Battle of Stratton 1643
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Location Description:
- Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SS 22666 06585
BATTLE OF STRATTON
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
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 Stratton 1643 (Published 1995), accessed 10th April 2019 from https://historicengland.org.uk/content/docs/listing/battlefields/stratton/
This battlefield is registered within the Register of Historic Battlefields by Historic England for its special historic interest.
End of official listing