The Battle of Mortimer’s Cross took place on February 2, 1461. Here, in a Herefordshire field, 18 year old  Edward earl of March, gazed up and saw the phenomena known as the Parhelion, the three suns, rising in the sky. His men were frightened but Edward turned the situation to his advantage, telling his army of approx 5000 that the three suns represented the Trinity and were an indication that God was on his side.

Edward’s remit was to defeat the Lancastrian forces of Jasper and Owen Tudor, and thus keep them from joining with the main Lancastrian army of Queen Margaret. Owen Tudor tried to encircle the Yorkist forces with his battalion but he was driven back and routed; when this occurred, Jasper Tudor’s centre also collapsed. The Lancastrians were chased as far as Hereford, where Owen Tudor was captured and beheaded in the town square.

One month later, Edward entered London and was declared Edward IV of England.

Despite the importance of this battle of the Wars of the Roses, it seems there has been little archaeology done on the battlefield. As with so many of these medieval battles, even the exact location of the fighting is debatable. (Some say it took place in the valley with the river Lugg at Edward’s rear, but Gregory’s Chronicle describes a ‘fair plain.)

However, some of these mysteries may well be resolved in the near future. The Heritage Lottery Fund has granted £84,000 to investigate the battlefield, which may contain the mass graves of fallen soldiers.





  1. It does seem to be passed over compared to other WOTRS battles. I wonder whether the archaeology will reveal a similar level of brutality as the Towton grave pits? Towton is usually presented as a particularly ferocious and brutal encounter but it would be interesting to see whether the atrocities committed against prisoners were borne out here too.


  2. Was Edward murdered by Woodville power, could that be why haste was needed in his burial .Not informing Edwards brother Richard in the North of England? If so it all went wrong for everyone involved in Royal family. Was then Edward married to Talbot girl before ever he tied the knot with the Wodeville witch? Stillington did say he had married them and then vanished. Richard took the throne on suspicions that Woodvilles would kill him. As in Richards mind the boys he loved as nephews must be denounced as bastards was hard enough. He then in clear mind took the throne he knew was his. No motive to have to kill them he was King already. To use that argument that he killed the boys so Woodvilles had no figure head is rubbish, why? owing to Edwards daughters able to be Queen. He however , knowing law he failed to rid himself of them. Motive now removed. Look to who could possible have motive and one comes to a vicious mother and a real bastard son in the wings for Kingship. Two ways , she knew the blame would fall on Richard.Him removed and also the way paved for Tudor with no one in the way to the throne. No Neville could have stooped so low as to murder children. I am Richards bloodline as my tree takes us back to Geoffrey of Anjou . My grandmother Alice Neville so maybe I have a vested interest in proving my case.


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