Finding Bosworth Battlefield: A multiproxy palaeoenvironmental investigation of lowland sediments from Dadlington, Leicestershire, England

Jane Wheeler*, Graeme T. Swindles, Benjamin R. Gearey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents the results of palaeoenvironmental investigations in an area proposed to contain the site of Bosworth Battlefield, near Dadlington, Leicestershire. Polydore Vergil's sixteenth century account is the only source, albeit secondary, that is referenced in histories and logistical interpretations of the battle. Antiquarians and historians repeatedly reference this account, citing its description of a 'marsh' which is believed to have been the central site of the mêlée. Two sites in the floodplain of the former River Tweed have been identified as containing organic deposits characteristic of wetland environments. High-resolution lithostratigraphic and palaeoenvironmental data from each site are used to critically evaluate if the deposits represent the marsh and thus define the battlefield as described by Vergil. These new multiproxy data consolidate the local chronology of vegetation, hydrology, and sedimentological dynamics at the site from the Neolithic to the Medieval period. Whilst a precise interpretation of ground conditions at the time of the battle in 1485 cannot be made, due to truncation of the record as a result of modern ploughing and floodplain processes, the results provide a wider landscape context and illustrate the presence of local wetlands in this area that existed into the Medieval period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1579-1589
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume37
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Battle of Bosworth
  • Medieval
  • Multiproxy
  • Palaeoenvironment
  • Pollen analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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