So now we know — the Battle of Bosworth, marking the beginning of the Tudor dynasty in 1485 was actually fought a site in fields more than a mile to the south west. This is a salutary reminder that ancient battlefields defy the concept of ‘pinpointing’. They have this habit of spreading out over wide areas, or being fought over several days in several locations, and that treating a battle as a single event in a ‘names, dates and kings’ sort of way is not always a good assumption to make. How true also of the Classical world, when of course historic battles played sucha key role in the forming of tribal and political identities. I awaut the team’s findings with great interest… Speaking of the Battle of Bosworth however, I found myself last weekend in York’s Richard III museum. This crazy and wonderful building is the Monk’s Bar gatehouse, complete with functioning portcullis. The top storey was supposedly added by the man himself in 1484. There’s not a huge amount to see inside in terms of objects, and it is undeniably very family-oriented, but the approach of filling the original space with a load of historical and biographical information, and posing the important historical questions (including the influence of Shakespeare on the reputations of those involved) works very well.
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