Battle of Shrewsbury : 1403

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On our way back from Shrewsbury, we stopped at the place where the Battle of Shrewsbury happened, in 1403.  It is just few miles north of Shrewsbury.

Map from here.



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Just like that, stopping for a tea break, near a castle, where history started over 1,000 years ago.  All of this is amazing on its own.  DSC_0717 copy DSC_0709 copy DSC_0714 copy DSC_0719 copyThe farm buildings have been turned into a cafe, a butchery and a shop.

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We first stop for a tea and some sweets at the Battlefield 1403 cafe.  We had to have them!  I think they went fast because I don’t a picture of them.

DSC_0718 copyYou can see the castle a little further and the battlefield.  DSC_0720 copy

This is the site for the bloodiest battle fought in British soil.  Fight between Henry IV and the Percy Family.  This is only one of 43 battlefields site in England and Wales.  The buildings (now shops and cafe) are just north of the battlefield itself.

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A beautiful little museum, filled with pretty artifacts and some that you can touch.

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Look at this armor.  It was so impressive to be able to touch one, hold it, and actually feel what they must have felt carrying all these pounds of metal chains in their bodies.  We couldn’t believe it how heavy they were.

DSC_0731 copyNow we can imagine how strong these men must have been.  But also, I am sure, glad to carry it to protect them.

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When Henry Bolingbroke took the power from his cousin Richard II in 1399, he became King Henry IV, thanks to the help from the powerful Percy family, from Northumberland, north east England.  But the relationship between them worsened in the next 4 years.  The Percy family demanded the payment of the outrageous amount £20,000, the cost of their help in this battle.

Sir Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy was given a high office position in Wales, where in 1401 he completed many campaigns against the rebellious Owain Glyndwr.  Because he was also waiting his payment from King Henry IV, he decided to have a coalition with the Glyndwr family.

Now, Hotspur decided to go towards Shrewsbury to join forces with the other rebels.  But the town was guarded by the troops of the King’s eldest son, Harry.  Harry later becomes the most powerful and famous military commander (Henry V… yes another Henry… not sure I can keep track of all of them, so I took pictures of all these details so I’d remember them for posting them on the blog…. phew!)  Because Harry had a small troop, he went northwest of the town to meet Hotspur before he’d combine his troops with the other rebels.  And this race was won by the King’s troops.

Percy was now isolated north of town with no extra help from Wales.  Percy left Shrewsbury, heading 3 miles north to spend the night.  The next morning, with no sign of reinforcement troops and the King’s troops heading his way and a battle in sight.

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Throughout the museum, Siena would go back to few more weight lifting.

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This Battle of Shrewsbury was important because it was the first time the troops were armed with longbow.   This tactic was used later on in the effective battles with France.

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DSC_0757 copy DSC_0743 copy DSC_0762 copyA small museum but filled with information and beautiful displays.  I recommend to visit it if you are in that part of the world.  So much history… it never stops to amaze me.  DSC_0772 copyAnd of course, you can go in the days they do archery… We were not there for that, but maybe next time!

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2 thoughts on “Battle of Shrewsbury : 1403

  1. Glendie September 24, 2014 / 6:31 am

    LOVE these records of your fantastic trip!!!

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