Thu 4th March 2021
We believe that maps are very important when it comes to understanding events from the past. They give you context, they give you position, they provide the ‘setting’ for an event – be it a clash of arms, the founding of a monastery, the writing desk and window of a great author. And maps themselves have a fascinating history.
Thu 25th February 2021
We were grateful to receive the Government's roadmap for lifting lockdown on Monday, and while we are disappointed for all those customers whose tour dates must change, we are thankful that there is now some clarity for the summer ahead.
Thu 18th February 2021
As we seem to be nearing the end of our pandemic pain thanks to the creation of new vaccines, it's interesting to look at how society in the Middle Ages emerged from the ravages of the Black Death.
Thu 11th February 2021
On 13 February in 1692, one of the most brutal acts of British political violence took place in the Scottish Highlands. The Glencoe Massacre saw more than 30 members of the MacDonald clan, including women and children, slaughtered in their beds by Government troops who had been sharing their homes for almost two weeks.
Thu 4th February 2021
The ruins of North Yorkshire's Cistercian Abbeys are jaw-dropping and provide an indication of how inluential these vast enterprises were to their local communities and further afield. From meagre beginnings the Cistercian Abbeys amassed great wealth and sculpted the landscapes around them.
Thu 28th January 2021
January 30th will forever be associated with one of the most significant and controversial events in English history. It saw the end of a despised king, and the beginning of his martyrdom.
Thu 21st January 2021
The trial of Charles I was incredible for many reasons. It was the first time a British monarch had been tried and condemned to death. Despite packing Parliament with supporters, Cromwell only just managed to win the vote for the trial to proceed. Fewer than half of the 135 judges turned up. And Charles I refused to defend himself. This was an extraordinary point in British history.
Thu 14th January 2021
With the shock of defeat at Prestonpans and a narrow escape following Charles Edward Stuart’s invasion of England that reached as far as Derby, the British Government of 1745 finally woke up to the threat of a new Jacobite rebellion. Its response was to recall battle-hardened troops from Flanders and the two forces faced each other at Falkirk.
Wed 9th December 2020
December is a significant month in the history of the Jacobite Risings, with James II (known as James VII in Scotland) fleeing the throne in December 1688, and Bonnie Prince Charlie abandoning his English invasion, signalling the end of the second Jacobite Rebellion, in December 1745.
Thu 3rd December 2020
What was life like for the soldiers in a 17th century army? The Duke of Marlborough's troops were drawn from across Europe and brought to fight the French in Flanders for months on end. We asked James Falkner, one of the UK's leading authorities on Marlborough and the War of Spanish Succession to tell us more about the soldiers who put their life on the line in these incredible campaigns.
Thu 26th November 2020
On 30th November in 1601, Queen Elizabeth I gave one of the most famous speeches ever attributed to a British monarch. Her Golden Speech has been celebrated for more than 400 years, so we took a look at more famous oratories from British history.
Thu 19th November 2020
On 20 November in 1759, British Navy ships led by Admiral Edward Hawke audaciously defeated a French fleet at the Battle of Quiberon Bay. This dramatic victory halted French plans for an invasion of England and gave Britain the naval power to create a worldwide empire that lasted for 200 years.
Thu 5th November 2020
November sees two anniversaries that are integral to one of the most important changes in English history - the Glorious Revolution - which led to a shift away from an absolute monarchy, where the king or queen ruled alone, to a constitutional monarchy where parliament held more power.
Wed 21st October 2020
The Battle of Edgehill, fought on 23 October in 1642, was the first major skirmish of the English Civil Wars and also one of the decade-long conflict's great 'what if' moments.
Thu 15th October 2020
On 17 October in 1660 four men were hung drawn and quartered in front of a large crowd at Charing Cross, in London. They were Thomas Scott, Gregory Clements, Colonel Adrian Scrope and Colonel John Jones, and they were prominent Parliamentarians suffering the revenge of Charles II, the returning King of England.
Wed 7th October 2020
The story of the English Civil Wars is often told from the point of view of the men who fought, with little space given to the role of women. Here we detail some of the incredible stories that illustrate how women were fighters, spies, couriers, petitioners and protectors during the brutal conflict.
Wed 30th September 2020
Reaching the heights of British nobility was the ambition for many power-hungry people from the UK's past, but hitting the top spot didn't protect plenty of historical figures from a gory demise. Here we look a how some of Britain's kings met early ends
Fri 11th September 2020
After a run of three great victories against the French the Duke of Marlborough again led a grand alliance of troops from Britain, Holland, Austria and the Holy Roman Empire in a fourth conflict. Fought on the 11 September in 1709, Malplaquet was to be his bloodiest, least conclusive and last great battle.
Wed 2nd September 2020
The Battle of Worcester puts paid to the misconception that the English Civil Wars were confined to England. For this, the final fight of the conflict between Parliament and the Monarchy, Charles II led an army from Scotland into England, in the hope that English and Welsh supporters would rally to his cause.
Sat 22nd August 2020
The Battle of Bosworth, which took place on 22 August in 1485, was one of the final engagements of the Wars of the Roses. Treachery and tactics saw the downfall of one King and the beginning of a new royal dynasty.
Mon 17th August 2020
The Battle of Preston, fought on 17 August in 1648, is considered one of the English Civil War's bloodiest battles, and saw an end to the second Royalist uprising.
Wed 12th August 2020
The Battle of Blenheim is the 1st Duke of Marlborough's most famous victory against the French in the Wars of Spanish Succession, and demonstrates many of the tactical strengths that made him such an outstanding leader.
Fri 31st July 2020
The Battle of Killiecrankie was the first major military action in the rebellions that became known as the Jacobite Risings. Supporters of James VII, lacking men and resources, decided that a decisive military victory was the only way to grow their numbers. On 27 July in 1689, they saw their chance at the Pass of Killiecrankie.
Wed 15th July 2020
The Battle of Oudenaarde, fought in Flanders on 11 July in 1708, was the third major occassion when the Duke of Marlborough defeated the French army of Louis XIV in the field. It was a victory for bold and agressive tactics that took the French by surprise.
Sat 11th July 2020
The Battle of the Boyne was fought on 11 July in 1690, around 30 miles north of Dublin. It was a fight between protestant William of Orange, who had been crowned king of England, Scotland and Ireland during the 'Glorious Revolution' the year before, and his uncle, father-in-law and the deposed monarch James II, who was a catholic.
Fri 10th July 2020
Fought on 10 July 1460, the Battle of Northampton is one of the Wars of the Roses most interesting fights. It featured the Wars' only assault on a fortified camp. An 18-year old among the Yorkist commanders would be King within a year. The Lancastrian's were forcing a stalemate until one leader switched sides. And at the very end, a lowly archer captured the monarch.
Thu 2nd July 2020
Marston Moor, which took place on 2 July 1644, was one of the biggest battles of the English Civil War. It is famous for the discipline of Cromwell’s cavalry, Prince Rupert’s first defeat, and the end of royal power in the north.
Mon 29th June 2020
On June 29 in 1644, at the height of the English Civil War, Parliamentarian troops stalked Royalists along the River Cherwell. The subsequent fight became known as the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, and Parliament's defeat led to the formation of the New Model Army.
Thu 25th June 2020
Julian Humphrys spent 12 years at Chelsea’s National Army Museum, led English Heritage’s Battlefield hikes programme and works with the Battlefields Trust, the UK Charity preserving Britain’s historic battlefields. Here he chats about the English Civil War tours he leads in Oxford and Bath.
Thu 25th June 2020
On June 25 in 1646 the Royalists surrendered Oxford to their Parliamentarian foes, confirming the end of England's bitter civil war. Here's how Oxford's part in the English Civil War played out.
Thu 18th June 2020
We chat to James Falkner, a specialist in the Wars of Spanish Succession, about his fascination with John Churchill and how to make the most of a history holiday.
Thu 18th June 2020
The Battle of Waterloo saw Napoleon's French army defeated by a coalition of forces led by the Duke of Wellington and Marshall Blucher in Belgium. In this article, we look at the tactical errors that led to Napoloeon's defeat.
Thu 11th June 2020
You can read books and study maps, but until you are actually there, on the ground, you cannot fully understand what a battle scene or landscape is and how that panorama influenced the events that occurred there.
Thu 28th May 2020
If you’ve ever tried to plan you own history holiday you’ll understand the stress of making it work. Join our expert-led holidays and your DIY history tours will be… history.
Thu 7th May 2020
I have always believed that places where great moments of history have happened retain the memory of those events in the earth and buildings, in the hedges, trees, fields, bricks and stones. There is more under the ground than above the ground.
Thu 16th April 2020
Before embarking on his campaign against the French in Belgium, the Duke of Marlborough fought for William III in Ireland, providing a direct link between our two expert-led history tours, the War of the Three Kings in Ireland and Marlborough’s Victories in Belgium.
Fri 27th March 2020
The Duke of Malborough's understanding of how to use rivers and waterways was a strategic strength that helped him overcome the French through his victories in Belgium.
Thu 19th March 2020
We asked Barry Hilton, our expert guide for the War of Three Kings in Ireland tour, to tell us about his favourite books on the subject. It's a comprehensive list, but he suggests any of the following are a good place to start.
Fri 6th March 2020
We asked James Falkner, a renowned historian and expert on the War of the Spanish Succession, to recommend a reading list for our history tour, Marlborough's Victories in Belgium.