Battle of Barnet 1471


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
Greater London Authority
Barnet (London Borough)
Hertsmere (District Authority)
South Mimms
National Grid Reference:
TQ 24514 97590



The Wars of the Roses were caused by the protracted struggle for power between the reigning dynasty of the House of Lancaster (red rose) and the competing House of York (white rose).

The Earl of Warwick, former ally to the Lancastrians and later to the Yorkists, turned once again to the Lancastrians. Such was his power - he was known as 'the Kingmaker' - that he was able to restore the Lancastrian King Henry VI to the throne in 1470. The following year the Yorkist Edward IV faced his erstwhile ally near Barnet, ten miles north of London.

Early on 14 April, Edward's army advanced while the ground was still obscured by a heavy mist. In the ensuing confusion, and amidst cries of 'treason', the uneasy alliance of former Yorkists and Lancastrians broke down. Warwick's army fled, and Warwick himself was killed.

The death of Warwick the Kingmaker broke the power of the influential Neville family. King Edward set off after the surviving Lancastrians and the stage was set for the Battle of Tewkesbury.

Much of the area over which the battle had ranged was common pasture and heathland with some hedged enclosures. With the golf course retaining the open character of the landscape, the events of the battle are readily understandable on the ground.

AMENITY FEATURES The memorial to the battle dates from the eighteenth century. It and several key viewpoints are publicly accessible from footpaths. Additional public access would be desirable. Caution is required when crossing the golf course.

OTHER DESIGNATIONS All of the battlefield area lies within Metropolitan Green Belt and part in a Conservation Area. The area lies within the scope of the Watling Chase community forest initiative. Nearby Wrotham Park is a Registered garden site.

KEY SOURCES Adair, J, 1968, 'The newsletter of Gerhard von Wessel, 17 April 1471', in the Journal of Society for Army Historical Research, xivi Bruce, J (ed), 1838, Historie of the Arrivall of King Edward IV, AD 1471

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment to the Selected Sources on 10/04/2019


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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English Heritage Battlefield Report: Battle of Barnet 1471 (Published 1995), accessed 10 April 2019 from


This battlefield is registered within the Register of Historic Battlefields by Historic England for its special historic interest.

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