Saturday, June 23, 2007

Langport trip report...

...safely back after a lovely three days away - significant amounts of beer drunk (), the weather was largely kind to me, and I had some good battlefield walks... either way, the subject of this post was my trip to Langport which I did on the first day, by way of a detour to Bath where I was spending the two nights...

First picture - above - taken from the bottom of the valley looking up towards what would have been the Parliamentary left flank.. Last year I visited the site of the Battle of Roundway Down and commented afterwards that English Civil War generals only ever seemed to pick their battle sites in terms of how beautiful the surrounding country is - Langport is another example of this! At this time of the year Britain is pretty green anyway - half way through a warm summer, and with plenty of rain, this year is very green...

Second picture - below - taken from the bottom of the valley, by the modern railway bridge, this time looking up towards what would have been the Royalist positions on the ridge - these two first photo's show the pronounced rise on both sides of the valley..

..another thing that always amazes me is the small area that black powder battle sites cover (and I don't know why because it all makes sense when you think of the weapon technology at the time). In the case of Langport the front lines of the two sides could only have been 2 or 300 yards apart maximum.. anyway - without more ado, some pictures of the site. post will cover Sedgemoor..

Third picture - below - taken from the Royalist positions looking across the valley to Parliamentary positions on the opposite ridge - their are two hedge lines running left to right across the centre of the picture, the road lies just behind the furthest one..

Fourth picture - below - taken from the bottom of the hill almost standing on the bridge looking up the road to the hill that the Parliamentray cavalry charged up, four abreast, into the Royalist guns at the top of the lane... the road is much higher now than it was then - when you stand in the fields either side of the road it's a good 6 to 10 foot higher, they also didn't have modern hedge cutters then so the hedges would have been thicker and higher.. Goring also positioned musketeers in the hedges either side of the road; no wonder Cromwell and Fairfax were so glowing in their praise of their cavalry's efforts after the battle..

Fifth picture - taken from 'behind' the bridge looking up the road, in the opposite direction to the previous picture, towards the Parliament positions - the modern day bridge is in the foreground you can just see the parapet..

Last two pictures this time from the bottom of the valley standing alongside the Wagg (the river that ran across the bottom of the valley and channelled the Parliament attack) looking up towards the Royalist position - the road is just behind the tree's in the left centre of the picture. The next one is looking in the opposite direction to the Parliament position..


  1. The country certainly is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your trip with us.

    I'm looking forward to your Sedgemoor posts and pics.

    -- Jeff

  2. Are you like me and find it hard to visualise how the troops did the things they did on the battlefield? We read alot about drill and formations but when you walk over a battlefield (especially one that is relatively unchanged) it makes it hard to beleive that drill and formation weren't quite the same as the histories make you believe.

  3. Hi "Grimsby" - yes absolutely! Which is one of the reasons I so like to visit the battlefields so you can see the ground they actually stood and manoueuvred on.. the one thing I'm absolutly certain on is that there is no way, on any battlefield other than a perfectly flat football pitch, that there wouldn't have been levels of disroganisation whenever the troops moved..