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The West Berkshire Historic Environment Record (HER) is the primary index of the physical remains of past human activity in the unitary authority of West Berkshire Council. Limited elements of the West Berkshire HER are available online via the Heritage Gateway, therefore it is not suitable for use in desk-based studies associated with development, planning and land-use changes, and does not meet the requirements of paragraph 194 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2021: 56). Please read the important guidance on the use of the West Berkshire HER data. For these purposes and all other commercial enquiries, please contact the Archaeology team and complete our online HER enquiry form.

HER Number MWB15775
Record Type Landscape
Name Newbury II Battlefield, 1644

Grid Reference SU 463 684
Map Sheet SU46NE
Parish Shaw-cum-Donnington, West Berkshire
Speen, West Berkshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap


Site of Second Battle of Newbury, 1644 - listed in the English Heritage Appendix of Battle Sites, although its extent is difficult to define

Other Statuses and Cross-References

  • National Monuments Record No.: SU 46 NE 49
    SU 4640 6845

Monument Type(s):

Full Description

The Second Battle of Newbury was fought on October 27th 1644, although preparations had been made the night before by both sides, including a long flanking march to the north and west of Newbury by part of the Parliamentary army. Most of the fighting occurred in an area north of Newbury around and between the Royalist strongholds of Donnington Castle, Shaw House (where King Charles apparently was) and Speen Hill (the latter a temporary position) . The larger Parliamentary forces aimed to combine attacks on the Royalists from both the east on the slopes of Clay Hill (the Earl of Manchester) and the west at Speen (Sir William Waller), but there appears to have been a lack of coordination between the two wings. The Royalist army managed to defend Shaw House and make some gains before fading light brought an end to the fighting , but realising the weakness of their position they slipped away overnight to Oxford.

As with the First Battle of Newbury, there was no clear victor, and the inability of the Parliamentarians to defeat the King was a missed opportunity, the reverse of the situation at the First Battle. One consequence of this failure was a public quarrel between Cromwell and the Earl of Manchester, which acted as a catalyst to the War Party in Parliament to attempt radical change in the way that the war was conducted. This led to the introduction of the Self-Denying Ordinance, a bill that prevented members of the House of Commons or House or Lords from holding military command, and ultimately to the creation of the New Model Army in 1645.

English Heritage's Battlefields Register <1> contains an appendix of 'military actions which were considered to be battles for the purpose of the Register but (in Newbury II's case) the battlefield no longer survives sufficiently to warrant conservation measures, even where potential remains for interpretation and presentation.' The extent of the battlefield landscape site has therefore not been geographically defined, but the Ordnance Survey has marked an area centred at c SU4640 6845 for this battle since the First Edition Ordnance Survey mapping <28>. This is located within the 18th century designed landscape of Donnington Grove, although outside the area designated as a Registered Park. Since the 1990s, Donnington Grove has been used as a golf course.

Little fieldwork has been carried out to determine the archaeological evidence of the conflict, although limited metal detecting work during the construction of the Donnington Golf Course <30> did recover musket shot as well as some 17th century buckles and buttons.

A metal detector survey conducted as part of an archaeological evaluation to the south of Lambourn road in Speen identified four musket balls and a copper alloy buckle. The musket balls showed some evidence of having been fired and were of a size and shape consistent with 17th century musket balls. The buckle was also of a style used broadly at the time of the Civil War <38>.

Sources and further reading

<01>Historic England (previously English Heritage). 1995. Battlefields Register. In Appendix. [Website / SWB12742]
https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/what-is-designation/registered-battlefields/ (Since 2014 no separate register, is incorporated into NHLE)
<02>Ash, S. 1644. A True Relation of the most chiefe Occurrences at, and since the late Battell at Newbery.... [Unpublished document / SWB146746]
<03>1644. A Letter sent to the Honourable William Lenthall, Esquire...wherein is truly related the great Victory... [Unpublished document / SWB146747]
<04>Plan of the Battle of Newbury 1644. Ref Add 16370 f.60. [Map / SWB13536]
<05>Blundell, B. 1859. The Two Battles of Newbury 1643-1644. [Unpublished document / SWB146742]
<06>Lawson, E. 1860-1870. The History of the Two Battles of Newbury and of Donnington Castle. [Monograph / SWB13463]
<07>Money, W. 1881. The First and Second Battles of Newbury (1st ed). [Monograph / SWB11644]
https://archive.org/details/firstsecondbattl00monerich (Accessed on 02/08/2022)
<08>Money, W. 1884. The First and Second Battles of Newbury (2nd ed). [Monograph / SWB12745]
http://openlibrary.org/books/OL14008014M/The_first_and_second_battles_of_Newbury_and_the_siege_of_Donnington_Castle_during_the_Civil_War_1643 (Accessed 23/09/2013)
<09>Money, W. 1905 & 1972. A Popular History of Newbury (also Walter Money's History of Newbury). p53-60. [Monograph / SWB11278]
<10>Burne, A H. 1951. The Battlefields of England. P230-38; 306-7. [Monograph / SWB11266]
<11>Burne, Lt Col A H and Young, Lt Col P. 1959. The Great Civil War - A Military History of the First Civil War 1642-1646. p180-190, Map p184. [Monograph / SWB146726]
<12>Rogers, Col H C B. 1968. Battles and Generals of the Civil Wars 1642-1651. [Monograph / SWB146743]
<13>Morris, W A D. 1969. A History of the Parish of Shaw-cum-Donnington. [Monograph / SWB12974]
<14>Disbury, D. 1978. Berkshire in the Civil War. p94-7. [Unpublished document / SWB146749]
<15>Smurthwaite, D. 1984. The Ordnance Survey Complete Guide to the Battlefields of Britain. p164-5. [Monograph / SWB13414]
<16>Baker, A. 1986. A Battlefield Atlas of the English Civil War. p72-3. [Monograph / SWB146744]
<17>Bennett, M. 1992. The English Civil War. p116-122. [Monograph / SWB146745]
<18>Grimwood, T D. 1993. The Impact of the Civil War on Newbury and the Surrounding Area. p164-5. [Unpublished document / SWB146740]
<19>Gaunt, P. 2003. The English Civil Wars. p44-45. [Monograph / SWB146739]
<20>Emberton, W. 1997. The English Civil War Day by Day. p128-31. [Monograph / SWB146781]
<21>Porter, S. 1994. Destruction in the English Civil Wars. [Monograph / SWB146782]
<22>Ditchfield, Rev P H (ed). 1896. Bygone Berkshire. p204-210 The Second Battle of Newbury by Edward Lamplough. [Monograph / SWB146915]
<23>Money, W. 1892. The History of Speen. p81-4. [Monograph / SWB11824]
<24>Scott, C L. 2008. The Battles of Newbury - Crossroads of the English Civil War. [Monograph / SWB147462]
<25>Richards, J. 1600s?. Treatise on Artillery in French, in the hand of Jacob Richards (and map of Newbury). [Unpublished document / SWB147732]
<26>de Gomme, Sir Bernard. 1640s?. Plan of Battle of Newbury, Oct 1644 by ?Sir Bernard de Gomme. [Unpublished document / SWB147733]
<27>West Berkshire Museum. 2006. Heritage Guide No 1 - The Civil War in Newbury. [Unpublished document / SWB148018]
<28>Landmark. 1872-85. Digital Ordnance Survey Mapping Epoch 1, 1:2500 (25 inch). Digital. 1:2500. [Map / SWB14341]
<29>Page and Ditchfield (eds). 1924. Victoria County History (VCH) Berks IV 1924. Vol 4. p88. [Monograph / SWB10281]
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/berks/vol4 (Accessed 24/09/2015)
<30>Newbury Antiquaries. 1992. Donnington Grove Golf Course - Newbury Antiquaries Report. 2013 WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB147204]
<31>1640s. Mercurius Aulicus. Week ending 2 November, 1644. [Article in serial / SWB146751]
<32>Young, P and Tucker, N (eds). 1967. The Military Memoirs of Richard Atkins and John Gwyn. [Monograph / SWB147239]
<33>Robertson, A S. 1792. Topographical Survey of the Great West Road from London to Bath Vol I. I p141-145. [Unpublished document / SWB13306]
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=UwkQAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0 (Accessed 25/09/2015)
<34>Barratt, J. 2013. The Second Battle of Newbury. [Monograph / SWB148642]
<35>Wanklyn, M. 2006. Decisive Battles of the English Civil War. p136-158 Chaps 12 and 13 Newbury II. [Monograph / SWB147236]
<36>Firth, C H (ed). 1894. The memoirs of Edmund Ludlow, lieutenant-general of the horse in the army of the commonwealth of England, 1625-1672. Vol I. p102-5. [Monograph / SWB148976]
https://archive.org/details/memoirsofedmundl01ludl (Accessed 29/02/2016)
<37>Vincent, J E. 1906. Highways and Byways in Berkshire. p412-28. [Monograph / SWB146918]
https://archive.org/details/highwaysbywaysin00vinciala (Accessed 07/06/2016 [1919 edition])
<38>Thames Valley Archaeological Services. 2016. Land at Lambourn Road, Speen, West Berkshire - Archaeological Evaluation Report. 2017 WBC Network. p8-9. [Unpublished document / SWB149301]
<39>Cotswold Archaeology. 2013. Land to the north of Newbury, West Berkshire - Heritage Desk-Based Assessment. CA Report: 13595. 2017 WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB148701]
<40>Cotswold Archaeology. 2014. Land to the north of Newbury, West Berkshire - Fieldwalking and Archaeological Evaluation. CA Report: 14092. WBC Network. https://doi.org/10.5284/1082380. [Unpublished document / SWB148706]
http://reports.cotswoldarchaeology.co.uk/report/land-north-newbury/?report_location=unitary_authority-123&period_type&site_type&artefact_type&report_number&form_submitted=true (Accessed 09/10/2017)
<41>Cotswold Archaeology. 2018. Land to the North of Newbury (Western Site), Newbury, West Berkshire: Archaeological Metal Detector Survey. 18724a. 2019 WBC Network. https://doi.org/10.5284/1088850. [Unpublished document / SWB149736]
<42>Cotswold Archaeology. 2018. Land to the North of Newbury (Western Site), Newbury, West Berkshire: Archaeological Evaluation. 18724b. WBC Network. https://doi.org/10.5284/1088850. [Unpublished document / SWB149738]
<43>The Battlefields Trust. 2022. Newbury Garden Archaeology: Project Closure Report. 2022 WBC Network. [Unpublished document / SWB150368]

Related Monuments

MWB501376 Pear Tree Lane, Newbury (Monument)
MWB16596Bank by Shaw House garden wall (Monument)
MWB16597Banks of Long Lane, near Shaw - general location (Find Spot)
MWB16295Battlefield areas around Newbury (temporary record) (Find Spot)
MWB16592Clay Hill (Monument)
MWB1545Donnington Castle (Monument)
MWB15906Ivy Cottage, Donnington (Building)
MWB16777Lanolee Farmhouse, Curridge (Building)
MWB16406Near River Lambourn, Shaw (Monument)
MWB9934North of 'Dolmans', Shaw (Monument)
MWB16297Northeast of Shaw House grounds (Monument)
MWB6371On land at Donnington Grove (Find Spot)
MWB19367Pens Cottage, Curridge (Building)
MWB16056Possible Civil War siege trenches, Snelsmore Heath (Monument)
MWB16594Possible Civil War trench, west of Speen Hill (Monument)
MWB5024Shaw House - Chalk Terrace (Monument)
MWB20016Shaw House - possible Civil War ditch, or garden feature (Monument)
MWB15683Shaw House - site of brick waterhouse (Monument)
MWB5023Shaw House (Building)
MWB5032Site of 'entrenched house' in Shaw Park (Monument)
MWB16595Site of Parliamentarian night camp, 26th October 1644 - approximate location (Monument)
MWB14270SPEEN - General location (Find Spot)
MWB16593Speen Hill (Monument)
MWB15762Newbury I Battlefield, 1643 (Landscape)
MWB21237Northern boundary wall, Shaw House (Building)
MWB19427Plum Tree Cottage, North Heath (Building)
MWB18806The Crab and Boar (formerly The Blue Boar Inn), North Heath (Building)

Associated Excavations and Fieldwork

EWB974Donnington Grove Golf Course - Metal Detecting Survey
EWB454Donnington Grove Golf Course - Evaluation (Ref: DGGC 91)
EWB1591Land at Lambourn Road, Speen, West Berkshire - Archaeological Evaluation (Ref: Site Code BRT 13/06)
EWB1400Land to the north of Newbury, West Berkshire - Heritage Desk-Based Assessment (Ref: CA Report: 13595)
EWB1734Land to the North of Newbury (Western Site), Newbury: Archaeological Metal Detector Survey (Ref: 770811)
EWB1735Land North of Newbury (Western Site), Newbury: Archaeological Evaluation (Ref: 770811)
EWB1405Land to the north of Newbury, West Berkshire: Fieldwalking and Archaeological Evaluation (Ref: CA Project 770055)
EWB2034Battles of Newbury Garden Archaeology Project