UK Battlefields - The UK Battlefields Trust Resource Centre - Sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Hartnett Trust
Home Page Printer Friendly Help Site Map Search for a Battle
   
You are currently here 
 
   
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
   
  »
pdf 
 
   
  »
pdf 
 
   
  »
pdf 
 
   
  »
pdf 
 
   
  »
jpg 
 
   
  »
jpg 
 
   
  »
jpg 
 
   
  »
jpg 
 
   
  »
jpg 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
Powick bridge viewed from the east from the modern bridge over the Teme.
 
You can click on the image below to view a larger version of the image
Click on this image to enlarge
Location map
More Images - click any number below to view gallery images:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8
Battle of Powick Bridge
23rd September 1642

 

The battle of Powick Bridge should probably be better described as a skirmish, but its wider military impact far oughtweighed its scale and direct strategic importance. At Powick the well led, well trained and highly committed royalist cavalry of Prince Rupert, the most charismatic of the King's commanders, were pitted against well equipped put far less effective cavalry under Nathaniel Fiennes. In the open fields of Wick, between the suburbs of Worcester and Powick bridge, the parlaimentarians were routed, fleeing back across the bridge. Many of the parliamentarian cavalry did not stop until they had reached the main army many miles to the south. Powick was a major propoganda victory for the royalists and a serious warning for the parliamentarians.

Though it was an insignificant skirmish compared to later battles, it was the first substantial military action of the Civil War in England and its outcome had a profound psychological effect on both sides. It demonstrated that, although parliamentarian troopers might be better equipped, they lacked the training, commitment and leadership seen amongst their royalists opponents. This royalist superiority in cavalry, both real and psychological, was to undermine the parliamentarian war effort for much of the following two years. It was not reversed until Cromwell’s Ironsides began to make their mark in late 1643 and 1644.

The exact location of the battlefield within the area of Lower Wick is not known and all of the land, except for the meadow adjacent to the bridge, has been built over. However a visit to Powick bridge is worthwhile if combined with a tour of the 1651 Worcester battlefield.

KEY FACTS

Battle Name: Battle of Powick Bridge (Battle of Wick Field)
Battle Type: skirmish
Campaign: Edgehill
War period: Civil War
Outcome: royalist victory
Country: England
County: Worcestershire

Place: Worcester (Lower Wick)
Location: approximate
Terrain: open field and hedged closes
Date: 23rd September 1642
Start: after 4:00pm

Duration: about 15 minutes

Armies: Royalist: under Prince Rupert; Parliamentarian: under Col Nathaniel Fiennes 
Numbers:  Royalists: about 1000 cavalry and dragoons: Parliamentarian: about 1000 cavalry and dragoons
Losses: parliamentarian: 30-40 killed; up to 100 wounded; royalist: very few killed
Grid Reference: SO835524 (383510,252480)
OS Landranger map: 150
OS Explorer map: 204

 

English Heritage Battlefields Register report CLICK HERE

 

   
Printer Friendly VersionClose Window