Wars of the Roses Sites

Wars of the Roses sites are the places where the battles and events of this famous conflict took place. The Wars of the Roses were a series of conflicts in which two warring factions of the British royal family - the Yorkists and Lancastrians - battled for the throne. Lasting around a century, this would finally end in the crowning of the first Tudor king, Henry VII.

Here, we’ve listed a number of Wars of the Roses sites around the UK and summarised their role in the war. Click the links below for information on Wars of the Roses sites or view these pages on a map through our Explore page:

 

Wars of the Roses Sites: Editor’s Picks

  Bosworth Field Visitor Centre
Bosworth FieldOnce thought to have been the site of the Battle of Bosworth Field (see the nearby Bosworth Field - Actual Site), this visitor centre remains an invaluable source of information about this battle. The Battle of Bosworth Field was where Henry VII of the House of Tudor decisively defeated Richard III on 22 August 1485, bringing the Wars of the Roses to an end and starting the reign of the Tudor dynasty. Photo by gavinandrewstewart (cc)

 

  Dunstanburgh Castle
Dunstanburgh CastleOne of the more picturesque Wars of the Roses sites, Dunstanburgh Castle was twice fell to the Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses, later falling into ruin, a state in which it remains today.

Photo by Glen B (cc)

 
 

  Sandal Castle
Sandal CastleIn 1460, Richard, Duke of York, who was making his bid for the throne, lured to this castle in a Lancastrian ambush. This resulted in the Battle of Wakefield in which Richard of York, along with several other important aristocrats, was killed. The ruins of Sandal Castle remain open to the public. This is one of the Wars of the Roses sites which truly turned the conflict on its head. Photo by DINMK (cc)

 

  Battle of Tewkesbury
Battle of Tewksbury One of the most famous of the Wars of the Roses sites is the setting of the Battle of Tewkesbury, where the Lancastrians suffered one of their most devastating defeats. In fact, at this battle the Lancastrians lost their heir to the throne Edward, Prince of Wales, made worse soon after when their king, Henry VI, was executed. Ending in Edward IV once again being king, this battle would be followed by fourteen years of peace. Photo by Antony (cc)

 

 

More Wars of the Roses Sites

Bamburgh Castle
Located on the coast of Northumberland this medieval castle is one of the Wars of the Roses sites which was devastated by the conflict in an attack by Edward VI.

Battle of Barnet
This Wars of the Roses site was the setting for one of the most bloody battles of the whole conflict. The Battle of Barnet, which took place on 14 April 1471, was a decisive Yorkist victory and saw several important members of the aristocracy killed including the Earl of Warwick, a man known as the “kingmaker”. Sadly there is little to see there today.

Blore Heath
Taking place on 23 September 1459, the Battle of Blore Heath ended in a Yorkist victory. This is one of the slightly better preserved of the Wars of the Roses sites, it having been enclosed to protect it, Having said this, the only thing to really see is Audley's Cross, a monument which marks the spot where James Touchet, the fifth Baron Audley, was killed.

Bosworth Field - Actual Site
This is one of the most important Wars of the Roses sites, being the believed location of what is said to be its final (some say penultimate) battle, the Battle of Bosworth Field. Yet, this was only discovered to be the actual site of this battle in October 2009. Before then, it was thought to have taken place at the site of the Bosworth Field Visitor Centre. There are plans to create an official trail to the site, but for now people can at least cross it on public paths.

Edgecote Moor Battlefield - This is a little-known Wars of the Roses battle site where, on 26 July 1469, the forces of the Yorkist Earl of Pembroke, met those of the Lancastrian Robin of Redesdale (probably a pseudonym). It resulted in Pembroke’ men fleeing and, the very next day, he was captured and executed. Whilst the battle itself is not so well known, it outcome paved the way for Warwick to capture Edward.

Fotheringhay Castle
This was the birthplace of Richard III, the controversial king who seized the crown during the Wars of the Roses.

St Albans
This city is home to two Wars of the Roses sites, the locations of two battles that occurred there: one on 22 May 1455 (Yorkist victory) and one on17 February 1461 (Lancastrian victory). Unfortunately, little can be seen there today.

Are we missing any Wars of the Roses sites? You can upload any which you know about by clicking here.

Main Photo by DINMK (cc)