Battle of Towton - 1461 - War of the Roses

War of the Roses

The name is deceptive. The sweet sounding White Rose of York taking on the Red Rose of Lancaster came to symbolise some of the bloodiest fighting ever seen on our nation’s soil, as two families battled for the right to wear the crown over more than thirty years from 1455 to 1487.

Battles such as Towton and Bosworth Field still resonant as part of military heritage. While the fortunes of each side waxed and waned, the irony is that the male lines of both families were extinguished by 1485, allowing the House of Tudor to take over and reign for more than a hundred years.Only by visiting the sites can you sense the sheer scale of bloodshed, and the dark truth behind the words that Shakespeare put in the mouth of the last king of the wars, Richard III:

“Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York.”

The date is 23rd to 27th May 2022

The cost – including breakfast, lunch, dinner, hotel accommodation, coach, museums and guide, but not drinks. – is £1,500 per person. Please note that this is the cost of a single occupancy in a single room as we wish to be open with the all-inclusive costs. A discount of 10% is available for bookings with two people sharing a room.

You are accompanied by a tour leader to ensure that your tour runs smoothly.

This is a coach tour and your tour guide is Julian Humphrys



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Your Guide

Julian Humphrys

After reading History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Julian spent 12 years at Chelsea’s National Army Museum, setting up special exhibitions, liaising with the British Army and acting as spokesman to the media on all matters of military history. A qualified blue-badge guide, Julian has been leading visits to battlefields in the UK and overseas for 25 years.



Meet in Northampton and an Introduction Talk by Julian Humphrys

Day 2

Visit the site of The Battle of Northampton in 1460 which was the first major battle of the Wars of the Roses and noted for the first use of artillery on English soil. A victory for the House of York. Followed by a tour of Fotheringhay castle and church.

Day 3

The Battle of Towton 1461 It was “probably the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil”. Followed by a trip to the Royal Armoury at Leeds, Armouries including a weapons and armour handling session.

Day 4

The Battle of Tewkesbury 1471 the House of York victory at Tewkesbury restored political stability to England until the death of Edward IV in 1483. In the afternoon we tour the historic Tewkesbury Abbey which is world-renowned for being one of the UK’s greatest examples of medieval architecture. Its striking Norman tower and long nave have dominated the Tewkesbury skyline for nearly 900 years.

Day 5

Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 was the penultimate battle of the Wars of the Roses and fought on 22 August 1485. The victor Henry Tudor became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty. His subsequent marriage to a Yorkist princess uniting the two houses. His opponent Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, was killed during the battle, and was the last English monarch to die in combat. Historians consider Bosworth Field to mark the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, making it one of the defining moments of English history. After lunch we visit the site of the Battle of Stoke Field 1487 which was the final battle in this long conflict.