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Civil War fieldwork at Tamar Close, Worcester

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Civil War fieldwork at Tamar Close, Worcester

List entry Number: 1005263

Location

The fieldwork is situated on a ridge to the east of the city centre, bounded on its north-east, south-east and south-west sides by the late-C20 residential development of Tamar Close and on its north-west side by a steep slope running down to Wye Close.

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

County: Worcestershire

District: Worcester

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 11-Jan-1947

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Mar-2014

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

UID: WT 318

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 Monument

The earthwork and buried remains of an English Civil War fieldwork, raised during the siege of Worcester in 1646 and probably reused during the operations leading up to the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

Reasons for Designation

The Civil War fieldwork at Tamar Close in Worcester, raised during the siege of 1646 and probably re-used during the Battle of Worcester in 1651, is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Archaeological interest: as a class of monument representing the only evidence on the ground of military campaigns fought in England since the introduction of guns;

* Historical interest: for its association with the siege of Worcester in 1646, and its possible reuse during the Battle of Worcester in 1651;

* Rarity: as surviving Civil War fieldworks number only around 150, and are thus rare in the national context, this example is of particular significance in aiding our understanding of English military history;

* Period: for being one of the few classes of monument devoted to defence at this time;

* Survival and potential: it survives particularly well, with the buried remains having some potential to reveal technical details of its construction;

* Group value: it is one of a number of monument types and sites which survive from the Civil War at and near Worcester;

* Amenity value: the adoption of the site as amenity land and its adaptation as a landscape feature illustrates its continuing value to the community and adds to its interest.

History

English Civil War fieldworks are earthworks which were raised during military operations between 1642 and 1651 to provide temporary protection for infantry or to act as gun emplacements. The earthworks, which may have been reinforced with revetting and palisades, consisted of banks and ditches and varied in complexity from simple breastworks to complex systems of banks and inter-connected trenches. They can be recognised today as surviving earthworks or as crop- or soil-marks on aerial photographs. Fieldworks are recorded widely throughout England with concentrations in the main areas of campaigning, and have been recognised to be unique in representing the only evidence on the ground of military campaigns fought in England since the introduction of guns. Those with a defensive function were often sited to protect settlements or their approaches whilst those with an offensive function were designed to dominate defensive positions and to contain the besieged areas. There are some 150 surviving examples of fieldworks recorded nationally.

Worcester has a special place in the history of the English Civil Wars with the first and last battles of the campaign being fought here. On 23 September 1642, a small Parliamentarian force under the command of Nathaniel Fiennes failed in its attempt to raid a Royalist caravan on its way to the King at Shrewsbury. In the open fields of Wick, between the suburbs of Worcester and Powick Bridge, the Parliamentarians met the well-trained and highly committed Royalist cavalry of Prince Rupert. The Parliamentarians were routed, fleeing back across the bridge. The outcome of the Battle of Powick Bridge, which was essentially a small skirmish lasting some 15 minutes, was a major propaganda victory for the Royalists and a serious warning for the Parliamentarians. Nine years later, however, it was Parliament's New Model Army that was the dominant military force. The acceptance by the Scots of Charles I’s heir, Prince Charles, as Charles II initiated the Third Civil War (1650-1). Charles marched southwards, harried all the way by Oliver Cromwell, but England failed to rise in his support. By the time the Royalist army of 12,000 men reached Worcester it was facing nearly 30,000 Parliamentarian troops. Cromwell attacked on 3 September 1651 and, after several hours of hard fighting, Royalist resistance collapsed. The Battle of Worcester destroyed the final hopes of the Royalists regaining power by military force. Charles was forced into exile and the long and bitter Civil War was over, ending where it had begun. In between these two battles Worcester was besieged on two separate occasions. The first took place in 1643 when the Royalists repelled a Parliamentarian attempt to take control of the city. However, Parliamentarian forces returned to Worcester in May 1646. Under the command of Thomas Rainsborough, they accepted the capitulation of 104 Royalist defenders on 22 July. The fieldwork at Tamar Close was constructed during this two month period and was probably reused during operations leading up to the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

Details

Principal elements: the earthwork and buried remains of an English Civil War fieldwork dating from the 1646 siege of Worcester. Situated on a ridge to the east of the city centre, it bounded by a late-C20 residential development to the north-east, south-east and south-west sides and by a steep slope down to Wye Close on the north-west side.

Description: the fieldwork has, to varying degrees of survival, an inner bank, outer ditch and counterscarp bank on its north-west, north-east and south-east sides, defining a rectangular area measuring 73m x 82m. It is not known whether the south-west side of the fieldwork was defined by similar earthworks or whether this was originally open. The earthworks are most pronounced on the north-east side of the site where the inner and counterscarp banks, which stand up to 1m above the original ground level, have maximum widths of 3.5m and 3.1m respectively. The ditch survives with a maximum width of 2.5m and, although partially infilled, a maximum depth of 1.2m. The earthworks continue along the south-east side of the site where they initially survive to the same extent as those on the north-east side before levelling out towards the south-east corner. On the north-west side the ditch is shallower in depth, up to c.0.5m deep, with the slight remains of an internal bank also evident. The interior gently undulates with a suggestion of ridge and furrow cultivation remains over the area.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Page, W, Willis-Bund, J W (editors), The Victoria History of the County of Worcester: Volume IV, (1924), 434
Pevsner, N, Brooks, A, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, (2007), 53

National Grid Reference: SO8609455031

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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End of official listing