As this was a largely enclosed landscape it was infantry not cavalry terrain. Leaving the cavalry in reserve on a sandy common to the rear, the Royalist infantry had crept close to the base of the hill on the evening of the 15th and occupied the enclosures there. At daybreak they were surprised to discover parliamentarian troops lining the hedges only some 200 yards from them.
Hopton divided his forces into four columns attacking from the west, south and north, deliberately avoiding the steep escarpment on the east of the hill. The precipitous eastern slope of the hill acted as a safeguard to attack for the parliamentarians but also severely restricted their movements. Hopton’s forces attacked at 5 o’clock in the morning fighting through the enclosures to force the parliamentarians back up the hill.
The Cornish hedges provided ideal cover for infantry and a fierce firefight ensued, the troops fighting from hedge to hedge and the pike forcing a passage along the lanes. The battle raged throughout the morning with the royalist forces drawing closer together as they forced their way up the hill. A counter attack led by Chudleigh was repelled by the royalists and Chudleigh himself was captured.
It may be that the lanes at that time led out onto an open area near the hilltop. Here by mid-afternoon the Royalist units had come together, but were desperately short of ammunition. But in the face of a concerted attack from the combined royalist force, the Parliamentarian defence was broken on the left flank and they were soon routed.