New work – Conflict, Memory and Landscape
While researching the genre of ‘late photography’ for Contextual Studies I came across several photographic-artists that used the genre very effectively to photograph places altered by conflict. Bart Michiels, Simon Norfolk and Richard Misrach spring immediately to mind. My body of work so far has concentrated on places effected violent crime. Now I am on the final course of my degree I thought it would be good to start expanding my project to include places altered by conflict (specifically historical battlefields in England). I have always had a keen interest in the history of conflict so it seems only natural to go in this direction for the final leg of my degree. I plan to photograph between 12-14 sites altered by conflict around the UK. I could include battlefields from the Civil War, the Wars of the Roses and even older conflicts with the Norman and Vikings. I have found some very useful websites that give consise information about various battles often including dates, number of combatants casualties and locations. It will be good to do some more practical work after spending a lot of time preparing for assessments at the start of this year. I aim to photograph the locations at roughly the same time that the battles took place, this will allow me to record each site with lighting similar to the day of the battle.
1st Battle of St Albans – 22nd May 1455 (Wars of the Roses).
Place – Streets of St Albans
Sopwell Lane barricade
Victoria Street Barricade
Time – Mid-morning
Casualties – About 150.
2nd Battle of St Albans – 17th February 1461 (Wars of the Roses).
Place – In the town of St Albans and to the north.
Time – Dawn.
Casualties – About 2500.
Battle of Barnet – 14th April 1471 (Wars of the Roses)
Casualties – around 3000 men were kill or injured.
Time – Battle started at 5am in the morning.
Place – The exact location is Gladmore Heath (now called Hadley Green) in Monken Hadley, to the north of Barnet. An obelisk was built at the exact location of the battlefield to commemorate the decisive battle, but was later moved 300 metres away to he north.
Battle of Maldon – 10th August 991 (Britons, Saxons and Vikings).
Time – Battle started when low tide allowed the Vikings to cross the land bridge from the island at about 1pm.
Casualties – unknown.
Place – “The Vikings sailed up to a small island in the river. At low tide, the river leaves a land bridge from this island to the shore; the description seems to have matched the Northey Island causeway at that time. This would place the site of the battle about two miles southeast of Maldon.”
Battle of Brentwood – 12th November 1642 (Civil war).
Place – Brentford bridge (over the river Brent) was one of the key locations. Near Kew Gardens.
Casualties – 170 killed and unknown number injured.
Time – Midday and into the afternoon.
“On earlier reaching London the Earl of Essex had not been idle and had rapidly positioned men on the western approaches to London. One force covered the bridge at Kingston upon Thames while another, to the west, barricaded the small town of Brentford, the main crossing of a tributary to the Thames, concentrating their efforts in the proximity of the bridge that connected Old Brentford to New Brentford and the Bath Road (which passes Colnbrook) to London”.
“The parliamentary pickets at Sir Richard Wynn’s House were cleared by Salisbury’s regiment and the royalists advanced to find the entrance to Brentford blocked by a small barricade, probably at the bridge across the River Brent. A further royalist attack by 1,000 musketeers dislodged the parliamentary troops there in under one hour and forced them to retreat to another defensive barricade, probably located on the crest of the rising ground near the modern day Ferry Lane. This was defended by Lord Brooke’s purple coated regiment of foot and two small pieces of artillery. The royalists seem to have had some difficulty in overcoming this obstacle, assaulting it with six regiments of foot and being forced to outflank the position to make it untenable”.
Battle of Turnham Green – 13th November 1642 (Civil war).
Casualties – More of a skirmish with less than 50 casualties on both sides.
Time – The battle lasted all day from morning until evening and concluded with a Royalist retreat.
Place – “The site of the battle was then open fields, but is now urbanised, forming part of the Chiswick area of London. Most of the Turnham Green itself has been lost, with only a small park retaining the name. The Great West Road still runs on almost the same alignment.
The Parliamentary forces were deployed in a line running south from the location of the present-day Turnham Green station, to the grounds of Chiswick House,which had been built in c. 1610 (the current house was built in the 1720s on the same site). The slightly shorter Royalist line started just south of today’s Chiswick Park station and extended southwards to the Great West Road”.
Battle of Northampton – 10th July 1460 (Wars of the Roses)
Place – Delapre Park, Northampton.
Delapre Park is open to the public and access is possible by footpath across the battlefield, including the golf course, provided recognised footpaths are observed. A battlefield room with interactive displays is located in the Delapre Abbey visitor attraction.
Time – 2pm
Casualties – More than 3000.
Battle of Edgcote – 26th July 1469 (Wars of the Roses)
Place – “The Battle of Edgecote Moor took place 6 miles (9.7 km) north east of Banbury, Oxfordshire, in what is now the civil parish of Chipping Warden and Edgcote, England on 26 July 1469 during the Wars of the Roses. The site of the battle was actually Danes Moor in Northamptonshire, at a crossing of a tributary of the River Cherwell”.
Time – Morning
Casualties – Uncertain but thought to be high.
Battle of Naseby – 14th June 1645 (Civil war)
Place – Broad Moor, Naseby.
Time – Morning
Casualties – About 2000 killed. Unusually 100 women found in the Royalist camp were slaughtered after the battle by Parliamentary soldiers.
Battle of Chalgrove (Field) – 18th June 1643 (Civil war). (Note – near Didcot)
Place – “Chalgrove battlefield remains largely as agricultural land. The World War II airfield to the west covers a substantial area of land but appears not to impinge upon the core of the battlefield. The battlefield lies between the airfield and Warpsgrove Lane, thought the precise area of deployment is the subject of some debate. Cases have been put forward for the Upper Marsh Lane area by the Chalgrove Battlefield Group or closer to the airfield by others. To the east of Warpsgrove Lane there is extensive industrial development”.
“The area is legally protected being a registered battlefield with English Heritage. It is marked by the Hampden Monument, a stone obeliskerected for the battle’s bicentenary in 1843.However it should be noted that the monument does not actually mark the site of the battle. The main focus of the battle was 770 yards north of the monument”.
Warpsgrove Lane passed through a gap in the Great Hedge.
Time – 9:30am
Casualties – Between 100-200.
Battle of Cropredy Bridge – 29 June 1644 (Civil war). (Note – This is close to Edgcote).
Place – “Access to the battlefield, bridges and fords is good, with a network of public rights of way across much of the area. Only Hay’s bridge and the action in that quarter of the battlefield is more difficult of access, mainly due to the volume and speed of the traffic on the A361, which even lacks a substantial roadside verge. The prospect from the hills near Bourton and near Williamscot are particularly rewarding for an overview of the battlefield. However, despite the fact that the bridge has long since been completely rebuilt, the centrepiece of any visit has to be to Cropredy bridge itself, where an interpretation panel has been erected by the Battlefields Trust”.
Time – Morning (lasted all day)
Casualties – More than 500.
Battle of Stow on the Wold – 21st March 1646 (Civil war)
Place – One mile north west of the town, concluding with fighting retreat in the town ending at the market Square. A424 near Greenfield Farm.
Time – Early morning.
Casualties – About 2000 killed, injured or taken prisoner.
Battle of Newbury I – 20th September 1643 (Civil war)
Battle of Newbury II – 27th October 1644 (Civil war)
Battle of Lewes – 14th May 1264 (Medieval)
Place – Offham Hill, North West of Lewes.
Time – Morning, started at dawn.
Casualties – At least 2700 killed or injured.
Battle of Hastings – 14th October 1066 (Britons, Saxons and Vikings)
Place – Senlac Hill, town of Battle, seven miles North of Hastings.
Time – Morning. Fighting continued all day.
Casualties – About 6000 killed.