Battle of Adwalton Moor

The Battle of Adwalton Moor was a battle in the English Civil War on 30 June 1643.

Battle of Adwalton Moor
Part of the First English Civil War

Battle Plaque at Adwalton Moor
Date30 June 1643
53.751°N 1.664°W / 53.751; -1.664
Result Royalist Victory
Royalists Parliamentarians
Commanders and leaders
Earl of Newcastle Sir Thomas Fairfax
Major General Gifford
10,000 3,500
Casualties and losses
Negligible 500 killed
1,400 captured[1]


The Earl of Newcastle, the Royalist commander, was marching on Bradford (which was Parliamentarian in sympathy) with 10,000 men. Fairfax, the Parliamentary commander, had 3,000-4,000 men in Bradford. Despite inferior numbers, Fairfax came to intercept the Royalist army, as Bradford was ill-prepared to resist a siege.

The Parliamentarians were due to leave Bradford at 4:00 am, but left much later on account of the "laxity or worse of General Gifford".[2] When they arrived at Adwalton Moor, the Royalist commander had deployed his army effectively and despite early success by the Parliamentarians, the strong Royalists defeated them.[3]

The battle consolidated Royalist control of Yorkshire, and has been deemed of low or medium term significance. However, historians have acknowledged that the impact of the battle, which left the Parliamentarians with only one stronghold in the north (Hull), forced the Parliamentarians into a religious and political alliance with Scotland. This in turn, led to a Parliamentary victory at the Battle of Marston Moor a year later in 1644.[4] Historic England labelled the battle as second only in importance to Marston Moor.[5]


The site of the battle is high ground in Adwalton (now commonly considered to be part of Drighlington) near Bradford, which is now in an area of rural-urban fringe, (map reference SE2228).[6] Parts of the site are protected as "green belt" or other types of open space with the A650 road cutting right through the battlefield.[7] It is the only battlefield recognised by Bradford Metropolitan District Council as falling within its boundaries but it actually lies within the Leeds City Council boundary.[8] There are plaques interpreting the battlefield for visitors.[5]

Prior to the battle, the Royalists captured Parliamentary-held Howley Hall (4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) southeast of Adwalton) to secure their advance on Bradford. This was their starting point for their march on Bradford on 30 June 1643.[9]

Museum displays

There is a display relating to the battle at Bolling Hall, Bradford, a museum which lies a few miles from the site and was itself a Royalist base. Oakwell Hall is another museum which throws light on the civil war in Yorkshire: although the hall is situated within walking distance from the battlefield, it falls outside the boundaries of Bradford and within those of Kirklees.


  1. Gentles, Ian (2007). The English Revolution and the wars of the three kingdoms, 1638-1652 (1 ed.). Harlow, England: Pearson Longman. p. 166. ISBN 9780582065512.
  2. Paige, William (1913). The Victoria history of the counties of England. The Victoria history of the county of York, Volume 3. London: Constable. p. 423. OCLC 504890096.
  3. Historic England. "Battle of Adwalton Moor 1643 (51203)". PastScape. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  4. Ginley, Joanne (7 September 2003). "New theory on civil war's 'forgotten battle'". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  5. Historic England. "Battle of Adwalton Moor 1643 (1000000)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  6. "Adwalton Moor Battlefield Heritage Impact Assessment" (PDF). February 2015. p. 15. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  7. "English Heritage Battlefield Report: Adwalton Moor 1643" (PDF). 1995. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 April 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  8. "Adwalton Moor Battlefield Heritage Impact Assessment" (PDF). February 2015. p. 2. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  9. Historic England. "Howley Hall; a 16th century country house and gardens, Morley (1016323)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 23 November 2017.


  • Duchess of Newcastle, Margaret (1907), Firth, C H (ed.), The life of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle (2nd ed.)
  • Parsons, D., ed. (1836), The life of Sir Henry Slingsby of Scriven, Bt.

Further reading

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