The Founding of the Towton Battlefield Society
The Towton Battlefield Society was formed, or so the story goes in the Spring of 1992.
Within the next six months “The Towton Battlefield Society” was up and running, hosting it’s own events and holding monthly meetings, as we still are, in Saxton Village Hall.
An Executive Committee was formed, a Constitution was drawn up, and an application for Charitable Status was granted.
The Society’s aims today are the dame as those drawn up 30 years ago:
- Preserving the battlefield site from untoward development.
- Promoting public interest in the site, the battle, and the people who fought.
- Investigating and researching the politics, tactics, disposition, and results of this historic action.
This early work did not go unnoticed and in 1994, the actor Robert Hardy expressed an interest in becoming a Patron of the Society, and was duly installed.
Subsequently, the Society acquired a reputation for its research and archaeology under the expert guidance of Tim Sutherland and Simon Richardson.
Here is the content of the letter Robert Hardy sent to the Inaugural General Meeting when accepting the role of Patron:
It is increasingly important that the known places of battle in our islands should be protected and honoured. There men pitted themselves against the ultimate, not only against the enemy, but also against the final enemy, death. There the greatest courage was shown, and the greatest fear.
There the greatest deeds were performed, the greatest loyalties shown. There the most horrible was inflicted and suffered, and the greatest treacheries performed and undergone. Their pain and triumph, glory and defeat coloured the banners that blew above the fighting men.
These places are in a manner sacred. They should not be built over, or quarried, or turned into amusement parks.
Of all the fields of conflict that I have studied in Great Britain, Towton is to me the most significant, most awesome – and probably least changed since Palm Sunday 1461.
I pray that it may remain as it is now, and I praise all those who labour that it may be so.
Robert Hardy 1994 in letter to TBS accepting the role of Patron.