555 Year Anniversary of the Battle of Wakefield Where Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain

I visited the monument that is believed to mark the spot where Richard of York fell in the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460. Somebody had left a white rose on the spot presumably to mark this anniversary.


The mnemonic Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain that is used by school children to remember the colours of the spectrum was based on events at Sandal Castle in Wakefield.


Richard, a claimant to the throne of England during the Wars of the Roses died at the Battle of Wakefield that took place just outside the castle’s walls.

Back in October 2013 I visit Sandal Castle during some quite blustery weather and was rewarded by the opportunity to take photographs of the famous battlefield while appropriately a rainbow arched over it.

The Battle of Wakefield took place on 30 December 1460.  More details about the battle can be found inTHIS Wikipedia article.  That article makes the following interesting observation about Sandal Castle’s place in one of Shakespeare’s plays:

“Shakespeare’s play Henry VI, Part 3 (Act 1, Scene 2) is set in Sandal Castle. It describes Richard’s sons urging him to take the crown before news is brought of Margaret’s approach. Act 1, scene 4 then depicts the death of Richard at the Queen’s hands.”

The photograph below shows the battlefield of the Battle of Wakefield.  A map at warsoftheroses.co.uk depicts this view showing the position of opposing forces.

Sandal Castle View Wakefield

Above: Part of the Battlefield where the Battle of Wakefield was fought. The is a monument marking the position where Richard of York fell is somewhere under the rainbow in the area of buildings beyond the right hand side of the field.

Below: The view of the City of Wakefield from Sandal Castle.

Wakefield From Sandal Castle


Merry Christmas

Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas. Got a new camera for Christmas – photography is one of my hobbies. This is a picture of my Christmas tree today, Christmas Day 2015.  Another hobby of mine is collecting Christmas baubles as you may have guessed by looking at the tree.  When I am on holiday I try to get a unique Christmas decoration from the place I am staying.

New Star Wars Film – Well Worth Seeing

***WARNING: The following is about the new Star Wars film. If you do not want to know anything about the film before seeing it then DO NOT READ ON!***

Went to see the Star Wars film today for a second time, though this time I wend for the 3D option. On my first visit I was disappointed, captivated, amazed, and intrigued all at the same time. This time I just thought it was a great film.

It is very much like the original Star Wars, episode IV with a similar story-line, though completely different feel. I think it is a film that will have to settle in the mind for a while to truly appreciate it – “enigmatic” is one word that could describe the film.

There were equivalent components that were mirrored between episodes IV and VII. An interesting equivalent was what I would describe as the Obi Wan Kenobi character that in the original trilogy was was the central driver of the whole story from start to finish across the trilogy. That character in the new film was surprisingly, Han Solo. I suspect the Solo character will be the driving force behind the development of at least two of the new personalities in the film and will be the basis for how they interact and relate to each other in the future and in so doing will snap the broader storyline.

The galaxy in episode IV was one of established order and stability, which made the rebellion appear a futile quixotic quest. In episode VII the political situation is one of chaos and uncertainty and the antagonists appear to be evenly matched. Rather than a climatic battle between good and evil the situation is more nuanced and uncertain making the situation more realistic, though perhaps a little less exciting.

The new galaxy far far away has a rural feel to it, almost to the extent of being post apocalyptic in the spirit of Mad Max. The events seem to be directed on the hoof on the frontiers rather than from the political centre of a capital city. It is as if two evenly matched opponents have been wearing each other down for years in a protracted war of attrition. This contrasts with the very urban and sophisticated galaxy of the prequels where power was exercised directly from the capital.

A very interesting and thought provoking film well worth watching, and re-watching. Having now seen it twice it did improve as I became more familiar with it.

The film ends with the promise of a great adventure to come. The scene is well and truly set! It was like Star Wars, Mad Max, and Lord of the Rings all rolled into one. An impressive film! I am sure I will be watching the film again, especially when it comes out on DVD.

Hope I have given an impression of the film without giving too much away about the story-line, don’t want to spoil the experience of others yet to see it.