Visitors had a rare opportunity to see where a victorious Henry VII raised the Royal standard when a Nottinghamshire stately home opened up its grounds for an event to mark the 530th anniversary of one of England’s bloodiest battles.
Stoke Hall, in East Stoke, held the two-day event on Saturday and Sunday to commemorate the Battle of Stoke Field, a bitterly fought conflict in 1487 which is regarded by historians as the last act in the War of the Roses.
Much of the battlefield is now on private land and usually out of bounds, but the hall’s owners, Bryan and Diane Ansell, who also operate the Foundry military model-making company, sought permission from landowners to allow members of the public access.
The tours will be led by medieval historian Mike Ingram, while there will also be combat displays from reenactment group The Beauforte Companye and a display of 6,000 painted miniature military models, including 300 War of the Roses models from Bryan’s private collection, which have never been put on public view before.
The weekend included a participation wargame and a talk on Henry VII’s life, given by Nathen Amin, author and founder of the Henry Tudor Society.
Although less well known than the Battle of Bosworth, the Battle of Stoke Field is believed to have been bigger and represented the House of York’s last attempt to wrest back control of England from King Henry VII, who was crowned after the Yorkists were vanquished by the Lancastrians at Bosworth two years earlier.