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battlefields, historic


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Britain has relatively few historic battlefields compared with the continent of Europe. The country has not been invaded since 1066, so the battlefields since then are those of civil wars. The site of the battle of Hastings on Senlac Hill (Sussex) is the best known. The exact site of earlier battles is often a matter of dispute. Even the site of the battle of Bosworth (1485) remains controversial. Battles were fought during a campaigning season which lasted from May to October. They rarely lasted more than a day. Full‐scale battles were the exception; the usual form of warfare involved raids and sieges and innumerable skirmishes (see Wars of the Roses). The major battles of the Civil War, notably those at Edgehill (Oxfordshire), Marston Moor (Yorkshire), and Naseby (Northamptonshire), are well known, but local historians still have plenty of scope to describe the military activities within a local area. See also The Ordnance Survey Complete Guide to the Battlefields of Britain; Anthony Baker, The Battlefields of the English Civil War (1986); W. Seymour, Battles in Britain, i: 1066–1547, and ii: 1547–1746 (1975); Tim Lynch and Jon Cooksey, Battlefield Archaeology (2007); and a special issue of the journal Landscapes, 4/2 (2003), devoted to battlefields. See also Glorious Revolution for the battle of the Boyne (1690); Jacobites for the battle of Culloden (1746); Monmouth's rebellion.

Subjects: History.


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