Well, this isn’t my usual era of interest, in fact, it’s a tad too modern for me but it is on my doorstep in a magnificent part of the world (Southwolds, nr Bath actually) so deserved some air time I thought. I am also of Cornish blood so who knows if one of these soldiers would have been an ancestor?!
This was one of the many battles in the English Civil War and contained a tough foot regiment of Cornishmen, who had rose up for the Royalists against Parliament forces earlier in 1642. Under the command of Sir Bevil Grenville, who had endorsed Sir Ralph Horton as commander of the Cornish force, they eventually took control of the ridge at Lansdown against a Parliamentary cavalry force. Knowing how high Lansdown is (it commands views as distant as Wales across Bristol), this must have been an extraordinary feat. This photo was taken just a little way up from the battle site and is actually at a slightly lower altitude than Lansdown Hill itself.
Although inconclusive, the Parliamentarians did retreat to Bath. Unfortunately, Sir Bevil Grenville sustained a head injury at the battle site and died the next day. This monument stands where he was injured:
This had a detrimental effect to the morale of the Cornish and sadly, many of them were killed just a few weeks later in an assault on Bristol led by Prince Rupert.
Although a beautiful part of the country, this area has seen much bloodshed over time, including the Battle of Dyrham in 577 just a couple of miles away. But that tale will save for another day!
http://bcw-project.org/biography/sir-bevil-grenville [accessed 4.12.14]