Battle of Sedgemoor 1685

Overview

Heritage Category: Battlefield

List Entry Number: 1000032

Date first listed: 06-Jun-1995

Location Description: SEDGEMOOR

Map

Ordnance survey map of Battle of Sedgemoor 1685
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Location

Location Description: SEDGEMOOR

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

County: Somerset

District: Sedgemoor (District Authority)

Parish: Chedzoy

County: Somerset

District: Sedgemoor (District Authority)

Parish: Westonzoyland

National Grid Reference: ST 35039 35908

Summary

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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History

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Details

BATTLE OF SEDGEMOOR 1685



The Monmouth Rebellion of June-July 1685 was an attempt to usurp the crown of England by James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, from the Catholic King James II.

Having spent a year in voluntary exile in the Netherlands, Monmouth landed in Dorset in June 1685. Despite a number of setbacks, he had gathered around him an army of 7,000 men by the time he was faced by the royal army near Westonzoyland. Monmouth decided to chance all upon a night attack.

On the night of 5/6 July, Monmouth's rebels advanced. However, they hesitated at the Bussex Rhyne watercourse and instead of rushing the royal army, took it in at a distance in a firefight. All night the forces exchanged musket and cannon fire, but at daybreak the King's army advanced, crossed the Rhyne and forced the rebels to flee. Many were caught and killed in what is now Moor Drove Rhyne.

The Battle of Sedgemoor was the last pitched battle to be fought on English soil. Three days after his defeat, Monmouth was captured and later executed. Hundreds of his supporters suffered at the hands of Judge Jeffreys' Bloody Assizes.

The landscape of the battlefield was similar in character to that of today, with pasture on the moors and arable on the higher ground. The chief difference is the regularity of the drains, which were improved in the late eighteenth century. The Bussex Rhyne had been infilled but is visible on aerial photographs.

AMENITY FEATURES Somerset Tourism already promotes the 'Pitchfork Rebellion Trail'. A trail board is sited at Chedzoy church.

OTHER DESIGNATIONS Part if the battlefield is within a Special Landscape Area. It is also an Area of High Archaeological Potential.

KEY SOURCES RCHM, 1904, Report on the manuscripts of Mrs Stopford-Sackville, vol. 1

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 33

Legacy System: Battlefields

Sources

Websites
English Heritage, 1995, Battlefield Report: Sedgemoor 1685, accessed 11-JUN-2015 from https://content.HistoricEngland.org.uk/content/docs/battlefields/sedgemoor.pdf

End of official listing