Bosworth Battlefield – where Richard III died

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At Bosworth Battlefield, site of the death of Richard III
All of us in front of the battlefield

Richard III must be one of the most famous (or infamous) monarchs ever, and that’s despite being king for just two years, from 1483 to 1485. His reign heralded the beginning of the end of the Wars of the Roses and his death ushered in possibly the most well-known royal family of all, the Tudors, plus of course, there is the question of the Princes in the Tower and a reputation forever damaged by Shakespeare’s iconic play.

Richard has also been in the news more recently as his body was discovered in a Leicester car park back in 2013. We visited the Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester last year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. In fact, we seem to have been on something of a Richard odyssey, as we also had a trip to beautiful Fotheringhay, where Richard was born. And now we’ve just returned from BOSWORTH, the battlefield where Richard was slain, and where he became the last English king to die in battle.

Bosworth is in Leicestershire and is, I may as well say right here, an excellent place for a day out, with or without the kids. The site has been beautifully maintained and is huge. When we went, there were lots of groups there enjoying the sun and outdoors. It’s free to walk around the site – although you do have to pay £2.50 for parking (I wonder if this should be free for those visiting the exhibition).

At Bosworth Battlefield, site of the death of Richard III
It was beautiful walking around the sites

We very much enjoyed our walk around the battlefield site, enjoyed the views, and appreciated the information points on the way. It seemed quite bizarre to think of a bloody battle going on in this beautiful place, especially as we were looking out on quiet fields of green and, at one point, watching canal boats roll lazily by.

There’s a sundial and flags (including Richard’s standard) at the top of the site and there is also a nice eating area (we forced ourselves to try some ice-cream and cake) and shop. Plus, there are a number of guided walks on offer (including a ghost walk, which sounded great) and even shows involving birds of prey.

I don’t think that many visitors take advantage of the exhibition, which is a real shame, as it’s extremely well done and puts everything into context.

The exhibit at the Heritage Centre isn’t huge, but it is thoughtful and has some excellent interactive elements. It begins by giving some historical background and also introduces a number of characters who take you through the events as they happen, and from their points of view.

King Richard III and King Henry VII
The two kings, on show at the Heritage Centre

There are lots of costumes to try on (we were amused that those doing this when we were there were all adults!) including armour (I tried on a helmet which was extremely heavy), while the display of the battle itself is really good and managed to explain the tactics extremely well.

The Bosworth Boar
This is the amazing silver boar, found a few years ago

We all enjoyed trying out the bow and arrow (Robert was the best) and there were some fascinating side exhibits, including one very gory one on barber surgeons. I also loved seeing the artefacts on display, especially the remarkable and tiny silver boar badge which is believed to have been given to one of Richard’s knights before the battle began.

We all liked it and Robert, aged 11, was especially impressed. Here are his thoughts:

“The exhibition had so many cool, interactive things to do from watching videos from different people’s point of view or seeing how far you could shoot an arrow. I loved watching through the eyes of a warrior in the battle and playing games on either Richard or Henry’s team. One of my favourite activities was looking for the secret fact: when you saw a special symbol you had to look out for the hidden information. They were in secret compartments, on the ceiling and even inside the wall! I really enjoyed going to the exhibition as I learnt lots from the displays and also had fun with the different Battle of Bosworth related things to do.”

One of the secret messages at the Bosworth Heritage Centre
One of the secret messages at the Bosworth Heritage Centre

Bosworth Battlefield and Heritage Centre are located in Sutton Cheney, Nuneaton, Leicestershire. Tickets for the Heritage Centre cost £7.95 per adult and £4.85 for children aged 3 to 15. There are often special offers (including a leaflet on the website) which offer a kid’s ticket free with an adult one. . A ticket for a family of four is £21.50.

Read about our trip to the Richard III Visitor Centre in Leicester and to Fotheringhay, where the King was born.

We visited Bosworth after staying at the wonderful Dandelion Hideaway and glamping! It’s just a quick drive away.

CulturedKids
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25 Responses

  1. Erin

    I haven’t been to Leicestershire before, but this looks fascinating – £21 for four isn’t bad, either!

    Erin xx

  2. Jess

    This sounds like a great day out for the whole family, I love educational trips like this! The exhibition looks really good too – it’s great that it’s so interactive 🙂

  3. Bohemian Babushka

    BB ♥♥♥ these sort of outings!! As a member of a Spanish Golden Age Theater Troupe we do all sorts of re enactments; how maravilloso to see items from the actual time period and before!!! Wonderful that children find this type of thing interesting too, Well Done! BB2U

  4. Katja

    I feel like I’m learning all my English history that I missed in school via your posts! This sounds like a really interesting day trip and the interactive exhibition sounds fantastic and like they have really thought about how to engage kids and adults. A great recommendation!

  5. Chantelle Hazelden

    This looks like something my kids would really enjoy, they are into history like their dad.

  6. Sabina @MummyMatters

    This is just the sort of day out that our family would enjoy, in particular my 14 year old as he loves history and knows so much. It’s another one to add to my list thank you 🙂

  7. Kerry Norris

    I’ve never heard of this place before. Looks like you had a good time. If we are ever in the area we’ll have to visit. X

  8. ghostwritermummy

    This looks like somewhere my eldest would love to visit. She’s always been fascinated by history and Richard III I think has a great story behind it too- definitely one of the more interesting kings! xx

  9. Cathy (MummyTravels)

    I am always fascinated by Richard III – depending on the sources you read it creates two such contradictory narratives: monster or unfairly maligned hero. So this exhibition sounds fantastic, one I’d love to check out.

  10. Nell (the Pigeon Pair and Me)

    Ooh – I do like the sound of a ghost walk! And dressing up, too – I enjoyed that as much as the kids when we visited Eltham Palace recently. Fascinating post. We really must try and visit some time.

  11. Natalie

    I would love to try on the costumes! Add me to the line of adults trying them on. Trying on the armor really brings history alive, doesn’t it?

    Also, those secret clues sound like so much fun. That is right up my alley!

  12. Beth | Adventuring the Great Wide Somewhere

    So cool! I love exhibits like this that bring long-dead history back to life, even for an hour or two. It’s much easier to imagine the battle when aided by photos, props and multiple accounts of what exactly went down. The ghost tour also sounds very interesting. I bet that would be spooky in a place like this!

  13. Sophie

    Great post! I find the whole Richard III story fascinating. I would definitely have tried on the costumes!

  14. Nell (the Pigeon Pair and Me)

    I’ve been fascinated by Richard III ever since reading Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time, when I was a teenager. She makes the case that he wasn’t as mean and unforgiving as history makes out….interesting stuff. Thanks ever so much for linking up with #CulturedKids.

  15. Catherine's Cultural Wednesdays

    My Mother will tell you, at length, the Richard III was a good man. She is a proud Yorkist and I would love to visit the visitor centre, there was just a field in the 70’s when we made our pilgrimage! Thank you for linking up to #CulturedKids

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