THE ANNIVERSARY of the first battle of the English Civil War got the royal seal of approval.
St Peter’s Church in Radway – which is host to a permanent exhibition commemorating the Battle of Edgehill – welcomed visitors at the weekend to an open day marking the 404th anniversary.
Items on display included weapons and uniforms, coins and documents, and a rare framed document signed by King Charles I containing the original royal seal.
The village of Radway sits within the battlefield and public footpaths form part of the Battlefields Trust trail across the site.
On October 23 1642, the Battle of Edgehill saw the 12,500-strong Parliamentarian army, led by Lord Essex, come face to face with Charles I and his Royalist army of 13,500 men, on a glorious sunny autumn afternoon on Sunday October 23, 1642.
Not only was it the first pitched battle of the English Civil War, it was also the longest, spanning three days, although the actual result was somewhat inconclusive with both sides finally going their own way – but not before leaving an estimated 1,000 dead, and nearly 3,000 injured.
Despite no clear outcome, the severity of the fighting and the length of the battle sent a clear message to the country it was to be war in earnest.
Edgehill battlefield is the largest battlefield on the English Heritage Battlefields Register, stretching from the escarpment of Edgehill and sweeping down some 2.5 miles to Kineton.
Visit www.battleofedgehillexhibitionradway.org.uk for more information on the exhibition.