Battle of Nantwich 1644


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

Location Description:
Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 63565 53515



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 January 1644 the Royalists had captured almost all of Cheshire and were intent on securing the North West. The Parliamentarian garrison at Nantwich held out under siege. Anxious to save the town, Sir Thomas Fairfax led a relieving force of 5,000 men intending to join the garrison and break the siege.

Lord John Byron, heading the 3,500 strong Royalist army, intercepted the Parliamentarians near Acton. In a hectic two-hour battle the Parliamentarians, with the help of the garrison from Nantwich, overcame the Royalists, captured their artillery and ammunition, and took many of their senior figures prisoner.

The Royalist defeat ended the prospect of securing the North-West for the King. At the same time, it enhanced the military reputation of Sir Thomas Fairfax and made him an obvious choice as commander-in-chief of the New Model Army a year later.

The landscape of 1644 was one of enclosed pasture fields much as that of today. The Shropshire Union Canal was cut through the field pattern in the late eighteenth century but has not detracted from an appreciation of the battlefield.

AMENITY FEATURES The canal towpath provides a pleasant publicly accessible route through the battlefield area. In a flat landscape, the canal bridges provide good viewpoints. Public footpaths give access to other areas. The landscape contains many historical elements other than the battlefield, such as a medieval moated site and a seventeenth-century almshouse.

OTHER DESIGNATIONS The battlefield area falls within Open Countryside in the emerging Local Plan. Acton is a Conservation Area.

KEY SOURCES Carte, T (ed.), 1739, A collection of original letters and papers found among the Duke of Ormond's papers Dore, R N, and Lowe, J, 1961, 'The Battle of Nantwich, 25 January 1644', in Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 113

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 Nantwich (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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