WHAT IS 1461 COUNTRY?

There is more to Towton than the battlefield. The village of Saxton played just as much an important role on that fateful day and indeed, a visit to All Saint’s Church there, will reveal the tomb where Lord Dacre was buried atop his horse and the recently commissioned Towton memorial in the churchyard. Just a mile or so away is Lead Church, now the sole remnant of what was once a thriving medieval village and across the road from there the Crooked Billet, said to be the location where Warwick “the King-Maker” rested his men on the eve of the battle.

But Towton was not a local event. It had national and even international consequences. During the battle, the Lancastrian king was telling his beads at York Minster, no doubt praying for the victory that would not come. Following a visit to the battlefield, the nearby city of York yields up a vast array of medieval treasures for those interested in the period.

Copyright Rae Tan

Not very far from the battlefield is Sandal Castle at Wakefield, where Richard Duke of York lost his life and the Wars of the Roses picked up pace to the violent crescendo at Towton. In fact, Ferrybridge, another focal point of the battle, is clearly visible from the curtain walls at Sandal.

To see how the battles were fought and won, a visit to the Royal Armouries at Leeds is a must. Admission is free and this venue gives a spectacular insight into arms and armour of the period andgraphic depictions of famous medieval encounters.

There are many other historic buildings in our area; Skipton Castle, home of the war-like Cliffords; Middleham Castle, home to their sworn enemies the Nevilles, and later Richard III; Bolling Hall inBradford, comprising one of the best preserved medieval Pele Towers in Britain. When you visit 1461 Country, we would encourage you to explore these other aspects of our heritage. We are confident you will receive a right warm Yorkshire welcome.