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It saw the death of Richard III, ushered in the Tudor dynasty and gave Shakespeare one of his best known quotations.
Now, 500 years after one of the most important clashes in British history, archaeologists have finally found the location of the Battle of Bosworth Field - two miles away from where historians thought it was.
The discovery follows an extraordinary piece of detective work in which experts combed three square miles of fields with metal detectors, took dozens of soil samples and scoured the historical records for clues.
Originally posted by berenike
reply to post by zazzafrazz
I had no idea of the man's name, so I'd never have found that. A pity really that he doesn't press his claim to the throne. What larks
Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
Oh shoot, Monk is on, never mind.
Dr Glen Foard, from the Battlefields Trust, who has led the search, said: "For me the most important thing about the discoveries at Bosworth is that it opens the door for archaeology to explore the origins of firepower.
Richard killed Tudor's standard bearer, William Brandon, and a giant of a man named Sir John Cheyney. When Richard was only a few feet away from Tudor, Stanley's army moved, surrounding and killing Richard and the men of his Household. As he swung his battle-axe, he was known to have shouted "Treason - Treason - Treason" as he was slain. Northumberland and his army remained waiting on the sidelines and never engaged in battle to assist Richard. The Stanleys committed their men to Henry’s cause, and so, Henry was victorious.
Whatever else has been said of him (most of it negative propaganda by later Tudor "historians") no one can accuse Richard III of cowardice. He fought bravely to the end, and was eventually killed on the field, deserted by his friends and allies. Tradition say that after Richard III was "most piteously slain" and the Battle of Bosworth Field thus concluded, that Richard's crown was found where it had fallen -- beneath a hawthorne bush near the small well-spring known as King Richard's Well, marked by a shoulder-high piece of stonework that partially shields the well. The crown allegedly found there was presented to Henry Tudor, on whose head it was placed.
Dug out of the ground after more than 500 years, this perfectly preserved tiny silver badge has finally pinpointed the exact site of the battle which decided the Wars of the Roses.
The 1.5in decoration proved to archaeologists where the Battle of Bosworth had actually taken place and it was in a field a mile from where historians have always believed it happened.
The most famous battle of the War of the Roses was fought on August 22, 1485, and famously saw the death of Richard III.
But today experts revealed the exact location is a field behind Fenn Lane Farm which belongs to an arable farmer.
The new location was revealed after archaeologists discovered a hoard of medieval weapons in the field, including the silver white boar badge believed to have been carried by one of Richard's trusted knights.
Evidence such as cannon balls - now the largest collection of that date in Europe - and pieces of armour have been used to confirm the site.
A 16th-century historian recorded that Richard was 'killed fighting manfully in the thickest press of his enemies'.
Furthermore that he died fighting to the last, not calling out 'A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse', as Shakespeare claimed, but, in the words of a near-contemporary chronicler: 'Treachery, treachery, treachery.'
University lecturer Carl Dawson discovered the badge next to a medieval marsh which experts say was the exact location Richard was dragged from his horse and killed.
Researchers also found 22 lead shots fired by hand-held guns and from the largest cannon used during the battle.
But it was the silver white boar badge - an emblem of Richard III - which proved to be the key in pin-pointing the battlefield.
Measuring just 1.5in the badge would almost certainly have been worn by the king's knights during his last stand.
Archaeologist Dr Glenn Foard, who led the search for the battlefield, said: 'If we were looking for any artefact at all and if there's any location we might want to find that artefact, then it's the white boar badge of Richard III next to the marsh.
'This is almost certainly from a knight in Richard's retinue, who rode with him to his death on that last charge.'
The Battle of Bosworth Visitor Centre, which is a mile away from Fenn Lane Farm, will remain where it is but will lead vistors on a new trail to the battlefield.
Battlefields Trust archaeologist, Dr Glenn Foard, said:
"Using the new techniques of battlefield archaeology we have recovered evidence which proves exactly where the iconic English battle was fought. The site, never before suggested as the battlefield, straddles the Roman road known as the Fenn Lane, near Fenn lane farm. It is three kilometres south-west of Ambion Hill and a kilometre west of the site suggested by Peter Foss.
"The crucial archaeological evidence came from our systematic metal detecting survey. There may be relatively few finds from the battle, each of which has taken the team dozens of hours to locate, but several of the objects are amazing. The most important by far is the silver-gilt boar, which was Richard III’s own badge, given in large numbers to his supporters. But this one is special, because it is silver-gilt. It was almost certainly worn by a knight in King Richard’s own retinue who rode with the King to his death in his last desperate cavalry charge. It was found right next to the site of a small medieval marsh - and the King was killed when his horse became stuck in a mire.
"Other objects discovered as part of the survey include silver coins of Charles the Bold of Burgundy, a silver-gilt badge found close to where we believe the Duke of Norfolk was killed, and the largest collection of round shot ever found on a medieval battlefield in Europe. These artillery rounds, which range in size from 30mm - 94mm have redefined the importance of artillery at Bosworth and open a new, archaeological avenue of research into the origins of firepower on the battlefields of Europe."