Walking in the Royalists Footsteps
Three hundred and sixty three years ago Sir Jacob Astley set out for Oxford from the town of Bridgnorth with a small army raised from Wales and the West. This was Charles 1st last hope. Defeated in many battles against Cromwell’s new model army he was surrounded by Parliamentarians in the royal capital of England during the civil war – Oxford. But Astley did not make it. On March 21st 1646 his force was attacked by Parliamentarian forces arriving from various parts of the country. The battle took place near the village of Donnington and the defeated Royalists retreated to Stow on the Wold where they surrendered and were locked in the local church. Blood flowed that day through the streets of Stow.
Rob Walters is writing a book entitled the Battle for Stow. It uses the Battle as a backcloth to the battles that are going on in Stow on the Wold and numberless small towns and villages throughout the country in the 21st century. He is launching a blog to allow anyone so minded to suggest things that should be included in the book and to comment on the items that he uproots. You can find the blog at www.battleforstow.blogspot.com
To get himself into the spirit of the battle Rob is going to repeat Astley’s march starting at Bridgnorth on March 17th and arriving at the battle site on the evening of the 20th. He will then sleep in nearby fields, just as the Royalists did and awake for the dawn of March 21st when the battle began more than three and half centuries ago. His journey will take him along the Severn Way, turning off at Worcester, then to Bidford where Astley finally crossed the Avon watched by the growing roundhead army.
Rob’s home in Stow looks across the valley towards the battle ground along the probable route taken by the fleeing soldiers. He will finish his walk appropriately at Stow Church where the soldiers were incarcerated before being marched to Gloucester.
I would be grateful if you could publish the blog address and invite anyone interested in this project to contact me.
Author, guide, beer lover, traveller
Iverley House, Evesham Road,
Stow on the Wold, GL54 1EJ
See www.satin.co.uk for latest writing and tours