As a child growing up in West Yorkshire I knew that a friendly rivalry existed between Yorkshire and Lancashire, our neighbours on the other side of the Pennines. Later on at grammar school I learnt a little about the Wars of the Roses and was astonished to discover that it wasn’t a war between the two counties as I had believed, but a series of battles fought in medieval England from 1455 to 1485 between the House of Lancaster and the House of York.
The name of the battles derives from the symbols used by the two sides:
On moving to Ludlow a few years ago I found out that one of the major battles of these wars took place only a few hundred yards from where I now live. The Battle of Ludford Bridge 12 October 1459. The Yorkist factions gathered here to make a push into Worcestershire, but fell back when they encountered a large group of Lancastrians led by Henry VI. The two sides took up positions on the opposite banks of the River Teme, but many of the Yorkists deserted during the night and the rest retreated the next day. So a victory for the Lancastrians. It is such a picturesque spot now that it is hard to imagine a battle taking place here.