Battle of Newbury 1643


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Location Description:
West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
West Berkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 45498 66070



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.

On returning from Gloucester to the capital, a large Parliamentarian army under the Earl of Essex found its path blocked at Newbury by King Charles and an equally strong Royalist army. Since Essex was short of supplies, he had no choice but to take the Royalists on.

The Royalists attacked the defensively positioned Parliamentarians early on 20 September, fighting them from hedge to hedge across Round Hill. The King's troops tried an outflanking move close to the River Kennet but were beaten back. Having fought all day, the two armies separated at nightfall and the Royalists withdrew, short of ammunition, leaving Parliament's army to proceed to London.

The first Battle of Newbury was the best chance the King ever had of winning the Civil War. The mistake of allowing Parliament to occupy Round Hill may have cost him the battle and perhaps, in the end, his life.

In 1643 the now hedgeless slopes of Round Hill were enclosed with hedges crossed by lanes, making a strong defensive position for the Parliamentary soldiers. Further south, where the Royalist cavalry played a major role, the open common has been extensively built over.

AMENITY FEATURES The battlefield north of Round Hill towards the river is attractive countryside, readily accessible and with good viewpoints. Parking in the narrow lane is difficult. The Falkland memorial is on the line of the Royal Army. Although unrelated to the battle, the burial mounds on Wash Common are prominent features.

KEY SOURCES Anon, 1643, 'A true and exact relation of the Battaile', Thomason Tracts E.69(10) Money, W, 1881, The First and Second Battles of Newbury and the siege of Donnington Castle during the Civil War 1643-6

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 Newbury 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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