The Bosworth Battlefield and Heritage Centre is the site of the Battle of Bosworth. The Battle of Bosworth took place on 22 August 1485, ending 30 years of English civil war (now known as the War of the Roses).
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The battle began over rival claims to the throne by two different houses—Lancaster and York. A white rose was the symbol of the York family; a red rose was the Lancaster family symbol. The Battle of Bosworth was the last of the thirteen battles fought during which over 100,000 lives were lost.
During the battle King Richard III was killed – the last English king to die in battle – and Henry Tudor became King Henry VII.
The details and background information are available in the eight galleries in the modern Visitor Centre where there is an AV presentation and displays covering both the history of the times and aspects of the battle. Also in the heritage centre are archaeological finds of international significance from the battlefield. Included in the finds is the largest collection of roundshot ever discovered on a medieval battlefield.
A battle trail for visitors enhances the experience. The trail covers 1.75 miles (allow two hours) and links up with the Ashby Canal and Shackerstone Railway. Battlefield tours are offered.
Steam and diesel trains run the five miles from Shackerstone to Shenton (both stations are grade II listed buildings), located in the centre of the battlefield. The railway line, operated by the Shackerstone Railway Society, is the only section left of an 1873 line, and much of it runs beside the Ashby canal. The railway station houses a museum with over 3000 items of railway memorabilia, including over 200 various kinds of oil lights. A tea-room and shop are also on the premises. At Sutton Wharf on the Ashby canal, a short walk from the station, canal boat rides are on offer. The canal was originally opened to transport coal but fell into disuse when the railways came along and also due to severe subsidence in the area.
Allow a full day out to include the heritage centre, a trip on the railway line, a canal trip, and a walk over the battlefield. Be sure to have lunch in the tithe barn restaurant at the Heritage Centre. The selection of food is excellent; it’s freshly prepared, and delicious.
On some days there are special events such as a birds of prey demonstration, a living history presentation, a battle re-enactment, and many others. Check the website for exact dates and events.
Bosworth Battlefield and Heritage Centre
Ambion Lane, Sutton Cheney, Nuneaton
Leicestershire, East Midlands
Tel. 0 1455 290 429
Open: Heritage Center: April-end Oct, daily, 10am-5pm; Nov-Dec and Feb-March, 10am-4pm; closed in January; last entry one hour before closing
Picnic areas; special events; medieval tithe barn restaurant; shop; parking (fee charged)
Web: Bosworth Battlefield
Shackerstone Battlefield Line Railway
Shackerston Station, Shackerstone, Nuneaton
Leicestershire, East Midlands
Tel. 0 1827 880 754
Open: Easter-end of Oct, weekends only
Museum, shop, and café at the station; car park
Web: Battlefield Line Railway
Ashby Canal Boats at Sutton Wharf
Sutton Cheney, Warwickshire
over the canal bridge
Tel. 0 1455-213 838, ext 20, for bookings and enquiries
Open: see website for details of trip times and prices
Café; parking; scheduled trips; Sunday lunch and Fri/Sat supper cruises
Web: Ashby Canal Association