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Edge Hill The Battle and Battlefield   By:

Edge Hill The Battle and Battlefield by Edwin Walford

First Page:

[Illustration: THE TOWER, EDGE HILL.]


WITH Notes on Banbury & Thereabout.



Banbury: E. A. WALFORD, 71 & 72, HIGH STREET.



Preface to Edition, 1904.

For the present edition the available material of the last eighteen years has been consulted, but the plans of battle are similar to two of those of my book of 1886. They were then the first series of diagrammatic representations of the fight published, but in no case has this been acknowledged in the many plans of like kind subsequently published. Some new facts and inferences the author hopes may increase the value of the account.

The letters of Captain Nathaniel Fiennes and Captain Kightley, now added, may serve to make the tale a more living one. They are reproduced, by the kind courtesy of the authorities of the Radcliffe Library, Oxford, and the Birmingham Reference Library.

New pages of Notes on Banbury, and an extended bibliography are also given.



March, 1904.

Preface to First Edition.

In the following pages an endeavour has been made to give a concise account of the physical features of the Edge Hill district, as well as to describe the events of the first great battle of the Civil War, with which it is so intimately associated. The intention is to provide a handbook for the guidance of the visitor rather than to attempt any elaborate historical or scientific work. Though Nugent's "Memorials of John Hampden" has supplied the basis of the information, Clarendon's "History of the Great Rebellion," the various pamphlets of the time, and Beesley's "History of Banbury," have also been freely used. In order to avoid burdening the pages with foot notes, a catalogue of works upon the subject is printed as an appendix, and the letters and numbers throughout the text refer thereto. The catalogue, it is hoped, may be of use to the future student. The plans of the battle, based upon Nugent's account, must be looked upon as merely diagrammatic, the scale being unavoidably distorted for the purpose of showing the conjectured positions of the troops. In the plans it may be worth note that the troops then known as "dragooners" are classed with the infantry.

The "Notes on Banbury and Thereabouts" are in part reproduced from a small pamphlet published in 1879. Much of the detail relating to the older buildings has been derived from Skelton's "Antiquities of Oxfordshire" and Parker's descriptions in Beesley's History.

To Mr. W. L. Whitehorn my thanks are due for aid in the revision of "Edge Hill," and in the compilation of the "Notes."



July 7th, 1886.



To Edge Hill from Banbury a good road trends gradually up hill nearly the whole way. It rises from the 300 foot level of the Cherwell Vale to 720 at the highest ground of the ridge of the hill. At a distance of eight miles to the North West is the edge or escarpment of high ground bounded on the East side by the vale of a tributary of the Cherwell, and on the North and West by the plain drained by the tributaries of the Avon. From Warmington, six miles from Banbury, North Westwards to the point marked on the Ordnance Map as Knowle End, and thence South Westwards to the Sun Rising, once the site of a hostelry on the Banbury and Stratford on Avon coach road, the edge makes a right angle with the apex at Knowle End. The nearest point of the hill range is at Warmington, where a fine fourteenth century Church stands high above the rock of the roadway. There is the first record of the battle a simple headstone to the right of the path to the South porch telling how one Captain Alexander Gourdin had died on October 24th, 1642, the day after the fight. From the church yard long flights of steps lead to the roadway and village below, where the house tops show through the foliage of the apple orchards in which they are partly hidden... Continue reading book >>

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