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Walks

TBS guided walks around the Towton battlefield Trail

Towton Battlefield Walk Board

On Palm Sunday 1461, in atrocious weather – howling wind, driving sleet and snow – the armies of two disputing Kings of England fought on a plateau of land a dozen or so miles south-west of the great medieval city of York in the North of England. Chroniclers then, and historians now, dispute the numbers involved in the Battle of Towton, but it is possible that up to seventy-five thousand fought and as many as twenty-eight thousand died in the battle itself and in the rout and massacres that followed.

Towton was an event of the greatest importance for England.  It saw Edward IV come to the throne, displacing Henry VI. Had Henry VI’s forces prevailed, England would be a very different country. The Lancastrian line would have continued, and the Tudor line may never have ruled.

With the discovery of a massed grave of some of the fallen in 1996, the brutal reality of medieval warfare was revealed. Archaeological work on the skeletons, and other research on the battlefield itself, has confirmed the location of the battle – an area of land remarkably unchanged by the passage of time.The walk is a circuit of part of the battlefield. It starts in the village of Towton and moves up to where the Lancastrian forces stood at the start of the battle. Your guide will describe the events that lead up to this fateful day, the battles at Ferrybridge, Dintingdale and Towton, and will lead the group around the area across which the rout took place.

Dacres Cross
Walkers setting off on the Towton Battlefield Walk
Dacres Cross

Key locations will be viewed, and topics including the combatants, English society, the weapons and armour will be discussed.

Both the ‘traditional’ account of the battle, and the more recent reinterpretation of the source documents, will be covered during the walk.

The walk is along an undulating grass farm path, approximately 4 kilometres (2 miles) long and will take between two and two and a half hours to complete. Stout footwear is recommended as the trail can be muddy, and please dress for the prevailing weather conditions.

Dogs on leads are welcome to come along.

We charge £6 per adult for the walk. Children under 15 and Towton Battlefield Society members are free.

Our walks start by the barn on Old London Road in Towton (near The Rockingham Arms)

The Bloody Meadow