Monday, 14 November 2011

A Walk Over Roundway Down.

Information about the Civil War Battle of Roundway Down
 On Sunday afternoon I enjoyed a long walk with the "Mid Wilts Ramblers."  We went up to Roundway Down and walked part of the Civil War Battlefield site.  The Battle on July 13th 1643 was a decisive  victory for the "Royalists," who supported King Charles 1, against the "Parliamentarians" lead by General Hopton.  The Royalists had been trapped in Devizes and had taken refuge in several large churches.  Even today, St James Church shows cannonball holes in its tower, and in the late 1800s, a cannonball was found in the belltower.  The Royalists eventually managed to escape from Devizes and the two opposing sides met and fought each other up on the Down. 

The photo below gives you some idea of how high up we were, and below there is a view near "Bloody Ditch,"  so called because the Royalists chased the Parliamentarians over the edge of the escarpment and they, and their horses tumbled to their deaths.  Some remains of the soldiers, horses, musket balls and other artifacts have been found and can be seen in Devizes Museum.  This hill is known locally as "Oliver's Castle" and is the site of an old iron age hillfort. 

Oliver Cromwell, the leader of the Parliamentarians, and the eventual winner of the civil war, never fought here.  He became Lord Protector in 1653, and governed Britain for five years until he died in 1658, the only time that Britain has been a republic.  The monarchy was eventually restored when Charles 11 ascended to the throne in 1661.  Battle of Roundway Down
"Pippin" the poodle leads the way.

At Oliver's Castle near "Bloody Ditch."

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