Official visitor website for Leicestershire
Bosworth 1485

The 6 artworks

Against the background thought of embedding art to help the landscape find its voice, we developed a conceptual framework.


1 TRAIL

Linking each location is a walking trail that takes us through the landscape. The process of leading us from one chapter to the next is cumulative, in the sense that the trail is taking us not just from field to field, but on a journey through a story. Hence, completing the trail brings with it a sense of having arrived at an understanding - of the landscape, of a slice of history, of themes we see being played out in the world around us.

2 STORIES

This landscape actually has two stories to tell. There is the story of one day in 1485, and there is the story of the 500 year shadow it has cast through the historical account. By moving from one to the other we are able to present a story-within-a-story that begins half a millennium ago and runs right up to today - and on into the future.

6 CHAPTERS

We have broken this combined story down into 6 chapters, each of which relates to a significant location in the landscape. The 6 chapters are told by 6 artworks in these locations. Each artwork must feel embedded in its setting well enough to tell its part of the story. But these are artworks, not illustrations in a history book. They must pull people into the story by reaching beyond historical details to touch universal themes we can all relate to.

Chapter 1

Trail point 1

CHAPTER 1 : THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM

SUTTON CHENEY


Our story begins with a feeling we can all relate to. Before any big event there is always a moment of quiet reflection. In that moment a person recognises the weight of their task and stands before the mirror contemplating the task ahead. The legend is that Richard III prayed in the Church of St James, Sutton Cheney, on the eve of meeting Henry Tudor in battle. In that moment of quiet self- examination the king became a man like all other men, unprotected by his office. A king conscious of great weight, empathising with the fears of his own foot soldiers. A man kneeling exposed and alone before his maker, asking what the morrow will bring.


Following recent consultation with the local community, a revised design for this location will be published here soon

Chapter 2

Trail point 2

CHAPTER 2: THE STORM BREAKS

Fenn Lanes


When force meets force, when the air crackles with electricity, then everything can be turned upside down in an instant. And with the heat of the moment comes altered perspective. Time stands still, men become giants, actions take on the quality of myth. Yet from the outside, there may be little to see.


As soon as the battle commenced on August 22nd 1485, the established order of things counted for nothing. Rival gangs were left to slug it out and there was no knowing what the day would bring. To those in the thick of it, a matter of life and death. More of a curiosity, though, to those watching from afar.

Bosworth 1485
Trail point 2 visual
Bosworth 1485 trail 3 visual Trail 2 visual

Chapter 3

Trail point 3

CHAPTER 3: THE NEW ORDER

STOKE GOLDING


The battle has been won, but while swords are still wet with blood an official stamp must be put on the outcome and a new rule legitimised. That means a crown and it means paying people off. We are told a chair was pulled out from a nearby farmhouse and Henry wasted no time having himself crowned on the hill overlooking the battlefield, before dividing the spoils with his supporters. Against the backdrop of the local hilltop church, thanks were given to God for a new king and the re-establishment of order. The traditional account calls this moment on Crown Hill not just the start of a new reign but a turning point in English history.


This is an artwork about creating order out of chaos

Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485

Chapter 4

Trail point 4

CHAPTER 4: THE HEALING

Trail 4 visuals

DADLINGTON

After the battle has been fought, the blood has been shed, the crown has been won - only then does the real work begin. Because wounds are still open and counting the bodies only rubs salt into the wounds. Mending grievances is a longer and harder job than a morning’s fight in a field. It is something for generations of men and women to work at. On the 22nd of August 1485 the dead were buried where they fell, but in the years that followed a long, gradual process of healing began. Remains of the dead from both sides were brought together in the churchyard of St James the Greater, Dadlingtion, and Henry VIII granted a licence for a chantry priest to pray for their souls.

This is an artwork about reflection and reconciliation

Trail 4 visuals

Chapter 5

Trail point 5

CHAPTER 5: DIGGING UP THE PAST

Bosworth 1485

HERITAGE CENTRE

The events of one day in 1485 are long gone. No-one knows what really happened. But all around these fields there are clues. Cannonballs, badges, fragments of weaponry lying undisturbed for centuries. All just waiting to be dug up
But clues do not speak for themselves. They have to be pieced together to form a story, like a jigsaw puzzle. Except there are only ever a few pieces, so there is always more than one story they could be telling.

This is an artwork about archaeology

Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485

Chapter 6

Trail point 6

Chapter 6: TWO SIDES TO A STORY

MARKET BOSWORTH

The Wars of the Roses came to an end in 1485. Or did they? Very soon, the official version of events was laid down. Over time it became so ingrained it passed, with its melodrama and colourful villains, into the popular imagination. But almost from the start the grumbling began that lies were being told and the dead, unable to defend themselves, were being maligned.


The desire to unearth the truth increased up to our own day, when cannonballs and badges and even the bones of a king have been dug up to settle the matter. But they have not done so. We still have two opposing accounts and the conflict rages on. But with a crucial difference: for all its fervour, the ‘Wars of the Stories’ is a bloodless feud. It is debate, storytelling and theatre - a passionate but peaceful public discourse we want to encourage. This is an artwork about agreeing to differ - the hallmark of a healthy society.


Click here to see the proposals for Market Bosworth

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Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485
Bosworth 1485