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• Changes in landform as a result of earth bunding e.g. railway embankments or bunding at Fenn Lane Farm
• Development which alters the perception of subtle topographic changes or prominence of key landmarks as a result of direct scale comparison e.g.
construction of tall features such as large farm buildings may have a 'flattening' effect on vertical topography or reduce the visual prominence or setting of a key landmark
• Woodland planting or building development which may draw the eye and detract from key landmarks
• Potential impact of wind turbines beyond the setting of the Battlefield area. Largescale wind turbines in particular are likely to be very visible from the Battlefield due to their prospective height With respect to the risks associated with wind turbines, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council are currently preparing a Renewable Energy Capacity Study which is seeking to evaluate potential renewable energy development sites in the borough.
Whilst the Battlefield area is omitted as a potential area for development due to their impact on this sensitive landscape, it is feasible areas outside the Battlefield area may be identified or applications for large-scale interventions submitted at any time.
Bosworth Battlefield Vistas
Documentary Sources 6.1
Documentary sources include:
• Polydore Vergil's account of the Battle
• York House Book 2-4 169v is the earliest record of the Battle
• Jean Molinet; c1490 Chroniques de Jean Molinet (1474-1506)
• Diego de Valera; A Castilian report, early 1486
• William Shakespeare gives prominence to the Battle of Bosworth Field in his play, Richard III
• Stanley Ballads 'Lady Bessiye and Bosworth Field' The originals and Copies of these documents are held in Libraries around the world.
A plethora of publications has been written on the Battle, many of which are still available for sale and reference copies of which are held at the Heritage Centre.
The Battle of Bosworth, an event important in the public psyche for hundreds of years, nowhere more so than in this area, has over the centuries inspired a number of artists resulting in a collection of drawings, paintings and engravings associated with the Battlefield, including works by John Flower and Rimmer. These collections are in private and public collections.
View of Ambion Hill, Rimmer 1899 Artefacts 6.2 In addition to documentary and artistic collections there are many significant artefact collections from the Battlefield area. Bosworth Battlefield related artefacts have come into the Leicester and Leicestershire Museum collections since 1849. They are varied and date from different historical periods, ranging from prehistoric stone axes to swords associated with Civil War skirmishes dating to 1644. They also include important artefacts relating to the Battle itself, many of which have been recovered from the recent archaeological survey, including round shot and metal small-finds, such as buckles and the Boar Badge.
Many of the artefacts are retained and cared for by Leicestershire County Council and are accessible at the Heritage Centre.
7 Leisure, Recreation and Tourism Summary This section provides an overview of audiences, tourism activity and recreation opportunities within the Bosworth Battlefield area. Tourism is an important industry in Leicestershire and heritage-related activities form a significant part of that industry. Particular focus is placed on the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre, as it is central to visitor access and appreciation of the wider battlefield area. Activity here also has a considerable bearing on the current and future recreation and enjoyment activity within the Registered Battlefield and wider landscape as a whole.
The Heritage Centre attracts local visitors as well as families, school parties, national and international tourists.
Business customers also make use of the Centre’s meeting rooms and facilities. As well as presenting important information about the history of the Battlefield area, the Centre houses temporary and permanent exhibitions and important collections of archaeological finds from all periods. It is also home to Ambion Parva, a site for medieval re-enactments including an annual re-enactment of the Battle of Bosworth.
Tourism as an Economic Driver 7.1 Within the county of Leicestershire the volume and value of the tourism industry is apparent, with figures for 2010 demonstrating the economic impact to be worth £1.321 billion, generated from 30.5 million visits. Within the county, tourism provides some 19,500 full time jobs and the value of the industry has grown by 10% with employment growth being 5.5% over the last five years.
The economic impact of tourism in the Borough of Hinckley and Bosworth is estimated to be £221.6 million generated from 5.65 million visits, in turn employing some 3,400 full time earners in the sector. Specifically for Bosworth in 2010, a total value of £0.49 million was generated by 131,000 tourist days.
The Borough's distinctive qualities are summarised as:
World Class attractions, where history continues to be made, sit as comfortable neighbours with charming villages and breathtaking rural vistas. Anchored by a thriving market town and cutting edge meeting, sporting and research facilities at the heart of the country's road infrastructure. Take time out to breathe, think, relax, plan and discover in Hinckley and Bosworth - the place to come together.26 The Hinckley and Bosworth Tourism Partnership27 is working to promote the Borough as an appealing and diverse leisure destination with an attractive landscape and high
quality visitor experiences. Its three main tourism propositions are centred on:
Heritage Centre and Country Park 7.2 The Heritage Centre The Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre is located in converted farm buildings on Ambion Hill (refer to drawing number 5). Although called a Country Park, it does not comprise an extensive cohesive tract of land, rather a series of small dispersed parcels of land either owned by Leicestershire County Council (including Shenton Station car park and land along the disused railway to the west of the Heritage Centre) or leased from local landowners e.g. Whitemoors car park from Shenton Estate and the Heritage Centre and Cheney Lane car park from Sutton Cheney Estate. Footpath access across private farmland enables the various land holdings to be physically connected with the Heritage Centre.
F r F From the car park, the visitor is directed to the main courtyards housing the Tithe Barn restaurant, toilets, offices, Tourist Information, the Heritage Room The Tithe Barn and Heritage room (conference room) and temporary and Hinckley & Bosworth Tourism Blueprint presentation, June 2011 including Leicester STEAM analysis at mediafiles.thedms.co.uk/.../LM/.../Hb_promotions_June_20113.pdf http://www.visithinckleyandbosworth.co.uk/ permanent exhibition areas, as well as the gift shop.
The award-winning permanent exhibition provides information about the Battle of Bosworth as well as recent archaeological research, funded by a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
To the west there is access out of the courtyard to a picnic area overlooking pasture fields and the deserted medieval village earthworks of Ambion village (designated a Scheduled Monument).
From here signage directs the visitor to three different footpath routes, although some is now out of date - one through Ambion Wood to Sutton Cheney Wharf, a second to King Dick's Well and the disused railway/Shenton Station and the third to a new viewpoint/memorial sundial on Ambion Hill, overlooking the Battlefield area. Each of these routes connects to create a series of circular walks. The routes take the visitor through the landscape and new information and interpretation points are provided.
Ambion Parva – medieval re-enactment area ‘Ambion Parva’ is a gated area enclosed by fencing. It used to contain a reconstructed ‘medieval village’, built like a film set with temporary planning permission (duration 5 years), which was dismantled in 2010. Whilst it was operational, visitors could meet the onsite re-enactment group, Les Routiers de Rouen, within an atmospheric and engaging area.
Since the dismantling of the buildings, the area of Ambion Parva is still used by Les Routiers des Rouen, whose members put up tents and regularly create a medieval camp. Their activities are organised through a separate company, providing a service to the Heritage Centre.
Ambion Parva is also used by Hawkwise Falconry; a relatively new attraction (a micro enterprise) based on site, for which a separate charge is made. This offers visitors an opportunity to experience birds of prey in flight and at close quarters, adding value to a visit.
Battle of Bosworth Anniversary Weekend On the August weekend closest to the Battle anniversary each year, the site hosts its main event - the Battle of Bosworth Re-enactment. This attracts many thousands of visitors to the site and the area is extended by the sub letting of an extra fields from the local landowner to accommodate the living history camp, battle, jousting and modern camping for reenactors. Les Routiers populate the Ambion Parva area with activities for adults and children, and a large number of re-enactors from other groups camp in the fields adjacent to Ambion Parva coming together to re-create events from the Battle. This leads to dramatically increased traffic in the area for the weekend.
Battlefield Guides The Heritage Centre has a team of Battlefield Guides who deliver well-attended guided walks and tours. They offer a bespoke, tailored service to different audience groups, including schools, Special Educational Needs (SEN) groups, serving soldiers and specialist interest groups. The guides provide supporting information to the visitors, including an explanation of modern archaeological techniques, landscape research and historical theories. They also provide information on other battle comparisons, (for example Towton), as well as wildlife interest, farming activity and a history of the landscape across the ages, including the evidence left by the Romans.
Extended guided walk, providing managed access to the whole Battlefield area
Shenton Station LCC owns Shenton Station including the car park (parking is charged with the use of parking ticket machines), the station building (relocated from Humberstone Road, Leicestershire), toilet block and the railway cutting from the station to just beyond the bridge over the Ashby Canal. The station and the lamproom are now rented out to Station Glass Studio and Gallery and Station Pottery. Steam trains from Shackerstone arrive at Shenton Station on a regular basis bringing people to the doorstep of the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. The Heritage railway is a good asset, with family audience appeal and is run separately from LCC and the Heritage Centre by the Shackerstone Railway Society and their volunteers.
Until recently, a footpath from the station led along the road to King Richard's Field which contained a memorial stone commemorating the place where Richard III was thought to have died.
As a result of the new evidence from the archaeological survey this memorial stone is now considered to be in the wrong location and it has therefore been moved temporarily to the Battlefield Centre pending possible relocation to the Fenn Lane area.
Management and staffing The Heritage Centre is managed by Leicestershire County Council through a dedicated Heritage team and other teams who support its promotion and delivery.
The Country Park (including the car park) is operated by members of LCC’s Country Park team. At the time of consultation and writing, LCC is in the process of dramatically reducing its departmental budgets. This raises potential issues for succession planning and knowledge sharing for the site and landowners.
Recreation Activities within the Battlefield Area 7.3 There are many different recreation opportunities within the area beyond that of the Heritage Centre, all of which have great appeal for a variety of audiences and these are illustrated on drawing number 5
• Sutton Cheney Wharf - cafe/bistro, toilet facilities, car park, moorings for canal boats and boat trips in a 12 seater boat which runs up to eight times a day at weekends, Bank Holidays and school holidays from Sutton Cheney Wharf.
• Stoke Golding Airfield - attracts many small aircraft enthusiasts throughout the year and hosts an annual aviation event in August (the 'Stakeout' including a full weekend fly-in, camping, food and refreshments both days, a hangar party and hog roast and live music). Held annually since 2003, it has grown in popularity with over 100 visiting aircraft and many visitors to the event
• Battlefield Line steam railway - the last remaining part of the former Ashby & Nuneaton Joint Railway which was opened in 1873. It runs from Shackerstone via Market Bosworth to Shenton Station and is operated by the Shackerstone Railway Society. Trains run at weekends Easter to October, on Wednesday afternoons in July and August and on December weekends. There are also special 'Thomas the Tank Engine days' and an opportunity to hire a train for a party/special event.
• Station Glass - Shenton Station comprising a glass studio and gallery.
• Station Pottery – The old lamproom houses the Pottery workshop and gallery.
• Whitemoors Antiques and Crafts Centre, Shenton - including tea rooms and gardens.
• Fenn Lane Farm Countryside Education – comprises a conference room/classroom and facilities which are used by The Country Trust which seek to help urban children understand the countryside offering farm visits and indoor/outdoor activities.
• Sustrans cycle route 52 which runs between Market Bosworth to Highham on the Hill via Shenton village to the west of the RB area.
• Ambion Way and Leicestershire Round Long Distant Footpaths cross the area and collectively offer a circular route connecting Barwell and Hinckley with Stoke Golding, Dadlington, Shenton, and Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.