Battle of Boldon Hill

The Battle of Boldon Hill (25 March 1644) was a skirmish fought during the English Civil War in March 1644, between a Royalist army attempting to bring the army of the Scottish Covenanters to battle.

Battle of Boldon Hill
Part of the First English Civil War
Date25 March 1644
The Boldons, South Tyneside
(at the time County Durham)
Kingdom of England
Result Indecisive Scottish victory
Scottish Covenanters English Royalists
Commanders and leaders
Earl of Leven Marquess of Newcastle
Location within North East England


The Scots, having unsuccessfully attacked Newcastle, crossed the River Tyne higher upstream and attempted an attack against the defences on the southern end of the bridge over the river, which led directly into the walled fortification.

The Marquess of Newcastle led his army out of Newcastle in pursuit of the marauding Scots. The two sides met but bad weather made a battle impossible. The Marquess retreated into the Royalist stronghold of Durham.

In the following days, Leven made raids on Chester-le-Street, a vital crossing point of the River Wear and crucial to the Marquess of Newcastle's communications with the rest of England, and also on the Royalist garrison at South Shields. While initial attempts at a raid failed, the second raids of 20 March were successful for Leven.


In response to this, the Marquess led his army out of Durham. On the morning of 25 March, the Scots occupied Cleadon Hills and the Royalists took Boldon Hill. The present day village of East Boldon lies between these two hills. The Boldon topography was not favorable for a battle.[1] Neither side could see an advantage and were hesitant to engage with one another. However, the two sides exchanged cannon fire and men lay dead in the valley. Shortly after this skirmish, news reached the Marquess of a major defeat for the Royalists at Selby, directly threatening York and his communications with the King.


Later that year, the Royalist Army was soundly beaten at the Battle of Marston Moor near York, effectively ending Royalist control of northern England.


  1. Dodds, Derek (20 October 2005). Northumbia… (Battlefield Britain). England: Leo Cooper. p. 139. ISBN 1844151492.

Further reading

  • Newman, P. R. (1998). Atlas of the English Civil War. London: Routledge.
  • Reed, Stuart (1999). Scots Armies of the English Civil War. London: Osprey.
  • Terry, Charles Sanford (1899). The Life and Campaigns of Alexander Leslie, First Earl of Leven. London: Longmans.

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