Sunday, 30 June 2013

Photoblog battle tour of Cropredy Bridge

Not a three-way sibling match between Shark, Squirrel and Tiger in a charming picture-postcard village in Oxfordshire! But a battle of the English Civil Wars, fought between the Parliamentarian army under Sir William Waller, and the Royalist army of King Charles, on 29 June 1644.

Yes, we're doing the battlefields walk!

Part of my agenda to be a nuisance even when I am dead. I want my junior grits to care enough about these fields, the history they hold, and the blood that was shed over them, to create a stink in 30 years time when a Chinese-backed development consortium wants to pour two tons of concrete over the site to create a multi-storey car park (next to the industrial estate, next to the M245 motorway).

Here, first take your view from the bridge at Copredy.

But don't think this is the end of it! The battlefield walk is not that straightforward, obviously. It takes only two minutes to walk from the pub to the bridge. Are you ready? Right, we're going over there.

Into that field. Except when the bulls are in it first. They can turn nasty. 

 Turn left.

 Across that crop field.

Through the wood.

And another field. Are you getting the lie of the land yet? The parliamentarians are down here and the royalists on the ridge.


If you stood at this point on 29 June 1644, you'd be trampled by Parliamentarians. (Time for extensive conversation about clay and dust.)

Now towards that ash tree.

The battle is decided here.

(And the ash tree is very beautiful.)

Off we go again!

Stop complaining it's the hottest day of the year and you're sure mama has hidden your sunhat. Remember, you're not covered in sweat and blood and wearing woollen trousers.

By that hedge.

(Detour: the Lady's Walk, a banked path created in Tudor times so the ladies could attend Church without their skirts becoming wet.)

Yay! You made it! Three hours later, back to Copredy. To the boundary stone, possibly 15thC.

Congratulations! But the next bit is easy! Know your bit of field history, and visit the Battlefields Trust.


Irene said...

I think if you go anywhere in England you will step upon history and no spot can be avoided and no Chinese man can be safe to start any emporium.

Ann Cordner said...

Whew Grit, I'm exhaused!

Grit said...

that's the spirit, irene! i'm repeating that with my fist raised!

ann, we have yet to do flodden in the mud, so i hope you'll join us for that!