Bosworth Battlefield in danger – Please act now!

Tudor History Tours with the Tudor Society

I was absolutely horrified to read that there are plans to build a driverless car testing track on part of Bosworth Battlefield. According to a report in the Leicester Mercury - you can read it at https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/local-news/26m-mira-driverless-car-testing-1921045 - "Mira Technology Park wants to build the facility on 83 acres of land next to its existing vehicle testing centre at Higham-on-the-Hill near Hinckley, partially within the registered Bosworth Battlefield site". Historic England has spoken up, saying that they fear that this could cause harm to the historic battlefield which, as Tudor Society members will know, was where the forces of Henry Tudor and Richard III met on 22nd August 1485 and where Richard III was killed.

While I realise that this testing centre could create local jobs and the plans are said to only affect the "edge" of the battlefield site, I am horrified that even a part of such a historic site could be lost and I am lodging my objection to this. Here is advice from the Richard III Society on how to lodge your objection, and this is time-sensitive, so please act NOW:

"If you wish to lodge an objection please email planning@hinckley-bosworth.gov.uk quoting reference number 18/00425FUL. For the objection to be registered you must provide your full name and postal address in the email. Please remember that the planning meeting will take place on Tuesday 28th August, and that Monday is a bank holiday."

Historian Matthew Lewis, who spoke to the Tudor Society recently on the Princes in the Tower, shared on Facebook "A decision is due to be made on the application at a meeting of the planning team on Tuesday 28th August at 6:30pm. The meeting is open to the public.

The address where the meeting will be held is:
The Hinckley Hub
Rugby Road,
Hinckley
LE10 0FR"

So, if you're local then you could raise your objections in person.

For your information, here is the wording of the email I sent:

"To whom it may concern,

I would like to lodge my objection on behalf of the Tudor Society to the plans to build a driverless car track on part of Bosworth Battlefield. This site is of huge historic importance and should be preserved for future generations to visit. I realise that this project would create jobs for the local people and that it only affects "the edge" of the site, but allowing this plan to go ahead creates a dangerous precedent which could have an impact for historic sites all over the UK.

The Battle of Bosworth is a famous battle that people all over the world remember and the site is visited by tourists from all over the world, generating income for the local area. It is vital that the battlefield is preserved intact and that England's history is treasured. I object strongly to these plans and will be encouraging members of our society to object too.

Yours faithfully,

Claire Ridgway
Founder of the Tudor Society and author of Tudor history books"

There are 33 comments Go To Comment

  1. Sandra Horn /

    Email sent.

    Regards.

    1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      Thank you so much.

  2. RealTudorLady /

    The Riii Society members have objected and a formal objection is being made by the chairman and this was causing outrage on Twitter last night. I think the history community will be very angry and objections very loud.

    Regards.

    1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      I was chatting with members of the Richard III Society on Facebook last night too and we’re all disgusted by this. It’s good that we can come together to oppose these plans.

  3. Angie Memmott /

    “To whom it may concern,

    I would like to lodge my objection on behalf of the Tudor Society to the plans to build a driverless car track on part of Bosworth Battlefield. This site is of huge historic importance and should be preserved for future generations to visit. I realise that this project would create jobs for the local people and that it only affects “the edge” of the site, but allowing this plan to go ahead creates a dangerous precedent which could have an impact for historic sites all over the UK.

    The Battle of Bosworth is a famous battle that people all over the world remember and the site is visited by tourists from all over the world, generating income for the local area. It is vital that the battlefield is preserved intact and that England’s history is treasured. I object strongly to these plans and will be encouraging members of our society to object too.

    Sincerely,

    1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      Thank you.

  4. Anne Ayres /

    Here’s the letter I sent – unfortunately it didn’t include the Planning Application number –
    “I wish to register my strong objections to the Mira Test Track planning application.
    The proposed plan to build a Mira test track over what is part of Bosworth Battlefield can surely not be allowed to go ahead.
    The true site of the Battlefield has only been confirmed in recent years and there will still be a major amount of archaeology to be discovered. This may well be inaccessible for the next fifty to eighty years at least if the current plans are allowed.
    I realise that the A5 is a convenient location as the Mira headquarters are nearby, but there are many similar suitable areas in the region surrounding Hinckley, Fenny Drayton and Atherstone. I am familiar with the area – my own uncle once owned a farm on the far side of Fenny Drayton church – just as near to the Mira HQ and with easy access to the A5.
    There are many similar places which could be used without having to disturb and then conceal a site of national historic importance.
    Leicestershire has had a long history with the fate of Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet kings.
    •He visited and travelled through the county many times throughout his life, very probably used the very same route now occupied by the A5 on his way north or south.
    •He chose this central point of the country from which to repel the Tudor invasion, the battle took place in your district.
    •His despoiled and mutilated body was conveyed through your villages, and buried quickly and ignominiously in your county city.
    •He was rediscovered fewer than ten years ago and reburied with the dignity and honour, previously denied him, only three years ago.
    Will Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council lay themselves open to be accused of ignoring their own very special history?
    These plans cannot be allowed to go ahead in their present form; the Battlefield is sacred turf, where people died fighting for their king or the eventual victor, the founder of the Tudor dynasty, Henry VII. The plans must be adjusted to avoid this very special area.
    Yours faithfully, Anne Ayres (Mrs) “

    1. RealTudorLady /

      Here. Here.

    2. Dianne Penn /

      You could send it again with the planning number?

  5. Victoria romanos /

    Can’t they live anything uncontaminated? Next thing you know they will built a drive through in the coloseum or a Mc Donald in the Parthenon.

  6. Kathi Morehead /

    Here is mine.
    Dear Sirs and Madams,
    I live in the United States. I am the 14th great granddaughter of Elizabeth Woodville. There is a reason why England is home to me, and that is because you cherish your history. Please do not despoil the rich history of Bosworth by putting a car track on it. While I understand that it may have perceived economic benefits, I can assure you that when the money has all been spent, there will be no way to reclaim what you have lost. Please give this some thought.

    Sincerely,
    Kathi Morehead
    Author

  7. Reena Taylor /

    Sent!

  8. Clare Hartley /

    I am appalled at what could take place on Bosworth battlefield. which should be enjoyed for generations to come – building a track for driverless cars. Why there? Why not a disused airfield or an old factory ground. it sounds vindictive to me, choosing an historical site to build this montrosity. It doesn’t respect the dead either. Many lost their lives there.

    Are Hinckley and Bosworth council setting precedence for councils to forcibly purhase land and property from Nationsl Trust snd English Heritage for development? I hope not.

  9. Shell stone /

    Please preserve our so declining history sites our children are growing up dumb as the education and government no
    Longer find it ok to teach history in schools please don’t take away the real deal I beg you

  10. Lisa Humphrey /

    Thank you, Claire, for giving us the opportunity to make our objections known. They may pay no attention to an American’s point of view, but here goes:

    “To whom it may concern:

    “As a member of the Tudor Society, I would like to lodge my strenuous objection to plans to build a driverless car track on part of Bosworth Battlefield. One of the more famous historic battlefields and one rich in potential research value, it would be a truly terrible loss to English history if even part of it were obscured or destroyed. The setting of such a precedent would create danger for UK history as a whole.

    “Of course everyone wants to see more jobs created and current jobs secured, but surely these plans can be altered to provide MIRA with its needed facilities without destruction or impingement of such an important historic site. It is difficult to believe that MIRA has proven that their track MUST impose on Bosworth Field. A solution should be sought that is acceptable to all concerned.

    “As an American of English descent, I treasure my ancestral history. I can only hope that the local council does as well. We who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. Please help us retain the opportunity to learn from this local historical battlefield.

    “Thank you for your sincere consideration.”

  11. PAM JONES /

    Done

  12. Rachel Walker /

    I just wanted to add, that as secretary of Richard III’ Loyal Supporters, we also stand with you on this matter. Along with our general love of history and sites of historical value, we both have an invested interest in protecting Bosworth battlefield. We have had our members lodge individual objections to the planning board, and I had also sent one, also noting that I was doing so as secretary of the society.
    It is of note that the news conveniently came out just before a bank holiday weekend, giving us little time to plan and take action before the meeting on Tuesday.

    One of our members, Dianne Penn, has also started a petition. Although individual objections to the planning board are likely more effective at the time, hopefully a petition will reach a wider audience who may not have had the drive to send in an official complaint to the authories, so please feel free to sign and share as widely as possible.

    Thank you.

    https://www.change.org/p/planning-hinckley-bosworth-gov-uk-stop-building-a-high-test-track-on-bosworth-battlefield?recruiter=1572872&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_more.pacific_abi_gmail_send.variation.pacific_email_copy_en_us_3.control.pacific_email_copy_en_gb_3.control.lightning_share_by_medium.share_by_medium.qmb_1s2mRLi31IHTpLgAVw.0&utm_term=share_for_starters_page

    1. Rachel Walker /

      Gosh, been a long couple of days:
      *Richard III’S Loyal Suppporters
      and
      *authorities

  13. Gail Marie /

    Would it do much or any good for non-UK citizens to email? Would be happy to but don’t want to clutter up their emails if it won’t mean anything

    1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      I think emails from overseas are just as important because the battlefield is important for tourism too.

  14. Ernest Coryell /

    I am appalled at what could take place on Bosworth battlefield. which should be enjoyed for generations to come – building a track for driverless cars. Why there? Why not a disused airfield or an old factory ground. it sounds vindictive to me, choosing an historical site to build this monstrosity. It doesn’t respect the dead either. Many lost their lives there.“As an American of English descent, I treasure my ancestral history. I can only hope that the local council does as well. We who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. Please help us retain the opportunity to learn from this local historical battlefield.

    “Thank you for your sincere consideration.”

  15. C. Hudson /

    I will be emailing from the U.S. With the surge in popularity of genealogy and ancestor tourism I feel this is a huge mistake culturally and economically.

    1. Dale /

      Thank you, we can use international support!

  16. a.duinkerken /

    Tragic that there is no sense of history. some things should stay untouched.

  17. Dale Goulding /

    Here is mine!

    Reference number 18/00425FUL

    Who could put a price on Englands Heritage? Apparently Hinckley and Bosworth Council!! 26 Million. If Bosworth battle field was a grade II listed cottage it would be beyond the the grasp of short sited, self interested, petty minded bureaucrats. This field is of national if not international value. This proposal should be immediately quashed and a campaign begun to grant national park status, to remove it from the danger of destruction at the hands of petty local bureaucrats, without the common sense to protect even the greatest of Englands treasures. I do hope that the public remember the names of these councillors come reelection.
    Councillor R Ward (Chairman) Councillor BE Sutton (Vice-Chairman) Councillor PS Bessant Councillor DC Bill (MBE) Councillor MA Cook Councillor WJ Crooks Councillor M Hall Councillor Mrs L Hodgkins Councillor E Hollick Councillor C Ladkin Councillor KWP Lynch Councillor Mrs J Richards Councillor RB Roberts Councillor Mrs H Smith Councillor MJ Surtees Councillor Ms BM Witherford Councillor A Wright

    Kind Regards

    Dale Goulding

  18. Charlotte Fletcher /

    I have sent an email

  19. Maria Leotta /

    I spread the word everywhere even in Italy. I hope this will help…

  20. Christine Cummings /

    there must be another place they can put the park for driverless cars. Any suggestions?

  21. Dennis Allen /

    Been a Tudor fan for years proud of our heritage,I am from Pembroke/Milford Haven and I am proud to say we are doing everything we can to promote Tudor history,please don’t take our history away from us as there is little left for we British to be proud of

  22. Ceri Creffield /

    Sent.
    I would like to lodge my objection to the plans to build a driverless car track on part of Bosworth Battlefield. This battlefield is one of the most important in Britain’s history. It is of huge importance and the site is only partially excavated. It is critical that this site be preserved for future generations.

    Like many other tourists and history enthusiasts, I have visited the battlefield and found it a peaceful, unspoilt area, in contrast to its violent past. The visitor experience will be much diminished if these plans are allowed to proceed.

    I realise that the proposal could create jobs for local people but surely the track could be sited anywhere? Please do not create a dangerous precedent for destroying historic sites in this way. Once something like this is lost, it can never be recovered.

  23. Mark B /

    I only heard about this when it was to late to lodge an objection.

    But could not the site be submitted to the Unesco for inclusion for world heritage status?

    1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      I don’t believe that it fits UNESCO’s criteria, unfortunately, and although it’s a registered battlefield, different parts belong to different people.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Bosworth Battlefield in danger – Please act now!