Battle of Stratton 1643


Heritage Category: Battlefield

List Entry Number: 1000038

Date first listed: 06-Jun-1995

Location Description: STRATTON


Ordnance survey map of Battle of Stratton 1643
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Location Description: STRATTON

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

District: Cornwall (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bude-Stratton

National Grid Reference: SS 22666 06585


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Reasons for Designation

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



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

On 15 May 1643 a Parliamentarian army of 5,600 men, commanded by the Earl of Stamford, advanced into Cornwall and camped upon the flat summit of Stamford Hill close to the town of Stratton. The following day Sir Ralph Hopton, with a Royalist force barely 3,000 strong, moved to attack the formidable Parliamentary position.

The battle raged inconclusively for several hours until Parliamentarian resistance finally collapsed as a determined attack by converging Royalist columns drew near the summit of the hill. With casualties of 300 killed and 1,700 taken prisoner, almost half of Stamford's army had been destroyed and the gateway to Devon was open to the Royalists. Hopton's victory, gained by a force that was desperately short of food and ammunition, was a remarkable achievement.

Although private houses have been constructed on the summit of Stamford Hill the remains of the defensive earthwork used by the Parliamentarians can still be seen. Plantations have obscured the eastern slope of the hill, but otherwise landscape changes have been minimal.

AMENITY FEATURES A number of features survive which were present at the time of the battle. The Iron Age/Romano-British enclosure on Stamford Hill was used as a defensive position by the Parliamentarians. St Olaf's Church at Poughill, with its fifteenth-century frescoes restored in the late nineteenth century, and also Charles I's Letter of Thanks (1643), is a closely related to the battle. Stratton village is also relevant, particularly the Tree Inn which was Grenville's base. Public access across the battlefield by footpath is possible, but there is scope for improvement into a coherent battlefield trail.

OTHER DESIGNATIONS Much of the battlefield lies within a proposed Open Area of Local Significance in the Local Plan. Nearby is the Kilhampton Area of Great Landscape Value, and there are Conservation Areas at Poughill and Stratton.

KEY SOURCES Coate, M, 1643, Cornwall in the great Civil War and Interregnum 1642-60


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

Legacy System number: 39

Legacy System: Battlefields


English Heritage, 1995, Battlefield Report: Stratton 1643, accessed 11-JUN-2015 from

End of official listing