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Battle of Sedgemoor 1685

List Entry Summary

This battlefield is registered within the Register of Historic Battlefields by Historic England for its special historic interest.

Name: Battle of Sedgemoor 1685

List entry Number: 1000032



The battlefield may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Somerset

District: Sedgemoor

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Chedzoy

County: Somerset

District: Sedgemoor

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Westonzoyland

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not Applicable to this List Entry

Date first registered: 06-Jun-1995

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: Battlefields

UID: 33

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Battlefield

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

Reasons for Designation

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


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



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

Selected Sources

English Heritage, 1995, Battlefield Report: Sedgemoor 1685, accessed 11-JUN-2015 from

National Grid Reference: ST 35039 35908


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End of official listing