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 
You can click on the image below to view a larger version of the image
Click on this image to enlarge
View of the battlefield from the royalist right
More Images - click any number below to view gallery images:
1 2 3 4 5
Battle of Ripple
13th April 1643

The Battle of Ripple Field was part of a struggle between the royalists and parliamentarians for control of the Severn Valley in the first half of 1643. After manoeuvrings by both armies on either side of the river through early April, the parliamentarian commander, Sir William Waller, advanced from Tewkesbury to try and capture the bridge at Upton and keep the royalists under Prince Maurice on the west side of the river.  However, Maurice beat him to the bridge, crossed it and turned south, meeting the parliamentarian force just north of Ripple village on 13 April 1643.

Following an ineffectual cavalry attack on the royalists and a lacklustre artillery barrage, Waller, outnumbered and with his position threatened by Maurice’s musketeers, decided to withdraw.  Maurice attacked as this was happening, causing the screening force to flee and disrupt the retreat.  A running fight ensued back toward Tewkesbury, though Waller’s men were saved by a relief force arriving north of the town.    

The area of the battlefield is largely unspoilt.  The low ridge of Ordnance Hill dominates the area north of the village and the lanes on either side seem to be those that were there at the time of the battle if Ogilvy’s 1675 map of the route between Bristol and Worcester 1675 is correct. From the accounts of the battle it appears the lanes alongside the battlefield were hedged.  Nineteenth century enclosure awards appear to have divided the area of fighting further, though a good appreciation of the ground is still possible. South of the village the road running to Tewkesbury below the county boundary at Bow bridge, down which Waller's men retreated, appears now to exist only as a bridleway and footpath.         

The church of St Mary in the village holds a memorial to Brigadier Peter Young, the doyen of Civil War historians who formed the re-enactment society, the Sealed Knot, in the late 1960s and who was a resident in the village for a number of years. The Sealed Knot's Book of Remembrance is also held by the church.  


Key Facts


Period: English Civil War

Date: 13th April 1643 - Afternoon

Place: Ripple, Worcestershire

Location: Accurate

Campaign: Severn Valley 1643

Commanders:  Royalist - Prince Maurice, Parliament – Sir William Waller

Numbers: c.2,000 for the royalists, c.1,500 for the parliamentarians, mostly cavalry

Outcome: Royalist victory

Casualties: Royalist c.10 killed, Parliament c.100 killed, plus wounded on each side not known

Grid Reference: SO873378

OS Landranger Map: 150

OS Explorer Map: 190


Printer Friendly VersionClose Window