‘He marched them up to the top of the hill’ - remembering the Battle of Wakefield

Sandal castle event to mark the 553rd anniversary of the War of the Roses Battle of Wakefield.'w307h354
Sandal castle event to mark the 553rd anniversary of the War of the Roses Battle of Wakefield.'w307h354

Children will learn how to fight like soldiers of the War of the Roses during an afternoon of events to commemorate the Battle of Wakefield.

The historic battle was fought on December 30, 1460 and it is believed Richard Duke of York was killed in the conflict close the monument on Manygates Lane which marks the spot where he fell.

It is also thought his poor military skills on the day inspired the nursery rhyme The Grand Old Duke of York.

He was slaughtered with his Yorkist army of around 5,000 when facing King Henry VI’s opposing Lancastrian force of 15,000.

To commemorate the 554th anniversary of the battle, the Friends of Sandal Castle have organised a day of activities which will also include talks and tours of the historic castle.

Group member Dr Keith Souter said: “We have been organising events for the last three years to show that the castle is a great venue.

“It is about making people aware of the rich history Wakefield has and the important part Sandal Castle played in it.”

The activities will start with a lecture on Richard Duke of York by historian Helen Cox from 11am.

This will be followed by a tour of Sandal Castle led by Mrs Cox and The Frei Compagnie, a history reenactment group who will be dressed in Wars of the Roses costumes.

The tour will take place from 12.15pm to 1pm.

Guests can also enjoy a parade from the visitor centre to the monument on Manygate Lane from 1pm, where The Frei Compagnie will lay a wreath.

A show and tell event will also take place in the visitor centre.

Children will learn how to fight like War of the Roses soldiers from 2pm.

The afternoon will finish with a demonstration of 15th century medieval weapons on the gun emplacement in the moat from 2.30pm.

Friends of Sandal Castle will also be providing soup, cakes, coffee and tea in the visitor centre.

The free event takes place on Sunday, December 28

The group asks for small donations for the soup and coffee.

For more information Visit www.experiencewakefield.co.uk