Tuesday 5th September – Sutton Cheney Wharf, Ashby Canal to Marston Junction, Coventry Canal

”Twas a wet, wet, wet old day!!!! We woke up to rain falling, travelled in rain and went to bed in rain. Condensation and precipitation reigned the day. At least inside the boat was dry and it really wasn’t that cold. Couldn’t imagine doing the canals in winter – some swear by it, but not our cuppa.

Fraser braved the damp and walked for a kilometre into the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre. This is the approximate spot where the famous Bosworth battle took place and Ricard III lost his life. He was the last king to die in battle. An addendum to this which occurred about two years ago was when they found old Dicks body under a local car park in Leicester. They used DNA from one of his relatives who lives in Canada to identify him along with his scoliosis which was well documented in the history books.

Here is a brief Wikipedia lesson on Dick!

Richard’s reign began in 1483. At the request of his brother Edward IV, Richard was acting as Lord Protector for his son Edward V. Richard had Parliament declare Edward V illegitimate and ineligible for the throne, and took it for himself. Richard lost popularity when the boy and his younger brother disappeared after he incarcerated them in the Tower of London, and his support was further eroded by the popular belief that he was implicated in the death of his wife. Across the English Channel in Brittany, Henry Tudor, a descendant of the greatly diminished House of Lancaster, seized on Richard’s difficulties so that he could challenge his claim to the throne. Henry’s first attempt to invade England was frustrated by a storm in 1483, but on his second attempt he arrived unopposed on 7 August 1485 on the southwest coast of Wales. Marching inland, Henry gathered support as he made for London. Richard mustered his troops and intercepted Henry’s army south of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire. Thomas, Lord Stanley, and Sir William Stanley brought a force to the battlefield, but held back while they decided which side it would be more advantageous to support.

Richard divided his army, which outnumbered Henry’s, into three groups (or “battles”). One was assigned to the Duke of Norfolk and another to the Earl of Northumberland. Henry kept most of his force together and placed it under the command of the experienced Earl of Oxford. Richard’s vanguard, commanded by Norfolk, attacked but struggled against Oxford’s men, and some of Norfolk’s troops fled the field. Northumberland took no action when signalled to assist his king, so Richard gambled everything on a charge across the battlefield to kill Henry and end the fight. Seeing the king’s knights separated from his army, the Stanleys intervened; Sir William led his men to Henry’s aid, surrounding and killing Richard. After the battle Henry was crowned king below an oak tree in nearby Stoke Golding, now a residential garden.

It was then off down the cut for five hours of cruising.

We have found the Ashby Canal very difficult as it is shallow most of the way and there were a lot of boats moored up along the towpaths so you were constantly having to slow down. We also assumed that it would not be particularly busy but we were wrong on that front also.

We retraced our steps back to Marston Junction where we have moored up for the night.


One thought on “Tuesday 5th September – Sutton Cheney Wharf, Ashby Canal to Marston Junction, Coventry Canal

  1. Another fabulous week guys. Perhaps a little fecally focussed but otherwise excellent!

    Glad you safely survived the Birmingham circumnavigation too.

    Safe onward travels and thanks so much for the great insight to the earlier UK history in your travels.

    Cheers – Nick xx


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