The Battle of Sedgemoor

I’m not going to delve into the history or the rights and wrongs of this – said to be the last pitched battle fought on English soil. Suffice to say that The Duke of Monmouth fancied himself as king, rather than the incumbent James II. Monmouth and his 500 men were utterly routed at Westonzoyland in the Sedgemoor area of Somerset. His rebellion and attempt on the throne was over. But Catholic James was replaced by Protestant William soon after.  And of course the lessons of history teach us nothing. People of various religious beliefs still squabble, fight and go to war, all professing their rightness and that God is on their side.

But back to that battle which took place in 1685. There is a memorial which I photographed with my first digital camera back in 1999.

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Sedgemoor is part of the Somerset levels and you can see in the photo that it is level! It is all barely above sea level and there is a tendency for the levels to flood. It was in this peaceful scene that the two armies – Monmouth’s and the King’s met.

The memorial is said to mark the site of the battle.

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The plaque makes it clear that all sides believed they were right and that many died or suffered.

The whole area is made fit for agriculture by a series of dug drains.

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They, of course, are a haven for wildlife.

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