Monday, 21 March 2016

On This Day - Battle of Stow 21st March 1646

On this day in 1646 the Battle of Stow took place. This was the last major battle of the First Civil War.
Site of Battle of Stow
Battle of Stow Monument
Monument Detail
Details of the battle can be found here: 


Market Cross
After the Royalist were pushed back into the town and taking around two hundred casualties in the market square the Royalist commander Sir Jacob Astley sat down on the medieval cross and said, 

'Gentlemen, ye may now sit down and play, for you have done all your work, 
if you fall not out among yourselves!’ 

It was the same Astley that prayed before the Battle of Edgehill,

"O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget Thee, do not forget me." 

quickly followed by the order,
"March on, boys!" 

St. Edward’s Church (which can be seen behind the cross in the above photo) where hundreds of Royalist prisoners were held after the battle, contains a very rare surviving grave of a Civil War causality, that of the royalist Captain Hastings Keyt.  
Grave of Hastings Keyt
Grave of Hastings Keyt
Grave detail of Hastings Keyt
More recently the back door of the church, bracketed by trees, are said to have inspired Tolkien's Gates of Moria, his sketches of which do look very similar. The church also held the funeral for John Entwistle, bass guitarist for the band The Who.
St. Edward’s Church, Stow
Back door of St. Edward’s Church, Tolkien inspiration?