Boroughbridge Battle trail to be unveiled to mark anniversary

Commemorations marking the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Boroughbridge will end with the unveiling of a permanent Battlefield Trail guiding residents and visitors around sites where fighting took place in 1322.

By Janet Harrison
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 1:03 pm

The trail, featuring Medieval artwork designed by the Yorkshire Region chair of The Battlefields Trust, Chris Rock, will be launched with a series of events on Saturday August 13.

“The boards will be sited at either end of the bridge over the River Ure, on St James’s Square where Lancaster was captured after seeking sanctuary in the original church, on Aldborough Road and near the lock on the canal at Milby,” said Linda Dooks, secretary of Boroughbridge Historical Society Dook.

The anniversary of 700 commemoration started in March when Viscount Hereford, an ancestor of Humphrey de Bohun, who was killed in fighting across the original bridge over the River Ure, placed a wreath at the Battle Cross in Aldborough, attended by the Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Richard Compton, of Newby Hall.

Rounding down the anniversary, on Saturday, the popular Three Swords re-enactment group will give a demonstration at Hall Square in Boroughbridge at 10am before a parade to St James’s Square.

At 11am the Town Mayor of Boroughbridge, Sean Hynes, will unveil one of a series of display boards, which form the interpretation trail.

After the ceremony, Louise Whittaker, of Harrogate, a member of the Battlefield Trust, will lead a tour of the battlefield sites.

Linda explained: “The Battle of Boroughbridge was fought on March 20, 1322, between supporters of King Edward II and a rebellious group of barons led by Thomas, Earl of Lancaster.

“It ended in defeat for Lancaster - who was the king’s cousin and one of the wealthiest people in England. Lancaster was beheaded on March 22.”

She added: “The rebellion had started after Lancaster, a former member of the Royal court, became disillusioned with Edward.

“He was seen as a weak and ineffectual king, whose reign was marked by military failure and constant internal disputes.”

The king’s army was led by Sir Andrew de Harclay, who prevented Lancaster’s forces fleeing to Northumberland.

After an overnight truce, the royal troops entered Boroughbridge and arrested Lancaster.

The 700th anniversary has been marked by Boroughbridge Historical Society, the Battlefield Trust and Boroughbridge Town Council, with funding from Miller Homes, which has built on part of the battlefield site.