Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Study moves Bosworth battle site

Image of Richard III
The battle changed the course of British history

One of the most important battles in British history is marked in the wrong place, according to new research.

Bosworth, fought in 1485 and ending in the death of Richard III, was believed to have taken place on Ambion Hill, near Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire.

But following a three-year project, the Battlefields Trust said the discovery of ammunition two miles to the south west proved the location was wrong.

But officials said the popular visitor centre will stay at the old site.

The battle ended decades of civil war which is now known as the Wars of The Roses.

The death of Richard ended the Plantagenent dynasty and ushered in the Tudors.

Turning point

The traditional site has a flag at the crest of the hill, a stone to mark the spot where Richard fell and a recently renovated visitors' centre.

But debate over the actual site of the battle had been going on for more than 25 years before a £1m project, led by the Battlefields Trust, was set up to settle the matter.

Dr Glen Foard, from the trust, said: "The battle was not fought on Ambion Hill at all, we have found the battlefield two miles away, down in the valley.

"That is where the Wars of the Roses were decided."

He said studying medieval documents, matching their descriptions to the surrounding area and archaeological excavations had all pointed to the same place.

New weapons

"The best evidence was unexpected. We found 20 or so round shot from artillery of all sizes which you would expect to find on a battlefield," he added.

"What we have here is evidence for the introduction of firepower on to the battlefield on a large scale and that is really exciting which opens up a new story for archaeologists."

Richard Knox from Leicestershire County Council said the discovery did not detract from the current visitor centre.

"It is a perfect interpretive hub for the battlefield.

"We like to think of it as a gateway to the battlefield and we are currently developing trails which will take the public into the landscape."

The exact location of the new site is currently being kept secret to protect it from treasure hunters.

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One of the most important battles in British history is marked in the wrong place, according to new research.



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