Today there is a pleasant walk along the fields on the top of the Western edge of the Cotswold hills near Bath on the borders of Gloucestershire and Somerset. The weather was tolerably warm but mizzly and somewhat overcast but we were still able to see views towards Bristol and Welsh mountains beyond. We were out for a stroll and a breath of fresh air so we didn’t walk very far – just enough to admire the view and to read the information panels about the Battle of Lansdowne during the English Civil war in the Summer of 1643. It took place in and around where we walked on Wednesday 5th July 1643 although trees have been planted and modern roads have since been put it in with accompanying street furniture. Fortunately there are way-markers to follow.

I won’t bore you with a blow-by-blow account but here are a few details.

The strategic goal was for the Royalists (supporters of King Charles I) to take the city of Bath from the Parliamentarians (Oliver Cromwell was their leader). It failed During the battle, the leader of the Cornish infantry, Sir Bevil Grenville died. Some seventy-seven years later in 1720 his descendents put up a memorial to him to mark the spot where he died. We had driven past that memorial several times and it had piqued our curiosity – one reason for our walk. Apparently it is the oldest surviving war memorial in the country. Apart from the futility of war, there was a particularly poignant note. The two generals Waller (for the Parliamentarians) and Hopton (for the Royalists) had been childhood friends.