castle Music CD
Middleham Castle DVD

For more information on the titles go to Loyalty Binds Me, you can of course still order directly from them as well.

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Launch of The Battle of Wakefield

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Bookworm

Helen Cox, author of The Battle of Wakefield Revisited, let us know that her book has been launched successfully.  Approx. 30 people attended the official moment, among them Peter Hammond, the Chairman of the Richard III Society; Sue Galloway, the Lord Mayor of York; Richard Watson, the Sheriff of York; Terry Suthers, the Chairman of the York Archaeological Trust and Mark Taylor, the Chairman of the Towton Battlefield Society as well as some more friends from the Towton Battlefield Society.

Obviously this was a very exciting occasion for Helen, as this is her first book that she has written on her own and the result of years of research.  Helen says that she is especially happy that it means she can “take a public stand in support of Richard, Duke of York, who usually gets such a rough ride from historians”.  The site for this rehabilitation was particularly appropriate as this was where the Battle of Wakefield effectively ended with the heads of Richard of York and his son Edmund and the Earl of Salisbury displayed on the York city walls after the battle.

For the launch Helen came kitted out with the full re-enactors necessities like a basket of crocks and 15th century goodies, swords, helmets, padded jacks, bows and arrows and sundry bits of costume as well as obviously cartons of books.

To find out more about the book have a look at the flyer Helen provided to us (here).  You can order the book from YPD Books.  I ordered it yesterday for £12.00 + £9.95 for shipping to Australia, which altogether came to approx. Aus$ 40.00.  And don’t forget to visit Helen’s website as well.

We would also like to thank Helen for providing  the photographs of this exciting occasion to us.

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The Road to Fotheringhay 21st – 29th July 2010

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

This year marks the 550th anniversary of the death of Richard Duke of York and his son Edmund Earl of Rutland at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460.  Though they were initially buried at Pontefract, their bodies were later exhumed and brought in with great ceremony to Fotheringhay.

Chief mourner at this procession was the Duke’s youngest son Richard Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III).   He rode at the head of his father’s effigy, followed by the lords of the land, including the Earl of Northumberland, Lord Stanley and Lord Welles. They were to stay with the body throughout, attend all the services and masses en route, and have the privilege of standing and kneeling within the barriers of the hearse.  The courtege was also accompanied by officers at arms, the kings of arms and many poor men on foot.   The procession travelled along the Great North Road (now A1) and rested overnight at Doncaster, Blyth, Tuxford le Clay, Newark, Grantham, Stamford and finally at Fotheringhay.  At night sixty men with torches kept guard around the hearse.

This year Wakefield Historical Society will retrace that journey on the anniversary dates of 21st-29th July.   Each day will include visits to places of interest and a chance to walk some stretches of the original route. Each evening will include a performance of a medieval Vespers of the Dead, in the church where the body rested if possible, as well as a talk by an invited lecturer.

You can find out more on the fascinating webpage of the Wakefield Historical Society.  You can order the book by Anne F Sutton & Livia Visser-Fuchs The Reburial of Richard Duke of York, 21-29 July 1476, which is mentioned on the webpage, from the Richard III Society (go to ‘Publications’, then ‘Books, Monographs and Booklets’, then ‘Books by the Richard III Society’).

The above illustration is a drawing of Fotheringhay Church c. 1850.

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Battle of Wakefield Called off

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

NewsThe re-enactment of the Battle of Wakefield, which was to have been fought today, has been called off at short notice.

It commemorates the Battle of Wakefield fought on 30 December 1460 between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians, one of the battles of the wars of the Roses.  The Yorkists were greatly outnumbered and destroyed completely; nearly 3000 men fell in the hour long battle.  For Ricardians it is of particular poignancy because of the death of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, the father of Richard III.  His second son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, who was then 17 years old, was murdered after the battle, apparently by John Clifford, 9th Baron de Clifford, as revenge for his father’s death in the 1st Battle of St Albans.  Clifford was afterwards known as ‘Butcher Clifford’.  Also killed was Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury.  He was wounded and captured in the battle, apparently initially with an idea to ransom him, but was executed the next day.  The heads of these three Yorkists were stuck on poles and displayed over Micklegate Bar, York, with the Duke wearing a paper crown.  We can only wonder how history would have turned out if the real battle in 1460 had been called off!

This re-enactment has taken place annually since 2005, with more than 1000 people turning up in 2008.  Events planned for today included medieval crafts, food, costumes and stalls and, weather permitting, demonstrations of medieval combat and archery.  The cancellation is due to a combination of the closure of Sandal Castle Visitor Centre, illness as well as the snow and ice.

However, the wreath laying by members of the Richard III Society at the Duke of York’s Monument on Manygates Lane is set to go ahead at 2.15 pm.

You can read the full article from the Wakefield Express here.

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Sandal Castle on DVD

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

NewsWe just heard that Loyalty Binds Me announce the new double feature DVD Sandal Castle:  The Battle of Wakefield 1460 & Building Sandal’s Castle.

Loyalty Binds Me is a small, independent film production company based in the North-West of England.  They specialise in a unique style of DVD feature where by computer reconstruction they take us on a guided tour of both an existing castle site and  the castle as it may have been in its glory days.  You may have seen their previous DVD, the fascinating Middleham Castle: A Royal Residence.  This new DVD promises to be equally stunning.  It contains two parts:

The Battle of Wakefield 1460
A 30 minute feature exploring the castle’s place in history.
When Richard Duke of York perished at Sandal Castle, the House of York faced extinction. Did the Duke’s folly bring this disaster on their heads? What really happened at Wakefield?

Building Sandal’s Castles
A 45 minute feature exploring the history of the castle.
Take a journey through time, as we track Sandal Castle’s development from the Aisled Hall of the 12th century to the stone fortress of the 15th. See why King Richard III chose it as the headquarters for his government of the North.

Additional features include full chapter selections, English subtitles and a Slideshow Gallery of castle images.  Written and presented by John L Fox, featuring the voice talents of Robert Hardy and Richard Dodd, the Sandal Castle DVD is the second instalment in The Richard III Collection.

For more information and to order have a look at the website of Loyalty Binds Me.

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