Saturday, 12 September 2015

Up the Ashby Part 3. Bosworth to Shackerstone

Leaving Lime Kiln, through Hinkley, past quite a few wharfs old and new, to Sutton Cheney where there is an extensive café and moorings and a path to The Bosworth Field Experience. This comprises a pleasant woodland walk to an interpretation centre where children try on armour and press buttons while adults read explanatory boards with great seriousness, trying to make sense of why one distant "royal" relative should believe himself to be more kingly than another .... We browse the extensive family trees and then we find that the battle itself probably only lasted an hour, and that the site of the battle remains unclear. So, somewhere near here a battle took place in which Richard III, recklessly charging forward, was killed and Henry VII was crowned in his place.
So, well done Bosworth Field Experience, to have made so much of genuine interest from a site which has few notable physical features -  and yet a king died here in the final battle of The War of the Roses and the ascent of the Tudors to the throne changed the history of England. More here.

The Ashby continues through a pleasant autumnal landscape with harvesting on all sides. It is rather shallow, and we witness four groundings on the west / towpath side, avoiding it ourselves by good luck and by holding to the central channel wherever possible.

We moor at Shackerstone, where there are lovely moorings between bridges 51 and 52 (see photo) and John is able to visit the Battlefields Railway Line - unfortunately not running today; we are told its steam engine is out of action. The station is locked up and we can't even reach the platform, but it looks an attractive spot. Only four miles to reach Snarestone and the end of the canal.

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