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How Do Battlefields Become Registered?

The first step towards registration is to determine whether the site is a strong enough candidate to merit further consideration.

This usually requires a desktop study of published and archival sources, historic and modern maps and air photographs, to uncover details about the site's past and to discover what might make it special in terms of its historic interest.

Flodden, Northumberland. Site of the battle of 1513.
Flodden, Northumberland. Site of the battle of 1513.

Visiting the site

If the initial investigation suggests that the battlefield is of a sufficiently high level of historic interest, we will contact the main owner(s) to request a site visit. Although we are not obliged to visit a site prior to its inclusion in the Register, a visit is not only of help in judging the quality of the landscape but also, most importantly, it can provide an opportunity to meet the owner(s) and/or managers of the site.

Should it not prove possible to arrange a site visit, then the site will usually be viewed, if necessary and so far as is possible, from public vantage points and rights of way.

Assessment and recommendation

Further research to fill in any vital gaps in our knowledge follows a site visit, then an initial report is compiled for consultation with the owner, local planning authority, the Battlefields Trust and the applicant. They will be invited to respond within 21 days on the facts we have laid out. All the information and representations will then be considered and we will produce a final recommendation report.

Where a battlefield is found to be of sufficient historic interest to merit registration, the site is deemed to be registered. A formal letter of notification is sent out to all known owners and long-term occupiers of the site. The notification letter is accompanied by a Register text describing the site and a site boundary map. The local planning authorities at district, unitary, and county levels (as relevant) are also notified. 

Northallerton Battlefield in North Yorkshire. Site of the battle of 1138.
Northallerton Battlefield in North Yorkshire. Site of the battle of 1138.

 

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