Cromwell's Mound Civil War fieldwork


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016551

Date first listed: 26-Nov-1969

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Cromwell's Mound Civil War fieldwork
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2018 at 13:56:30.


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

County: Lancashire

District: Preston (District Authority)

Parish: Non Civil Parish

National Grid Reference: SD5428633829


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

Reasons for Designation

English Civil War fieldworks are earthworks which were raised during military operations between 1642 and 1645 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. The circumstances and cost of their construction may be referred to in contemporary historical documents. Fieldworks are recorded widely throughout England with concentrations in the main areas of campaigning. Those with a defensive function were often sited to protect settlements or their approaches. 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. All examples which survive well and/or represent particular forms of construction are identified as nationally important.

Cromwell's Mound Civil War fieldwork remains in good condition and is a rare surviving example of a monument of this class which is associated with the Second Civil War of 1648.


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


The monument includes Cromwell's Mound, a feature traditionally associated with the Battle of Preston, fought on the 17th August 1648. It is interpreted as a fieldwork, that is, a gun emplacement or earthwork used to provide temporary protection for infantry troops, and is located in a shallow valley through which Moss Leach Brook flows approximately 350m north east of the medieval moated site of Broughton Tower. Its location adjacent to the brook suggests the mound may originally have been a dam associated with the water management system of Broughton Tower. The mound takes the form of a `T'-shaped earthwork measuring approximately 37m long by 8m-12m wide and up to 1.9m high with its longest side orientated north west-south east. The tail of the `T' shape is formed by an embankment sloping down south westwards from the highest point of the mound. The Battle of Preston was the largest and final battle of the Second Civil War. It was fought between royalist supporters of Charles I aided by a Scottish army 20,000 strong led by the Duke of Hamilton, and parliament's New Model Army under the command of Oliver Cromwell. The subsequent defeat for the royalist cause led to the execution of the king and the declaration of a republic. Despite a lack of documentary evidence, tradition has it that Broughton Tower was stormed by a band of Cromwell's troops during the battle and that Cromwell's Mound was used during this action. Frequent finds of lead musket balls and sling shot in the fields between the mound and Broughton Tower have been offered as evidence to justify this tradition. It has also been suggested that the mound, which lay to the right of the main flank of parliamentarian forces, may have provided Cromwell with his first vantage point from which to view the battlefield and judge the disposition of royalist and Scottish troops during the initial stages of the battle. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 27849

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bull, S, Seed, M, Bloody Preston: The Battle of Preston, 1648, (1998), 1-3, 66
FMW Report, Capstick, B, Cromwell's Mound, Earthwork 1/4 mile NNE of Broughton Tower, (1988)
Neil, N., Excavations at Broughton Tower, 1990, Lancaster University Arch Unit report
SMR No. 110, Lancashire SMR, Cromwell's Mound,

End of official listing