Page last updated at 13:57 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Snowbound fields hide true Battle of Bosworth site

By Bob Walker
BBC News, Leicestershire

Battle of Bosworth site
The site is more than a mile to the south west from the previous spot

At the moment there's not much to see.

There are no flags, memorials or information panels to show that more than 500 years ago, these snowbound fields in the Leicestershire countryside witnessed a pivotal moment in English history.

We're standing in the cold and the mud looking towards a ragged line of trees and hedges just 150 yards away from an equally muddy farmyard. For it's there - stuck in boggy marshland - the last Plantagenet king of England met his death in the Battle of Bosworth Field.

We know from contemporary accounts that Richard III was attacked and killed after his horse became "mired" in marshland.

We already knew that the fields surrounding Fen Hole were full of cannon balls.

Silver badge

And the latest finds are enough to convince historians that this was where the battle took place and Fen Hole was where Richard died.

Glenn Foard, from the Battlefields Trust, beams with enthusiasm as he pulls the trophies from his rucksack. The first exhibit is part of a gilded sword hilt which would have belonged to a nobleman.

But it is the silver badge of a boar, no more than an inch long, which he believes settles the argument over the battlefield's location.

For the Boar was the personal emblem of King Richard and would have been given to one of his personal retinue - a Knight.

"If you could have asked to have found just one thing that would have identified the site then this would be it," he says.

As his gaze sweeps across the entire battlefield the hairs on the back of the neck begin to rise as he conjures up the chaos, confusion and sheer terror of that summer's day in 1485.

"This badge that I'm holding in the palm of my hand was probably worn by one of his knights in his own retinue in that last charge as Richard went to his death."

Print Sponsor

New Bosworth battle site revealed
19 Feb 10 |  Leicestershire
Study moves Bosworth battle site
28 Oct 09 |  Leicestershire
New battle over Bosworth's site
28 Oct 09 |  Leicestershire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific