Castle Clash lost battlefield Guide
But following research of archives from the period, and archaeological surveys, the Battlefields Trust made an application to EH for the site to be included, which has now been approved.
Battle of Naseby (Alamy)
Frank Baldwin, chairman of the trust, said: “These are the first battlefields to be registered in England since 1995 and shows that the register is a living document.
“Over the last couple of decades, we have learned more about the battle. People have examined the evidence there and brought it to light.
“We know more about it and where and why it was fought. Back then when the register was set up, there wasn’t an acceptance that there was more to be discovered. But this shows that the past isn’t fixed. Developments in scientific techniques - such as massively improved metal detecting - allow us to learn so much more than we could even 20 years ago.”
Deborah Williams, from English Heritage, said: “The Lostwithiel campaign of 1644 was one of the most wide-ranging battles of the civil war, marking a turning point in the war by delivering a Royalist victory, thus prolonging the war for several more bloody years.
“We are pleased that the significance of this decisive battle, to the south west and the nation, is recognised through designation. It is appropriate that such an important battle becomes the first addition to the list for some years.”
Registration of battlefields does not mean they have statutory protection from developments, but does mean that their status must be considered in the planning process. The government’s National Planning Policy Framework says that development of historic battlefields should be ‘wholly exceptional’.
Much archaeological work has centred on the village of Tywardreath, where thousands of items from the period have been discovered, including 4, 000 musket balls, 20 cannon balls, as well as buckles. Mr Baldwin said the landscapes on which the fighting occurred were well preserved and allowed for good understanding of how the battles were fought. He said there was the potential for much larger archaeological surveys in the area.
Oliver Cromwell at The Battle of Marston Moor (Alamy)
The fighting secured the south west for the Royalists and was a heavy blow for the Parliamentarians.
The precise numbers of casualties are unknown. Contemporary reports of the battles suggest the fighting on August 31 1644 - when the Parliamentarian cavalry broke through the Royalist lines - there were no more than 200 killed or taken prisoner on both sides. Other accounts suggest Parliamentarian losses may have been around 500 on that day. Losses on the King’s side are likely to have been significantly less.
Although the 6, 000 infantry who surrendered were allowed to go free - because the King’s side did not have the ability to keep prisoners - all their weapons were taken and they were finished as military force.
The disarmed soldiers marched eastward back to their own strongholds, in continuing bad weather, being continually robbed and threatened by locals. About 1, 000 are said to have died of exposure and hunger, while a further 1, 000 deserted or fell sick.
However, the battles were the last major victories for the Royalists. They came at a time when Oliver Cromwell was emerging as the most powerful figure on the Parliamentarian side and just before the creation of the New Model Army, a more professional force which would secure his side’s ultimate victory over the Royalists.
Some Civil War clashes
First pitched battle of the war. Both armies numbered around 15, 000. Deaths are put at 1, 000, with up to 3, 000 wounded.