The Wars of the Roses

As a child growing up in West Yorkshire I knew that a friendly rivalry existed between Yorkshire and Lancashire, our neighbours on the other side of the Pennines. Later on at grammar school I learnt a little about the Wars of the Roses and was astonished to discover that it wasn’t a war between the two counties as I had believed, but a series of battles fought in medieval England from 1455 to 1485 between the House of Lancaster and the House of York.

The name of the battles derives from the symbols used by the two sides:

comtesse d'Oxford
Red Rose  – House of Lancaster
House of York
White Rose – House of York

On moving to Ludlow a few years ago I found out that one of the major battles of these wars took place only a few hundred yards from where I now live. The Battle of Ludford Bridge 12 October 1459. The Yorkist factions gathered here to make a push into Worcestershire, but fell back when they encountered a large group of Lancastrians led by Henry VI. The two sides took up positions on the opposite banks of the River Teme, but many of the Yorkists deserted during the night and the rest retreated the next day. So a victory for the Lancastrians. It is such a picturesque spot now that it is hard to imagine a battle taking place here.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

52 thoughts on “The Wars of the Roses”

  1. I love learning about English history. It’s so complicated though, because every man was named either James, Richard or Charles and then they have titles as well. So confusing – after a while I can’t remember which is which.

  2. Jude I think a wonderful timing of this post with Jo giving you a rose this morning. Thanks for the history lesson along with these fogeys images.

  3. And of course the Tudors took both roses to make their own emblem. I love English history. My Middle Son was obsessed with English royalty as a small boy. Not the modern incarnation but the old, particularly the Tudors. It was slightly unnerving to have an eight-year-old who could tell you all the monarchs of England in order.
    Lovely photos, Jude and a great history lesson. If only all school lessons were like this. 🙂

    1. We did the Tudors in primary school which is probably why I know more about Henry VIII then is good for me. My memory is shocking now though, I get very mixed up with the monarchs, even the more recent ones! If only they would use different names rather than tagging on an extra number!

  4. Now I’m a Yorkshire lass Jude but have to admit I never did take much notice of history. I did have a vague recollection of the war(s) of the roses but never realised how it panned out. (I was more interested in geography…) Love your rose photos.

    1. Geography was another of my favourites along with history and languages! I loved the geography trips we had to places like the Yorkshire Dales 🙂

      1. Unfortunately in my school days (almost the dark ages 🙂 ) they didn’t take us on any trips… :(. But art and English were my other 2 favourites…

  5. Ha! Roses all the way 🙂 🙂 As Sue pointed out. I’m hopeless at remembering which rose belongs to which house! Even when I was reading the Philippa Gregory stories 😦 Lovely photos though.

    1. Thank you Sherri – I hadn’t realised that Ludlow was such an important town in the past until I moved here.

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