Monday, 17 November 2008

The Battle of Bosworth Field

Grit drags Shark, Squirrel and Tiger to the Battle of Bosworth Field today. The real proper battlefields in Leicester where blood spilled and the visitor centre got built. Shark, Squirrel and Tiger say they'll come so long as they can pick up ideas for reenactment.


Now we normally reenact the Battle of Hastings on the front room carpet, where the sofa cushions do nicely piled up as Senlac Hill, and we do Bannockburn over the back of the sofa so the dead can tip properly into the gorge, but really, there is no substitute for standing on the raddled earth to feel the tremors of battle. Here you can feel the cold wind whip against your cheeks and watch your fingers grow red raw. Here, on the fields encircling small English towns with made-up names like Dadlington and Sutton Cheney, we can breathe that air as the battered and beaten Richard III, or as the triumphant, exhausted rival Henry Tudor, or the thousands of men who waited for that battle sign, fought and fell.


This battle, 22 August 1485, changed the course of English history. Richard, that evil, plotting murderous sod, was hacked after death and some time later thrown in a ditch, and probably lies there still, no-one knows where. Or much cares. Henry Tudor, an efficient administrator, strategist, writer of new history, got the girl, the glory, the Hollywood contract, and started a dynasty to keep Keith Mitchell in paid employment and provide some toys for chums of Cate Blanchett.

And of course here at the exhibition centre the gritlets can try on armour...


watch the battle video...

and take home the all important military strategy so they can reenact the day properly with the bathroom carpet, three unicorns, and a mermaid standing in for Henry Tudor.


Never let it be said that our history education is not respectful.

8 comments:

Potty Mummy said...

BTW - you won the most recent carnival. Congratulations!

Grit said...

oh my goodness pm, i am humbled! tonight i will celebrate with a glass of co-op lambrusco, since i can't afford the bolly. and of course i'll keep an eye on my mail box for the blog-to-book offers to come pouring in. so far i've won £20,000 (twice) and been offered a cheap penis extension. things could be looking up.

Angela said...

I`m sure any child would just LOVE to join you on that battlefield instead of sitting in class learning about Richard and the Tudor man. (I wonder what history would be taught today if Richard had won? Probaböy how awful the other party was). There is nothing better than using all your senses for learning.
I was once on the battlefield of Gettyburg (important place for American children) and was surprised how gently rolling the grassland was and how peaceful the ground. Now. Interesting sensation.
You are doing a great job, Grit!

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

As far as I know, or nobody informed me, I have never been on any battlefield and I think it is one of the big losses of my life, because I do have the imagination necessary to envision the battle that took place there and empathize with the horrible fate of most of the warring foot soldiers, even the horseback knights. There is no romance in the tale. Mostly god awful blood and gore and very much fear and pain. You wonder why they even fought, being so sure of their tragic endings. Good luck with the enactment. I am sure your house will look like a real battlefield once it's over.

mamacrow said...

we often go to the battle of hastings re-enactment - unfortunately they are slightly hampered as to historical accuracy as William built Battle abbey on the site of the thick of the actual fighting....

Brad said...

I'm going to have a small grumble that the gritlets get to stand in the feilds of history and I have to rely on dusty old books.

Next time they grumble tell them there are middle aged men in America that would trade places with them in a heart beat.

Mud in the City said...

Wow - you must have some imagination (not to mention determination!) to come up with such brilliant plans. Much more fun than colouring in villains' clothes and counting medieval pigs (all I can remember doing at prep school - v dull). Consider me impressed!

(P.S. winning the carnival was justly deserved too!)

Grit said...

hi angela! i love taking the gritlets around the fields where history was made, and i hope that it all stays with them so much longer and more forcefully than a worksheet in a classroom.

you are so right irene, i am reading about towton, the bloodiest battle in england, where many men would have gone to battle knowing they would not go home.

mamacrow! i will let you know when we are down there next! i love that site!

brad, it would be great to take you and j to bosworth. heck, i might even start doing the lottery to win those millions.

mud, you are too kind, because really the stuff is all out here for us, we just have to be strong enough to withstand the drive there and back.