Battle of Cropredy Bridge 1644


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SP 47512 44995, SP 47927 46275



The Civil Wars of the mid seventeenth century were a reflection of profound political, constitutional, religious and social conflict which was expressed in a struggle for control between King and Parliament.

Following the defeat of the Royalists at Cheriton, the King's capital at Oxford was under threat. Charles drew the Parliamentarian army off with a long match towards Worcester and back towards Oxford. When the Parliamentarian troops caught them up, they sought an opportunity to attack across the Cherwell.

On the morning of Saturday 29 June 1644, seizing a chance presented to him by King Charles in leaving his rear guard lagging behind, Sir William Waller ordered his forces across the river at Cropredy Bridge and a nearby ford. After initial success, the Parliamentarians were beaten back across the river and the two sides separated to watch each other across the valley. On the second night, the Royalist army slipped away.

The failure by the Parliamentarians to defeat the Royalist army caused mutiny and chaos within their own ranks. It was after this battle that the need for a permanent army was realised by Parliament, leading to the New Model Army by the following year.

Little of significance has altered in the landscape since 1644. The canal and railway are later features, but neither detracts from an appreciation of the topography, which shaped the battle.

AMENITY FEATURES The bridge itself provides a good vantage point. Public footpaths provide good access to other areas of the battlefield, including the crossing point at Slat Mill. The village of Cropredy is of historic interest.

OTHER DESIGNATIONS The whole of the battlefield lies within an Area of High Landscape Value in the Local Plan. The southern section is an Ecologically Important Landscape. Parts of the battlefield fall within Cropredy, Williamscot and Wardington Conservation Areas.

KEY SOURCES Hamilton, W D (ed), 1888, Calendar of State Papers of the Reign of King Charles I, 1644 His Majesties happy progress and successes from the 30th March to the 23rd of November 1644, Christchurch, Oxford, MS 164

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 Cropredy Bridge (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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