The English Civil War

The English Civil War

Edgehill to Newbury 1642-43

BattlefieldHistory

3rd - 8th July 2018
(6 Days)

Guide : Col Nick Lipscombe

Tour price: £1,875

click here to book

The English Civil War

Edgehill to Newbury 1642-43

BattlefieldHistory

Your Holiday Essentials

3rd - 8th July 2018
(6 Days)

4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Guide: Col Nick Lipscombe

Tour price: £1,875

Single supplement: £230
Deposit: £175

Booking open

click here to book

Tour Introduction

In this, our opening English Civil War tour, leading historian Nick Lipscombe explores the conflict during its early years from 1642-1643. During an exciting 6 days we will examine the road to war, the struggle to arm and the advantage enjoyed by the Royalists in the early encounters. Visits include the first skirmish of the war near Worcester, the key battle of Edgehill, the struggle for Bristol (England’s second city) culminating in the first battle at Newbury fought in September 1643.

We will visit some well preserved and accessible battlefields, set amongst the picturesque rolling countryside of the Cotswolds and its environs, and we have arranged for a number of historic houses to open their doors to us. Nick’s consummate knowledge combined with great hotels and historic cities and towns will result in a fascinating cultural tour through the heart of England.

Background

The English Civil Wars are part of a living political tradition which continue to rage on paper and debate nearly four centuries after the internecine bloodletting. There were, in fact, three English Civil Wars from 1642-1660, which emerged from conflict in Scotland and Ireland, as well as constitutional struggles between Crown and Parliament, emergent ideals of liberty and reform and a struggle of Protestantism over Catholicism.

Churchill, in his History of the English Speaking Peoples, wrote of the English Civil War that ‘underlying the apparently clear cut constitutional issue was a religious and class conflict’. Suggesting that one of the main drivers was based on class and material considerations is both misleading and unhelpful; yet this vision of the wars as David rising up against Goliath pervades. This was simply not the case. In the English Civil War brother fought against brother, and father against son and nothing has imprinted itself so deeply on the nation’s memory as the national civil struggle of the mid seventeenth-century.

Highlights

  • With author and lecturer Col Nick Lipscombe
  • Visit famous civil war battlefields 
  • Travelling in English summertime 

"Nick is knowledgeable, approachable, and really knows how to bring the battlefield to life"

Itinerary

Day 1 – Assemble and Old Basing House

Arrive at our Donnington hotel midday (Newbury 1 hour approx. by rail from London). Sandwich lunch and introductory talk. Thence to the ruins of Basing House, a former royalist stronghold that came under siege on three separate occasions.

Day 2 – Battle of Edgehill & Broughton Castle

Travel to the battlefield of Edgehill (1642) which was the first major engagement between the two armies. The Royalists came out on top in a closely fought battle with Prince Rupert, the Kings’ nephew, proving himself as a brash, but talented cavalry commander. This afternoon we visit Broughton Castle, a hotbed of the Parliamentary movement that was besieged by Royalists following the battle of Edgehill. Check-in to our Ettington hotel for one night.

Day 3 – Powick Bridge and Worcester

This morning we head out to the picturesque Cotswold village of Chipping Campden and at its church hear about the role religion played in the war. The Skirmish at Powick Bridge near Worcester actually took place a month before Edgehill and saw Prince Rupert rout the Parliamentary cavalry. Although insignificant in comparison to the later battles, it showed the Parliamentarians that although they were better equipped, they lacked the training, leadership and loyalty of the Royalist force. Check-in to our Worcester hotel before we explore Fort Royal, the Cathedral and the Commandery dedicated Civil War museum that was used as the royalist headquarters during the Battle of Worcester 1651.

Day 4 – Royalist Supremacy

Today we focus on two Royalist successes during 1643. Firstly at the battle of Ripple Field the Royalist cavalry once again routed a Parliamentary force who suffered heavy losses. Thence to the delightful Chavenage House in Tetbury which served as the base for the Roundhead siege of nearby Beverstone Castle in 1644. Finally we visit the field of Lansdown, a long battle which ended with a Roundhead withdrawal that a much depleted Cavalier army was not strong enough to pursue. Check-in to our hotel in historic Bath.

Day 5 – Roundway down and Donnington

This morning we visit the battlefield of Roundway Down. Seen as ‘the greatest cavalry victory of the War’, a Royalist force under Lord Wilmot relieved a Roundhead siege of Devizes. After a lunch break in Marlborough we arrive at Aldbourne Chase, an action that allowed the Royalist army to position themselves between London and the Parliamentarians prior to Newbury. Finally we visit Donnington Castle, taken by the Royalists after first battle of Newbury, where they were quick to build formidable earthworks that can still be seen today. Return to our Donnington hotel for our last night.

Day 6 – First Battle of Newbury

Here we see our first Parliamentarian victory of the tour. At a time when another defeat would have been critical, the Earl of Essex outmanoeuvred the king’s army and opened up the road to London, signalling a turning point in the whole war. Return to our Donnington hotel and disperse around 13:00.

Recommended Reading List

Photo Gallery

Your Holiday Essentials

3rd - 8th July 2018
(6 Days)

4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Guide: Col Nick Lipscombe

Tour price: £1,875

Single supplement: £230
Deposit: £175

Booking open

click here to book

Photo Gallery

The English Civil WarThe English Civil WarThe English Civil WarThe English Civil War

tours by datethemesperiodsdestinations

direct link

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

For up to date news as well as details about all of our tours please subscribe to our newsletter by entering your name and e-mail address below ...