10 Famous Medieval Battles

It is known to all that the medieval period was a violent time in the English history. Therefore, this era has witnessed a lot of wars and battles. The first battle that became most famous was the Battle of Hastings wherein the Anglo Saxons were defeated by the Normans to rule over England. After this, most battles were fumed in the Holy Land when the crusades were most dominating. While the Barons War brought about big constitutional modifications in England, the long lasted Hundred Years War between France and England went on for around 116 years. Well, the list goes on! Let's take a look at some of the chief medieval battles.

Battle of Hastings

Occurred on 14th October 1066 in the north of Hastings, the Battle of Hastings was between the Normans and the English. While the Normans were escorted by William the Conqueror, English were guided by King Harold. Edward the Confessor was crowned in 1042 in England. But soon after his death in 1066, claims of crowns reached up to the situation of crisis as Edward had no son or daughter. There were three men to claim the throne: William, the Duke of Normandy, Harold Godwin who was the brother-in-law of Edward, and King Harald Hardrada of Norway who was the brother of Harold Godwin.

Battle of Northallerton

Commonly known as the Battle of the Standard, this battle was the foremost engagement between the Scots led by King David and English since the Norman Conquest. Fought in 1138, it was one of the two key battles during the Civil War of Matilda and Stephen. Perhaps after not more than two hours of the fight, the Scots surprisingly started to flee, leaving behind their several dead armies on the field. However, the conquering English were unable to take up the execution of the shattered enemy forces. In case they had it taken up, the Scottish army destruction would have been on a very big scale.

Battle of Liegnitz or Legnica or Wahlstatt

This battle took place in 1241 between the invading Mongol forces and an alliance of European soldiers led by Henry the Pious of Silesia. Although the European soldiers were double in number than the Mongol ones, Henry lost the battle. The battle was no less than a devastating defeat for the Europeans. The Mongol force was led by Baidar, Orda Khan, and Kadan.

Battle of Falkirk

The Battle of Falkirk took place during the period of the First War of Scottish Independence, which was from 1296-1328. Fought between King Edward I of England and Sir William Wallace of Scotland in 1298 AD, the Battle of Falkirk was a great triumph for Edward I who led double the army than William Wallace. While the English witnessed a great victory, they could not continue their conquest due to the parched earth tactics implemented by Wallace prior to the battle. This resulted in starvation after which Edward left south.

Battle of Bannockburn

This battle took place in around 1314 and this was the period that marked the First War of Scottish Independence. It was fought between Scotland and England near Sterling castle and was the greatest conquest in the history of Scotland. While the Scottish army was led by King Robert the Bruce, the English army was guided by King Edward II. Although the full recognition of independence was still far, Bruce had successfully driven out the English power from Scotland and held his position as the ruler.

Battle of Halidon Hill

Fought in 1333 AD, this battle was one of the vital ones to take place during the Second War of Scottish Independence. The Scottish force led by Sir Archibald Douglas faced a very bad defeat by the English forces escorted by Edward III. He failed to drive Edward away from Berwick. For Edward III, this battle was a vital lesson in terms of learning the war strategies.

The Battle of Crecy

This was a vital battle of the Hundred Years War, which was fought between Phillip VI of France and Edward III of England near Crecy in France in 1346 AD. Although the English won this battle, the victory was not that easy to grab; as both parties had one advantage at least. While the French had relatively double army force, the English were highly trained. Despite double army strength, the French lost the battle because of the rain that incapacitated the crossbow strings to fire.

Battle of Shrewsbury

Fought in 1403, the battle took place between an army escorted by the Lancastrian King, Henry IV, and a mutineer army led by Henry Percy (Hotspur) from Northumberland. It was one of the bloodiest battles of rebellion that ended with a crucial victory for King Henry IV with the declaration of death of Henry "Hotspur" Percy. It had taken place that is now known as Battlefield Church in Shropshire, England; which is near Shrewsbury's center.

Battle of Pinkie Cleugh

Fought in 1547, the battle was the last pitched battle between the English and Scottish armies but was believed to be the first contemporary battle in the British Isles to combine arms, artillery, and a naval bombardment. Occurred on the banks of the River Esk in Scotland, it is believed to take place due to the Rough Wooing conflict. The Scottish lost the battle very badly, and therefore, it is commemorated as 'Black Saturday'.

The Battle of Spanish Armada

This was one of the spectacular battles fought in the 16th century by King Philip II of Spain for marching into Elizabethan England. However, Philip was defeated in this war, which was fought in 1588. Philip had given instructions to construct a big and expensive fleet of ships to carry more soldiers and supplies as well as to manage the narrow seas between Flanders and England. The battle took place at several places, such as in the English Channel, the seas around the West and North of Scotland, the North Sea, the West of Ireland, and the Orkneys.