Britain’s bloodiest battle, which saw tens of thousands killed at Towton near Tadcaster, has now been found to have extended over a far greater area than originally thought.
Local history groups have been lobbying for years for the registered battlefield to be extended, arguing its merit as a site of national importance. Now, as Historic England finds in favour of the change, campaigners say this is a step in the right direction.
“This is not only great news for our heritage, but also for the general public as the battlefield has become a successful community resource, attracting tourism and boosting the local economy,” said Mark Taylor, chair of the Towton Battlefield Society (TBS) which had fought for the change backed by research from Tim Sutherland at York University.
The site will now take in land around the villages of Towton and Saxton, including at Towton Hall where a mass grave containing 43 bodies was discovered in 1996.
Mr Sutherland said he was pleased to see the recommendations adopted, but believes it could be extended still further.
“The area around Towton which has not been registered may also have seen action in the final stages of the battle as the defeated Lancastrians ran for their lives.
“Historic England should look at this part of the battlefield again.”