Cropredy Bridge 1644 (2)

CoW 2014 03a(Not Quite an Abbey Road: WD’s Friday Specials cross the vicious 361 at Hay’s Bridge)

Fresh from genning up a couple of weeks back with the Battlefields Trust, I was back at Cropredy with WD, supplying the interpretation while JB directed the tour.

The walking tour had missed Hay’s Bridge due to the traffic (and low effort reward ratio, as much of the view is overgrown and the viewpoints negligible) … but WDers are made of stern stuff and grittily performed all necessary manoeuvres to park, stop ‘U’-turn etc. at this key point.

CoW 2014 02

It gives me the chance to add a few pictures of Hay’s Bridge today.

Waller’s plan included taking the  bridge in order to cut the King’s army in two – then destroy the tail left on the Wardington side of the bridge in detail.

Hazzlerigg’s troopers made it to the bridge but encountered stiff resistance and were sent reeling back towards Cropredy and were counter-attacked by a detachment of Lifeguards from beyond the river (precisely what was meant to be prevented by taking the bridge!)

CoW 2014 Cropredy visit(looking back from the bridge at Wardington fields dropping down towards us at the river – full of powder smoke in 1644 from the action at the crossing)

CoW 2014 Cropredy visit 02(looking back towards Cropredy Bridge from Wardington field: photo)

The soldiers amongst us were fascinated by this bungled attempt to cut off and encircle a marching force and are already thinking of innovative ways to devise the wargame … I think we were all disappointed by the dearth of archaeological work done at this battlefield and it will certainly be useful to look at some reconstructed field patterns.

CoW 2014 04(the Cherwell today at Hay’s Bridge)

We had met up at the Brasenose Arms for lunch, and to reduce our convoy to the minimum number of cars necessary.

After viewing the main area of the battlefield by car from both bridges, the Wardington Ash, and from walking towards the middle,  we returned to the pub to debrief and make our way to Knuston.    A briefer visit than the walking tours, but valuable and worthwhile nonetheless.

(a general report on CoW2014)

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