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St James Square in Boroughbridge with the old fountain built on an artesian well
St James Square in Boroughbridge with the old fountain built on an artesian well

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Route No. 578 - Friday 3 April 2015
Langthorpe picnic site, Boroughbridge,
River Ure, Aldborough circuit - 7km
Boroughbridge . . .

Battle of Boroughbridge 1322

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 299 Ripon & Boroughbridge


The car park at the Langthorpe picnic site where we assembled for the Battle of Boroughbridge Walk (1322)
The car park at the Langthorpe picnic site where we assembled for the Battle of Boroughbridge Walk (1322)

Weir across the R. Ure at the Langthorpe picnic
Weir across the R. Ure at the Langthorpe picnic area

Setting off to cross the R.Ure on the stone bridge
Setting off to cross the R.Ure on the stone bridge

The rest of the armies face each other across an ancient ford over the River Ure downstream of Boroughbridge. The Earl of Hereford launched his attack across the wooden bridge and was killed by a pikeman. The Earl of Lancaster launched his attack on the ford and his cavalry was cut down by archers before they could even reach the river. This was the end of the Earl of Lancaster's revolt and all the leaders of the revolt were either killed in battle or executed afterwards.

This weekend is the third Boroughbridge walking festival after the town was awarded "Walkers are Welcome" status. This morning my friend, Jim, and I drove to the little parking area and picnic site by the River Ure at Langthorpe on the opposite side of the river to Boroughbridge. There we joined the group of over a dozen people assembling for the first walk of the festival. A short route around the site of the Battle of Boroughbridge that took place in March 1322. As part of an ongoing power struggle the Earl of Lancaster and his supporters had allied themselves with the Scotts against King Edward II. The King's General Harclay had out manoeuvred The forces of the Earls of Lancaster and Hereford and their armies face each other across the River Ure in two groups, one across the wooden bride over the river where our walk starts.

This was the man to follow
This was the man to follow

R.Ure from the bridge as we crossed into Boroughbridge
R.Ure from the bridge as we crossed into Boroughbridge

From time to time we stopped along the way whilst he set the scene of the battle for us. From the picnic area we crossed the present day stone bridge over the River Ure where the wooden bridge stood at the time of the battle. On the Boroughbridge side of the river there is a blue history plaque noting a brief account of the battle.

So we all set off from the picnic site to walk around the battlefield sites. We had two walk leaders from the organisers of the walking festival and they had recruited a local expert who was well known for his talks on the battle and its place in the history of the times.

Blue history plaque on the bridge
Blue history plaque on the bridge

Making our way through Boroughbridge along Horsefair
Making our way through Boroughbridge along Horsefair

Making our way through Boroughbridge along Back Lane
Making our way through Boroughbridge along Back Lane

On the edge of Boroughbridge we turned left off the Aldborough Road to follow a track down to the flood bank by the River Ure just downstream of the town.

From there we continued through Boroughbridge and out along the road towards Aldborough.

Making our way through Boroughbridge along Fishergate
Making our way through Boroughbridge along Fishergate

Making our way through Boroughbridge along York Road
Making our way through Boroughbridge along York Road

Following the public footpath along the River Ure floodbank
Following the public footpath along the River Ure floodbank

Turning off the road to follow the track to the river
Turning off the road to follow the track to the river

Following the public footpath along the River Ure floodbank
Following the public footpath along the River Ure floodbank

Today the river is quite different with its high floodbanks and the junction of the river and the canal. At the time of the battle, the flat land to the south would have sloped down to the river crossing with a steeper rise to the higher land on the north side where the King's archers were positions enabling them to cover the approaching cavalry with their arrows with devastating effect.

We followed the public footpath along the top of the floodbank to a point just beyond the end of the Milby Cut Canal to the place where it is thought the ancient ford used to be on the line of a Roman Road from the Roman town of Isurium about 700m southeast of the river.

Following the path on to the floodbank
Following the path on to the floodbank

Looking back to the lock entrance to the Milby Cut canal
Looking back to the lock entrance to the Milby Cut canal

Standing by the site of the ancient ford across the river to hear the story of the battle here in 1322
Standing by the site of the ancient ford across the river to hear the story of the battle here in 1322

Ellenthorpe Hall across the river on the north bank
Ellenthorpe Hall across the river on the north bank


Turning on to the lane leading out to the road

Track to the road on the edge of Aldborough
Track to the road on the edge of Aldborough

Across the fields to our right was Aldborough Hall. The track brought us to a minor road where we turned right to follow this road into Aldborough.

From here we continued along the flood bank past Ellenthorpe Hall across the river on the north bank. A few hundred metres past the hall we turned right off the flood bank to follow a tarmac track.

Continuing along the floodbank path
Continuing along the floodbank path

Odd looking brick wall along side the track
Odd looking brick wall along side the track

Aldborough Hall
Aldborough Hall

The road into Aldborough
The road into Aldborough

St. Andrews Church in Aldborough
St. Andrews Church in Aldborough

Blue history plaque by the Battle Cross
Blue history plaque by the Battle Cross

There was a blue history plaque explaining that this is The Battle Cross commemorating the Battle of Boroughbridge and it had been moved from the Boroughbridge market place in 1852.

We passed the entrance to Aldborough Hall on our right and the parish church on our left. We came to the eroded sandstone memorial cross at the road junction just beyond the church.

The Ship Inn in Aldborough
The Ship Inn in Aldborough

The Battle Cross moved here in 1852
The Battle Cross moved here in 1852

The road leading out of Aldborough
The road leading out of Aldborough


Passing the old water fountain in St.James Square

The walk leaders had kept our little flock together and we had been given a very interesting commentary about the battle of 1322 as we made our way around the route. The walk had been sponsored by The Grantham Arms just across the road from the car park.

From there we followed the road back into Boroughbridge. We walked through the St. James Square where the fountain that is on an artesian well was the town's water supply in the past. We continued back through the town and across the bridge over the River Ure to the car park & picnic site at Langthorpe and the end of the walk.

Road from Aldborough to Boroughbridge
Road from Aldborough to Boroughbridge

Heading back through Boroughbridge along High Street
Heading back through Boroughbridge along High Street

Back at the Langthorpe picnic site at the end of the walk
Back at the Langthorpe picnic site at the end of the walk

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