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The route crosses open countryside as well as following the towpath along the Ashby Canal.
• Church End Beers Micro Brewery based in Nuneaton - opened its first pub at George and Dragon, Stoke Golding.
• Mallory Park Racing Circuit, Kirkby Mallory is a motor racing circuit offering track days and race events for motor enthusiasts. Daily activity with large events held at weekends.
• MIRA rallying courses at weekends
• Fishing on Ashby Canal and at Lychgate Fisheries, Stoke Golding
• Numerous farm shops selling local produce including cheese, beef and pork.
As well as attractions and businesses, the area has a number of attractive villages (see character assessment in section 5) many of which are Conservation Areas, together with many footpaths and some bridleways and cycle routes and a network of historic lanes. These combine to provide an appealing, high quality landscape for living, working and visiting.
Additional attractions in the locality include local microbreweries, fishing at Stoke Golding and Mallory Park Racing Track hosting various race, music and charity events.
Research published by VisitBritain in 2010 noted that, “the bulk of potential overseas visitors to Britain have little appreciation for the strength of our rural landscapes and settlements as holiday destinations. There is definite potential to unlock here in promoting Britain’s countryside and villages more effectively, by delivering a new dimension to a visit for visitors already familiar with ‘urban’ Britain, and by attracting altogether new visitors who may not have been aware that such a rich rural experience could be enjoyed here in Britain.” 28 There are many shabby or redundant signs around the battlefield area, generally erected by LCC over the past 40 years, which impinge on the general aesthetic look of the battlefield and surrounding landscape. These could potentially also lead to confusion for visitors from outside the area.
Visits to villages and countryside: Foresight Issue 85, November 2010, VisitBritain 8 Significance, Values and Issues Summary The value of the wider Battlefield area to the public and a measurement of its overall significance are important considerations and vital when developing an effective Conservation Plan. It is only through understanding what is of value, that fully informed decisions can be made. This section examines the many different ways in which value can be ascribed to this landscape as a whole, and what issues may affect that value.
The inclusion of Bosworth Battlefield in the English Heritage register of battlefields illustrates its immense historical significance as a turning point in English history, but the value of the area goes far beyond this. Public consultation clearly shows that the area is highly valued for its unspoilt landscape and views. In a region that can be busy and urbanised, this area is a tranquil piece of English countryside that provides a sense of identity and belonging for the local population. It is a working agricultural landscape, supporting local business and a place that offers a wide range of recreation and leisure interests for those who visit it.
A considerable part of the area’s overall significance comes from the interplay of the many qualities described in this section: physical historical evidence (such as finds); historical value through continuity and landscape features such as place names, medieval settlement patterns or examples of industrial archaeology; aesthetic value (tranquillity, attractive landscape features, villages etc.) and communal value (places giving people a sense of identity or emotional links, a place for commemoration or a focus for collective memory as well as a working agricultural landscape). The Battlefield and its wider environs offer countless examples of all of these types of value, ranging from the Battlefield site itself to the tranquil countryside, with evidence of historical continuity right up to examples of more recent industrial heritage.
All of these qualities are, however, vulnerable to a range of issues in the study area.
Physical historical evidence can be subject to loss or damage and suffer due to land management activity, poor communication between parties and gaps in knowledge. The same applies to the historical value of the area, which may also be affected by building development or even tree growth and planting.
Roadside litter, particularly in gateways is an ongoing issue.
Aesthetic value can be similarly affected by land use decisions, and an increase in population and visitors may result in traffic congestion, litter, building development and visual clutter. This also affects the communal value of the area, with personal and emotional experiences, enjoyment and understanding of the landscape affected and peoples’ concern that they have no say in how it is changing.
There are particular issues affecting the Heritage Centre, particularly since the latest research has more accurately pinpointed the site of the Battle, making the location of some car parks inappropriate and some signage out of date. Design of and access to the Centre could also be improved to accommodate increasing visitor numbers, and to improve the aesthetics of external views of the venue. The Centre gives a wide offer to the public, but would benefit from developing a clearer focus.
Wider economic and social issues are also of concern – policing of local crime, a worry that increasing tourism could restrict traditional land use and that the proposed extension of the Registered Battlefield area could restrict local farm diversification and business activities.
There is also a lack of centralised outlets for local produce.
Overarching Public Values 8.1 A focused programme of public and stakeholder consultation was undertaken as part of the preparation of the CP to establish how the Bosworth battlefield area is valued.
People's experience and involvement in the area include local residents from the adjacent villages, farmers and landowners, walkers, naturalists, heritage and local history groups, and local businesses. The following points summarise their primary views of the most memorable aspects of the area.
• The area is highly valued for its unspoilt rural character which reflects an oasis of beauty in an otherwise pressured and urbanised context
• The countryside is considered to be well maintained, attractive and interesting
• The open character of the landscape and views from higher land, particularly the villages and Ambion Hill, is especially valued
• The countryside is highly valued for its wildlife interest and diversity Identity and belonging
• Village residents and local landowners draw a strong sense of identity and pride from the Battlefield – 'this is where history was made'
• Local residents feel a sense of belonging and partnership when they visit the battlefield area
• Many landowners have farmed in the area for generations and feel a strong affinity with the landscape and sense of protection for their heritage Recreation
• The area is valued for its local walks and access, particularly along the canal
• The area is valued for its diversity of recreation facilities including canals, railway, battlefield walks, refreshments, parkland landscapes, shooting, fishing, horse-riding
• The relative peace and tranquility of footpaths and bridleways enables restorative reflection and relaxation
• The area and landscape is a place for study and learning, including all periods of history and natural heritage Statement of Significance 8.2 The following overarching statement of significance has been prepared specifically for this Conservation Plan.
A quintessential English landscape is the setting for The Battle of Bosworth Field, one of the most important battles in British history, marking a turning point in the nation’s heritage.
This tranquil area of lowland Leicestershire belies the bloody events of August 1485 when Richard III was slain, the last English King to die in battle.
The defeat brought to an end the powerful Plantagenet dynasty and initiated the rise of the Tudors with the crowning of Henry VII on Crown Hill, Stoke Golding.
The ‘Battlefield Church’ at Sutton Cheney and, to a lesser extent, Dadlington Church, with its Tudor Battlefield Chantry continue to commemorate those who fell in battle, attracting local, national and international pilgrims.
Archaeological research continues to reveal new insight into the topographic significance and deployment of early firearms alongside formations of cavalry and archers.
Local residents are proud of their battlefield heritage and appreciate the tranquillity of footpaths and bridleways for quiet recreation and leisure. The well-managed landscape provides significant conservation and economic value to the region through the diversity of its farming, sporting and tourism activity.
Overarching Significance 8.3 People may value a place for many reasons including its distinctive landscape, the story it can tell, association with notable people, flora and fauna, beauty and aesthetics or as a focus for a community.
Many heritage values are recognised by statutory designation or inclusion on a national register. Bosworth Battlefield is one of 43 registered Battlefields in England and is the only Registered Battlefield in Leicestershire. English Heritage registers battlefields to offer them protection and promote a better understanding of their significance. English Heritage identifies four ways in which battlefields are significant
• A turning point in English history.
• Where tactics and skills of war still relevant to the defence of the country are illustrated.
• A place for thousands of unknown soldiers, nobles and commoners alike, whose lives were sacrificed in the making of the history of England.
• Where important topographical and archaeological evidence can increase our understanding of the momentous events of history which took place.
Although inclusion on the Register of Battlefields signifies the importance of Bosworth, decisions about day to day management should take account of all the values that contribute to the significance of the area.
The significance of the Bosworth battlefield area derives from a complex range of factors. Although these can be separated out (see below), the listing of such factors should not be taken to imply that each can be considered as a separate entity: many are intrinsically related, and a large part of the area's significance derives from the interplay between a whole range of complementary qualities.
The significances associated with the Bosworth Registered Battlefield and its wider setting are provided below under four main headings based on English Heritage
For each significance, relevant issues are also explored and have been informed by research, site assessment and consultation with special interest groups, landowners and residents in the area. The issues raised highlight what makes the study area vulnerable and what factors detract from significance or have the potential to do so.
Although the complex significance of the battlefield area is affected principally by physical factors (human activity or lack of action, the effects of land use, and the impact of recreation), there are more
factors such as lack of knowledge, or the absence of research, which also have an impact.
This is a process of identifying and understanding the significances and values which allows stakeholders to consider the opportunities for mitigating those risks where possible, or acknowledging that there will inevitably been some consequences in a living, breathing, working landscape. It is not seeking to imply criticism of current practice but rather to work together in partnership to find potential solutions where required. The proposed Partnership Forum (see Section 9) could lead the way in resolving some of those in-built challenges for the Battle of Bosworth landscape.
Evidential Value is derived from the potential of a place to yield physical evidence about past human activity
• The time depth of the entire area is complex and extensive, ranging from prehistoric round barrows to the Ashby Canal of 1804 and beyond.
• The battlefield and its setting is of immense archaeological potential for furthering understanding of the battle and warfare of this period, together with understanding human activity and land use development pre and post battle30
• The Roman temple complex and associated features on Ambion Hill are potentially one of the most important Roman temple sites in the Midlands and associated with high status finds including 1st-century Samian ware pottery and disc brooches and coins
• The collection of horse and rider brooches associated with the Roman temple complex on Ambion Hill is the largest of its kind
• The Deserted Medieval Village (DMV) on Ambion Hill is designated a Scheduled Monument - the earthworks are still visible and well preserved English Heritage (2008) Conservation Management Planning David Knight, Blaise Vyner and Carol Allen (2012) East Midlands Heritage An updated research agenda and strategy for the historic environment of the East Midlands (page103)
• The Ricardian Boar badge, the lead round shot scatter and other 15th-century artefacts associated with the Bosworth Battle help confirm the Battlefield’s geographic location
• The consistent and systematic large scale intensive survey carried out by volunteers led by Foard, under the jurisdiction of the Battlefields Trust, is unique for a battlefield anywhere in the world. It has resulted in a more meaningful collection of non-projectile finds enabling potentially greater reliability in interpretation
• The research at Bosworth has contributed to our understanding of the origins of firepower in Europe and has the potential to further this understanding