Knights clash at Battle of Northampton anniversary event

Expert swordsmen in armour and pinpoint archers displayed their skills at an event to mark the anniversary of the Battle of Northampton.

The Living History displays were part of a day of activities at Delapre Park on Saturday to raise awareness the fact one of the most important battles in England’s history took place on July 10 1460 in or near what thousands today know only as a park.

Battle Of Northampton day at Delepre Abbey

Battle Of Northampton day at Delepre Abbey

The rebel Yorkists faced the King’s Lancastrians and the fighting, which some scholars believe left 7,000 dead, spread as far as the river near the modern day Britannia pub and Eagle Drive.

Mike Ingram of The Battlefields Trust said: “Anyone who was anyone at the time was on one side or the other. It was hugely important.

“We even know the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time watched it take place from near the Queen Eleanor Cross.

“It started the war of succession and was one of the key battles in the overall War of the Roses.

Battle Of Northampton day at Delepre Abbey

Battle Of Northampton day at Delepre Abbey

“People in Northampton ought to be very proud of living in this area.”

The day saw an encampment by the Medieval Siege Society near the coach house, demonstrating how knights were armed and fought, and archery, as well the chance for children to take part in medieval-style solider training.

Politically Northampton is one of the more important battles of the Wars of the Roses, according to English Heritage.

After it, the Duke of York for the first time pressed his dynastic claim to the throne and therefore “ushered in a new and bloodier

Battle Of Northampton day at Delepre Abbey

Battle Of Northampton day at Delepre Abbey

phase of the civil war.”

The Act of Settlement of October 1460, by which York was declared King Henry VI’s heir, was unacceptable to Queen Margaret, since her son was thereby disinherited.

Her resistance to the compromise provoked a war of succession, and four fierce battles - Wakefield, second St Albans, Mortimer’s Cross and Towton - were fought within about six months of each other.