Archaeological finds from the Battle of Naseby explored in display at Harborough Museum

By Richard Moss | 04 October 2010
a battle painting showing Oliver Crowmwell at the centre of a busy and brutal clash of cavalry
© Cromwell Museum, Huntingdon
One of the most important battles in English history and a pivotal clash of the English Civil War are being revisited in a fascinating exhibition of battlefield archaeology and historic artefacts at Harborough Museum.

The Battle of Naseby saw Parliament's New Model Army defeat the Royalist forces of King Charles I so overwhelmingly that the King's attempt to wage war was effectively over.

The items on display from this bloody clash of arms include sword hilts, cannon balls, coins and even a poignant love token. Many of them have been drawn from the collection of the Naseby Battlefield Project, which has been investigating the site since 2001 and working to shed more light on the events of June 14 1645.

a photo of a carved head of a dragon
Dragon headed sword hilts favoured by Royalist noblemen © Cromwell Museum Huntingdon
Some of these intriguing remnants, which are being displayed for the first time, tell the story from the point of view of ordinary soldiers. 

Coins recovered at the site bear the defaced image of King Charles and attest to the motivation of Cromwell's highly politicised New Model Army, and a pair of Indonesian sword hilts with intricately carved dragon motifs reveal the opulent tastes of high ranking Royalists. 

These and other objects join a stunning 19th century painting of the battle loaned from the Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon.

Visitors can also enjoy a walking trail across Harborough, which has been developed by the Naseby Battlefield Project who continue to work to improve interpretation at the site with viewing platforms, displays and an audio guide that can be downloaded from the Project’s website, www.naseby.com.
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