Delapré Abbey is delighted to announce a day of captivating activities to celebrate the launch of new information boards marking the site of the 1460 Battle of Northampton, presented in partnership with the Northamptonshire Battlefield Society.
Taking place on Saturday 3rd June, these events offer an illuminating experience that will transport visitors back to the historic battle.
Kicking off the day at 11am in the Drawing Room, Dr. Dan Spencer, an esteemed historian specialising in late medieval and early modern warfare, will delve into the role of artillery during the Wars of the Roses through a fascinating talk. This will be a unique chance to hear Dan talk about medieval artillery at the place where the oldest battlefield cannonball in England was found.
Northamptonshire Battlefield Society will provide games and information from 12:30pm until 3pm in a gazebo on the South Lawn, adjacent to The Orangery café. Visitors can play the Battlefield Game, a lightning-fast, two-player board game that transports you to the heart of the historic conflict. Take charge of the Yorkists while the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society assumes the role of the Lancastrians. Engage in strategic gameplay as you command your forces and rewrite the outcome of history.
Between 1pm and 3pm, participants can join the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society for tours of the battlefield site, unravelling the tactics and significance of the monumental clash that occurred. The stunning grounds of Delapré Abbey provide the perfect backdrop for exploring the stories of this important event.
At 2pm, anyone with young children is invited to join a family friendly age-appropriate tour that delves into the fierce arguments, exact location, and ultimate outcome of the epic battle. Dressing up in helmets and swords is encouraged, adding an extra layer of excitement to the experience. Tickets for the family tour are free, pre-book here.
In the Drawing Room at 3pm, Graham Evans, Chair of the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society will present a thought-provoking talk titled “A King Betrayed. The Battle of Northampton 1460” which explores the significance of the battle fought at Delapré Abbey.
Eleanor Sier, Head of Engagement and Interpretation at Delapré Abbey said “We’re delighted to launch these new information boards with Northamptonshire Battlefields Society. Battlefields may lack formal protection, but their historical significance should not be overlooked. By fostering public awareness and encouraging local communities to become advocates and caretakers of these sites, we can ensure their preservation. Understanding why battles like the Battle of Northampton are important equips us with the knowledge needed to safeguard our shared heritage.”
Graham Evans of the Northamptonshire Battlefields Society added, “Ever since we were founded in 2014 we have wanted to provide informative and accessible battlefield interpretation panels at Delapré. This aim was incomplete when our original Chair, well-known local historian Mike Ingram, died in December 2021. Since then, we have made it our mission to see his vision realised. There’s been a lot of hard work put into this project by both the Society and the Abbey over the last 12 months, and finally to have them in place is a dream come true. This development has been funded jointly by our members, the Abbey and the Battlefields Trust. We would also like to extend our gratitude to Nenescape for the funding grant which kicked the project off last year. We hope this project provides a fitting memorial to the much missed Mike Ingram.”
The Battle of Northampton in 1460 was significant as it marked a turning point in the Wars of the Roses, featured the first large-scale use of artillery in England, led to the capture of King Henry VI, and shaped the future of England by contributing to the rise of the Yorkist faction and eventual establishment of the Tudor dynasty.
All activities are free except for Dr. Dan Spencer’s talk at 11am where there is a £5 charge. To find out more and book tickets visit delapreabbey.org/events.