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Unique event to mark the day when a monarch lost half his kingdom

15 March 2017

It was the biggest battle fought on English soil with over 40,000 soldiers desperately fighting for their cause on a summer's evening.

Marston Moor on 2 July 1644 was a turning point in the British Civil Wars when Royalist and Parliamentarian forces with their Scots allies clashed five miles west of York.

Over three hours fate swung against King Charles I, not least because of the generalship of Oliver Cromwell, whose cavalry charged and regrouped to unleash mayhem on the enemy ranks.

By nightfall more than 4,000 men were dead, many more injured or captured, and the north of England lost to the crown.

Now this landmark in the nation's history is being recalled on Saturday 3 June with a day-long series of talks and walks on the battlefield led by experts.

The venue is Marston Grange*, one of several farms occupying the registered battle site, whose owners are staging the event in association with the Royal Armouries and the National Civil War Centre.  

There'll be access to parts of the battlefield off limits to the public, together with a chance to examine poignant local finds, including spurs, muskets balls and belt buckles. Learn more about the tactics, arms and armour that made Marston Moor so deadly with curators Keith Dowen (Royal Armouries) and Glyn Hughes (National Civil War Centre) and handle period relics such as pistols and swords. Then take a tour of the battlefield with author Dave Cooke, a leading authority on Yorkshire's civil war past. 

Glyn Hughes said: 

“Marston Moor is one of the best preserved and most evocative sites from the period.  The battle was hugely important as it was the beginning of the end for King Charles.  He lost control of the northern shires, York and the North Sea ports and most of the key figures were here – Cromwell, Fairfax, Leven, Goring and Prince Rupert.  We'll be remembering a day when history was made.”

The event runs between 10am and 3pm and includes refreshments and a buffet lunch.  Places costing £35 per person are limited so book early.  For more information and online booking visit

*Marston Grange is a privately owned and family run arable farm. Through its well appointed Education Barn it caters for visits to the battlefield and also offers a wide variety of other events on farming, wildlife, history, horticulture, crafts and literature.