The BBC aired a short documentary on the Battle of Bosworth the other day. Advance publicity promised revelations about the true location of the battle with the implication that the fine visitor centre was therefore wrongly positioned on Ambion Hill. However, this is very widely accepted as the site of Richard III\'s camp and of his initial position, attacked or at least advanced upon by Henry Tudor. It also offers a good view over the area of lower ground to the south and west over which much, if not all of the battle was fought. So, it remains a sound choice.
Sparse and sometimes contradictory documentary evidence, confusing place names (some simply resulting from the mythology that quickly grew around the bloody end of the Plantagenet era and the tragic death of a demonised king), a changed landscape and limited archaeological evidence will always shroud the precise topography. But what the BBC\'s nice film showed, in addition to summarising the main interpretations that currently exist, was the discovery of an important new piece of detail. Core samples and excavation have exposed the edge of the marsh between Ambion Hill and the village of Dadlington that shielded the right flank of Henry\'s advance and influenced the line it took. (Both the marsh, once called Redemore after the reeds that would have grown there, and the village have given the battle alternative names.)
This discovery must add some clarity, at least to the bigger picture. Somewhere here too, Richard with his charger bogged down as he attempted to turn the battle by a direct attack on Henry, may have died, fighting bravely to the last. But this fine detail will always be a matter for speculation, because there would certainly have been other marshy areas around the battlefield and there is, of course, no definite information about Henry's position at this critical moment.
No map was shown or clear indication given of the location of the peat bed exposed, but it did appear to be consistent with Christopher Gravett\'s assumptions for the bird\'s-eye views and mapping in Campaign 66: The Last Charge of the Plantagenets, which was previewed in an early issue of Osprey Military Journal.
If this important new information has not yet been published, I\'m sure it is going to be before long and I look forward to seeing it, and to paying a long overdue visit to the battlefield, less than two hours drive north of home.
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