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View from Moorside road, close to the probable initial royalist position on Hungar Hill. Looking north, down across the remaining area of Adwalton Moor within Drighlington village. Johnson (2003)argues that the enclosures for which the main action was fought lay where the houses stand on the north edge of the moor.
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Battle of Adwalton Moor
30th June 1643

On the 30th June 1643 in the battle of Adwalton Moor the dogged resistance of parliament’s heavily outnumbered Northern Association army was finally broken. But Lord Fairfax’s small, mainly infantry force had come close to a stunning victory.

This was the year of great royalist advances across England and in the North it was Adwalton Moor that was the deciding engagement. With this victory much of the north of England fell to the king. After Marston Moor this was the second most important action fought in the North during the Civil War.

The landscape has changed somewhat since 1643, with the enclosure of further parts of Adwalton Moor. The battlefield has also suffered significantly from industrialisation in the later 19th and earlier 20th century. It is now under pressure from housing, industrial and road construction as the suburbs of Bradford reach its northern periphery. Despite this, a substantial part of the moor is still unenclosed common, though encircled by housing, while a large part of the enclosures of 1643 still survive undeveloped.

There are many questions about exactly where particular elements of the action were fought and exactly which enclosures existed in 1643, but it is a well documented battle and the battlefield has a high archaeological potential to allow these questions to be answered. It is also a battlefield that is well worth visiting, for aspects of the terrain can still be grasped very clearly and there is good public access across much of the area.


Name: Battle of Adwalton Moor

Type: Battle
Campaign: The Campaign for the North: 1643

War period: The Civil Wars
Outcome: Royalist victory
Country: England
County: West Yorkshire
Place: Drighlington; Adwalton
Location: secure

Terrain: moorland & enclosed fields
Date: 30th June 1643
Start: approximately 9am
Duration: about 3 hours

Armies: Parliamentarian: mainly musketeers under Lord Fairfax ; Royalist: balanced army of cavalry, pike and musket under Earl of Newcastle
Numbers: Royalist: circa 10,000, 5000 cavalry, 5000 infantry; Parliamentarian: circa 4000 plus some clubmen, about 500 cavalry, 3500 infantry

Losses: Royalist: light; Parliamentarian: circa 500

Grid Reference: SE215289 (421560,428953)
OS Landranger map: 104
OS Explorer map: 288


Historic England Battlefields Register CLICK HERE

Historic England battlefield report for Battle of Adwalton Moor 1643


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