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Myton on Swale village sign
 
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Battle of Myton
20th September 1319

The battle of Myton was an unequal match between a battle hardened Scottish army and an inexperienced Yorkshire militia force. Instead of achieving their intended surprise attack, the English were caught while in disarray. Their line of retreat across Myton bridge was cut off by an outflanking move and, as they fled, many English were cut down while others drowned trying to cross the river Swale. Myton was a crushing defeat, forcing Edward II to raise the siege of Berwick and, as this was their original objective, the victorious army immediately retreated into Scotland with their prisoners.

 

The action was fought on the west side of the river Swale on what in the 14th century was hay meadows and open fields. Today the landscape is completely transformed. The floodplain meadows have been drained and cultivated and the whole landscape enclosed in hedged fields. Even the exact location of the medieval bridge is uncertain. But the area has not been built over or quarried and so future archaeological investigation could, perhaps, help to answer many of the questions about exactly where and how the battle was fought.

 

This is now a secluded landscape with a feeling of remoteness that makes a very pleasant battlefield walk, though the uncertainties about the exact location of the action are a problem. The site has to be explored on foot but can be approached by car, along quiet lanes, and there is good pedestrian access via public rights of way and the Countryside Stewardship scheme.

 

 

KEY FACTS

 

Name: Battle of Myton (The White Battle)

Type: Battle

Campaign: Northern campaign of 1319

War: Scottish War of Independence

Outcome: Scottish victory

Country: England

County: North Yorkshire

Place: Myton

Location: Approximate

Terrain: Meadow & Open Field?

Grid Ref: SE 428 675 (442800,467500)

Date: 20th September 1319

Start: afternoon

Duration: until night

Armies: English: under Archbishop of York; Scottish: under the Earl of Moray / Lord James Douglas

Numbers: Scottish: perhaps 10-15,000; English: possibly 10-20,000

Losses: English: claims of 1,000-4,000; Scottish: few

OS Landranger map: 99

OS Explorer map: 299

  

 

English Heritage Battlefields Register report CLICK HERE

 

 

   
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