Battle of Rowton Heath 1645


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

Location Description:
Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 45574 63038



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

In September 1645, after the catastrophic defeat at Naseby in June, King Charles I turned north in an attempt to join forces with the Marquis of Montrose in Scotland. His forces diverted to assist the Royalist garrison at Chester which was under siege. The Royalists, however, were being pursued by up to 3,000 Parliamentarian cavalry. The Royalists decided to take on their pursuers before attempting to free Chester.

The battle on Rowton Heath lasted all day on 24 September, but took place in several locations as the tide of fortune ebbed and flowed. The battlefield south of Rowton is the most clearly identified. Here, early in the morning, the Royalists blocked the advance of Parliament's forces and threw them back before themselves being forced to retreat closer to Chester.

By the end of the day the Royalists had been defeated, suffering such losses that any hopes of resurrecting a royalist army that were held after Naseby were crushed. The end of the first Civil War could not be long postponed.

The battle took place on part of an extensive heath with cultivated land only around the villages. Hedge-lined lanes divided the heath, and it was along such a lane that the battle was fought.

AMENITY FEATURES The railway bridge, on a former line of the A41, provides a publicly accessible viewpoint over the battlefield.

OTHER DESIGNATIONS The battlefield lies within the Chester Green Belt. Policies GB1 and GB2 of the Local Plan are relevant.

KEY SOURCES Barratt, J, 1976, 'The Battle of Rowton Heath, 1645', in Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, LIV

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: Rowton Heath 1645 (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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