Towton, which was fought near Selby, has the dubious honour of being the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil.
It was part of the Wars of the Roses, and took place on a snowy Palm Sunday - which fell on March 29 that year. Over 28,000 men are reported to have died out of a combined fighting force of over 50,000.The Duke of York's army defeated the House of Lancaster and he took the throne to become King Edward IV. Astute tactical use of the Yorkist archers paved the way for victory, and they were later boosted by the arrival of reinforcements led by the Duke of Norfolk.More Lancastrians were actually killed fleeing the battlefield than during the 10 hours of hand-to-hand combat. Many drowned in the Cock Beck and River Wharfe while trying to escape, and the water turned red with blood. Archers targeted the soldiers as they fled.
Despite the Yorkists being initially outnumbered when they arrived at the site, their tactical acumen saw them rout their foes. A number of Lancastrian prisoners were executed soon after battle.
The House of Lancaster's power declined, and their leader, King Henry VI, fled to Scotland while Edward theld the throne for the next nine years. Henry was later restored as king.
The Towton Cross memorial was erected in 1929, and mass graves were found in the centuries after the battled.