The Battlefield Rediscovered – a case of Mistaken Identity. (The tongue in cheek version)

Syston & District’s recent talk from John Whitehead was on finding the true location of the Bosworth Battlefield. We thought we all knew where it was, but it wasn’t…
“So they found it then?”
“Yeah, mind you it took ‘em a while”.
“Why’s that?”
“They was looking in the wrong place.”
“Why’s that?”
“Well, Richard III was rotting away in Pontefract Castle with not so much as a Pontefract Cake for company. Richard III was the 13th of 15 children so his mother didn’t have time for bingo or U3A so she packed him off ‘Up North’ to learn to be a Knight. In those days they still had evening classes.
Years later, when Richard had mastered Knightly things, the day of the punch up with Henry Tudor arrived; Richard had an army of 12,000 hefty lads, cannons, archers, the whole lot – he was up for it.
Henry had never lost a battle so Richard tried to pull a fast one and attacked Henry with a few of his mates but it didn’t work. They were rumbled and got a good slap for their troubles. It wasn’t one of Richard’s better days, he got his comeuppance – all he’d wanted was a horse – and Henry got the bragging rights.”
“What’s this to do with looking in the wrong place?”.
“I was building up to that. It’s like this. The first map makers couldn’t read, write, couldn’t draw for toffee, didn’t know right from left; later map makers didn’t help – they put a river and dates in the wrong places and, well – calamity with confusing consequences!
For years they thought the battle was where the wise County Council, when it had deep pockets, put the Visitors’ Centre at Ambion Hill.
Then in 2004 the County Council, after lots of disagreements between experts, got academics, archaeologists, historians, and volunteers together. They worked over three winters, they pulled all the records together, searched over a wide area of land, excavated, metal detected, and eventually found loads of buried artefacts. Bits of battle leftover. 34 cannonballs, two miles from the original site, and belt buckles, brooches, bits of arrows and such like. They proved that the true site of the battle is on private land near Dadlington.”
“So it’s all down to the wrong maps?”
“That’s right”.
“So, are they goin’ to move the Visitors’ Centre?”
“Don’t be daft……”.
(All historical inaccuracies are the responsibility of the writer, with apologies to the U3A British History group, and Richard III Societies the world over…!)
If you would like to find out more about Syston & District U3A go to our website at u3asites.org.uk/Syston