Battle of Blore Heath 1459


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Location Description:
Newcastle-under-Lyme (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 71345 35300



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).

On 23 September 1459, a Lancastrian force around 10,000 strong and commanded by Lord Audley intercepted a Yorkist army of 5,000 under the Earl of Salisbury on Blore Heath. The numerically weaker Yorkists positioned themselves above a shallow and partially hidden valley and awaited the Lancastrian's attack.

Audley's troops advanced at pace but were severely hampered by the marshy valley bottom. Those who climbed the far side of the valley, including Lord Audley, were suddenly vastly outnumbered and large numbers died. The significance of the Yorkist victory was, however, short-lived owing to the desertion of his army by Richard, Duke of York, at Ludford Bridge only three weeks later.

Although the road patterns, field boundaries, and tree belts have altered the appearance of the landscape, the shape of the land clearly explains the Lancastrians' difficulties in crossing the ploughed land, heath and valley bottom.

AMENITY FEATURES Audley's Cross marks the spot where the Lancastrian leader was killed. Public access would be desirable. A footpath crosses the battlefield and allows appreciation not only of the shape of the land but also of the hollow ways and ridge and furrow ploughlands which indicate the scene prior to Parliamentary enclosure.

OTHER DESIGNATIONS The battlefield lies within a Special Landscape Area in the development plan. Audley's Cross is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

KEY SOURCES Hall, E, 1809, 'Medieval Chroniclers and the Battle of Blore Heath', in North Staffordshire Journal of Field Studies, 20

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 Blore Heath 1459 (Published 1995), accessed 10th 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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