The Battle of Boroughbridge

The Battle of Boroughbridge was fought on the 16th March 1322. It was fought across the River Ure, at the bridge and the ford. On the north side was Sir Andrew Harcla, a supporter of King Edward II, from the south the Earl of Lancaster, the King’s cousin. Sir Andrew deployed his pikemen at the bridge and more pikemen and archers at the ford downstream.


One of Lancaster’s commanders, the Earl of Hereford, tried to storm the bridge with foot soldiers, and was killed by a pikeman thrusting a pike up through the planks. The Earl of Lancaster with his cavalry tried to rush the ford, but were repelled by the archers.

Having failed to cross the river, the force retired to Boroughbridge for the night. The next day Sir Andrew Harcla marched into the town to round up the men and to arrest the Earl of Lancaster, who had sought sanctuary in the church . The Earl was sent by boat to York and he was later beheaded at Pontefract. The Battle Cross can be seen in Aldborough where it was moved in 1852.

English Heritage rates the battle in the top 43 important English battles.

Battle of boroughbridge