The Battle of Marston Moor

Type of armour worn by pikeman at the battle - York Castle Museum

1644AD - 1644AD

In 1644, during the English Civil War, York was besieged.  Royalist troops in the city were surrounded by a combined English Parliamentarian and Scottish army. 

Eventually another Royalist army commanded by Prince Rupert attempted to come to the rescue.  On hearing that Rupert was on his way, the allies abandoned the siege and, on the 2nd of July, gathered at Martson Moor. 

In sheer numbers of men involved, Marston Moor is thought to be the largest battle every fought on English soil.  It started at around 7pm and lasted about two hours.  Even in that short time the Royalists lost 4000 men killed, and had 1500 taken prisoner.  The Scots' and Parliamentarian casualties were much lighter; perhaps as few as 300 killed.

The Royalist defeat at Marston Moor meant that they had effectively lost control of the North of England.  The battle also boosted the reputation of the Parliamentarian cavalry commander, Oliver Cromwell.

The victorious Parliamentarian army marched back to York.


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