Battle of Hopton Heath 1643


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

Location Description:
Stafford (District Authority)
Hopton and Coton
Stafford (District Authority)
Salt and Enson
National Grid Reference:
SJ 95492 26423



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.

In March 1643 the Royalist position in Staffordshire proved of such concern to King Charles that he ordered the Earl of Northampton to lead a force north from Banbury to retrieve matters. Having secured Stafford, the Earl led his 1,200 troops, mostly cavalry, out to confront a Parliamentarian army of 1,500.

The armies clashed in the middle of the afternoon of 19 March on Hopton Heath, just outside Stafford. The battle was keenly fought and ended only at nightfall. Although the Earl of Northampton was killed the Royalists had the better of the encounter.

The landscape in 1643 was one of heathland with birch scrub but with enclosed grazing land around the present-day Heathyards. The land was enclosed and improved in the eighteenth century.

AMENITY FEATURES Two good viewpoints for appreciating the battle are publicly accessible. A number of features of historic landscape importance survive but are not currently accessible. There is potential for a circular trail.

OTHER DESIGNATIONS Part of the battlefield lies within a Special Landscape Area in the Local Plan. Historic Landscapes are subject to policies ED32 and ED33.

KEY SOURCES Anon, 1643, Letter by a Royalist Eyewitness, published in the Staffordshire Record Society volume for 1936 Young, P, 1954, 'The Battle of Hopton Heath, 19th March 1643', in Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, XXXIII

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 Hopton Heath 1643 (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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