Unseen artefacts from defining conflict of the English Civil War shown in Battle of Naseby

By Ben Miller | 09 September 2010
An image of a painting of a 17th century battle
The Battle of Naseby has proved almost as divisive among historians as it did for the two sides involved
Exhibition: The Battle of Naseby, Harborough Museum, Market Harborough, September 15 2010 – March 16 2011

The Battle of Naseby is an oft-debated one. During a complex scrap between Oliver Cromwell's presiding New Model Army and King Charles I's Royalists, middle England witnessed a foreboding approach, bloody noon massacre, eventual Royalist retreat amid thousands of casualties and an aftermath involving the surrender of Oxford.

The only conclusion everyone can agree on is that it was the defining battle of the first English Civil War, but the fascinating investigations into the truth have made all the uncertainty well worthwhile.

A photo of a carving of the head of a dragon
An Indonesian dragon-headed hilt from a sword found at the battlefield
In 2006, after decades of national and local interpretation and conjecture, the Naseby Battlefield Project was established to build on public excitement surrounding the site and enhance it through tours and educational resources, with the ultimate aim of creating visitor centres and exhibitions.

This display is a perfect encapsulation of the rich findings they have at their disposal – cannon balls, defaced coins and two Indonesian dragon-headed sword hilts form the star exhibits from that day 365 years ago, along with musket shots, broken weapons, defaced images of King Charles and a 19th century painting of the battle.

Many of them are on show for the first time, accompanied by a re-enactment and arts and crafts day for families on September 18

"The Naseby Battlefield Project’s work in promoting such an important but often-neglected part of our history is vital," says Leicestershire County Council’s David Sprason. "It has been a privilege to work with them."

Visit www.naseby.com for more.
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