A Level History Students visit Bosworth Heritage Centre
To kick-start and help review their A-Level Tudors unit, 35 History students travelled to Bosworth Heritage centre to discover the details of the victory obtained by Henry Tudor in the fateful, final battle of the War of the Roses. Splitting into Year 12 and Year 13 groups, students undertook a tour of the battle site (or where they think the battle site is), full with reenactment of the tactics and issues faced by each side.
Students not only learnt about the historiography of the battle, but were able to learn about the tactics of the battle. Students were split into the houses of York and Lancaster, were given flags representing their noble houses and also the key nobles of the battle such as the Duke of Northumberland, Earl of Oxford, Richard III and Henry Tudor and reenacted the movement and tactical decisions that led to the unlikely victory of Henry Tudor. Arriving at the battle with an estimated 5000 troops compared to Richard’s 12,000, as well as Henry Tudor being a novice compared to Richard III being a seasoned warrior, it never seemed likely that Henry Tudor would emerge victorious. However, the fateful betrayal of William Stanley who despite being a banner man of Richard III and having his son held hostage by the King, still turned the course of the battle by betraying Richard III. This betrayal proved to be the fateful turn for Richard III. He took one last charge at Henry Tudor but fell in combat and was slaughtered with clinical efficiency before being defaced and paraded in defeat.
Students were not only able to study the military tactics, but were able to reenact them too. Commander John led the Vandyke students in a military charge and taught them how to both defend against a cavalry charge in formation and chase down their enemy. What our students lacked in ferocity, they more than made up in enthusiasm, with Commander John claiming often ‘I can hear you filthy peasants’.
Above all, our students were able to gain a valuable sense of context into the late medieval period and an insight into the character and fortune that had played a part in Henry VII launching the Tudor dynasty.
Mr Dodkin, History Department