The battle of Marston Moor took place on 2 July 1644 and was one of the key battles of the Civil War. It was fought between the Parlementarians led by Sir Thomas Fairfax & the Royalists led by Prince Rupert. It all started as a thunderstorm was coming to a close, Rupert was convinced that the enemy would not attack until morning, campfires were lit and troops began to have supper. At around 7pm in the evening, the Parlementarians suddenly decided to surprise their opponents and took charge at the Royalists. The fierce battle raged for hours and it was the Parliamentary army that successfully ousted the Royalists. Around 4000 royalist calvary were killed compared to only a few hundred of Fairfax's men. Prince Rupert's reputation declined whilst one man made a name for himself for his role in defeating Rupert's men, his name was Oliver Cromwell.
Many people have claimed to have seen solid figures limping along the ditches at the roadside, possibly those of the wounded soldiers. A horseman has been seen galloping through the field on the north side and one witness claims that they were chased by the horseman! Figures fighting have been seen down what is known as "Bloody Lane" and it is said the sounds of the battle can also be heard in the adjourning fields. There has been various activity reported around the supposed "burial pit" and the distant Elstrop Wood is known as the "haunted woods" where many soldiers were massacred.
VIGIL REPORT - 17 JULY 2004
After heavy rainfall the night before, the downpour continued into the early afternoon, we reached Marston Moor at 3:30pm when thankfully the sun decided to come out. Shortly after our arrival, we began to proceed to the top of the hill located on the north and when we eventually reached Cromwells Clump, it was decided it would be a great spot for our barbecue! But unfortunately for us we had to trudge back through the soaked fields to the car to collect all the necessary’s, and then make another trip up the hill, back to the clump! Our first session at Cromwells Clump began at 4:30pm and we were briefly joined by a history teacher who was also visiting the site out of interest.
Left: The team - Right: Cromwell's Clump
At 6:45pm, we proceeded back down to the monument and were then joined by two members of North Wales Paranormal Research (now disbanded) whom we had invited to join us on our investigation prior to the visit. After a team briefing at 7:45pm, we made our way towards the alleged burial pit whilst NWPR headed for the clump. We all returned to the monument at 9:10pm, and after a quick cuppa and refreshments, we headed off down Bloody Lane towards Elstrop Wood. Just before the wood, there are two ditches, the first with a stream, in which one of our members managed to walk through, the remainder of us weren't brave enough to wear wellies, so we decided to search along the stream in the hope we would find a way over, and we did!
Left: Bloody Lane - Middle: Burial Pit - Right: Field before Elstrop Wood
As dusk came upon us there was one last field to walk through, and we finally entered the woods at 10:00pm. The woods were very isolated so it was no surprise to find out that there was no clear path. Shortly after entering the woods, at 10:15pm we all stopped suddenly as gunshot-type sounds could be heard, this went on for approximately 8 minutes, it was agreed by all that a more plausible explanation for the sounds could have been fireworks being set off in the distance. After scrambling through more nettles and being attacked by thorned bushes, we eventually reached an opening with various paths and decided to do some filming and take photographs. Soon after, we started to make our way back and departed Elstrop Wood at 11:30pm. Because it was much darker than when we arrived, we could not find the path over the stream! Eventually the path appeared, and what seemed like an age (especially to the feet!) took only 47 minutes to arrive back at the monument. The shoes and socks had to come off and although there had been no rainfall since we arrived, the wetness of the fields had soaked right through.
Our final session of the night took place at the monument shortly after 12:15am. It was very quiet and still with only a few cars passing by. At 1:15am we all heard what sounded like "horses hooves" travelling slowly along the main road, as the sounds got closer it became apparent that the sounds heard were of a female walking home with her partner. They passed without even noticing us! The vigil came to a close at 2:10am and we all headed home for some much needed sleep!
SUMMARY OF VIGIL ON 17 JULY 2004
Unfortunately nothing paranormal to report but an interesting and enjoyable time was had by all. On a final note, NWPR have warned us that they will "get us back for this one!"
16 July 2005 - We made a return trip to Marston Moor where we spent most of our time at Cromwell's Clump and Elstrop Wood. All was quiet and still with nothing significant to report.
19 July 2008 - You can always guarantee some rain on outdoor investigations, and this was certainly no exception. On arrival, the weather conditions were so bad, we almost decided to abandon the vigil. Fortunately, there was a break in the clouds and apart from another short but heavy shower, it remained dry throughout the night. Most of our time was spent on Cromwells Clump and Elstrop Wood in which we stayed overnight. As for anything paranormal, there was not a single event to report.
17 July 2010 - We took a number of guests to this location which we are now well familiar with. We have never had an event at this site that couldn't be explained, that was until now. Sometime shortly after midnight, we were all located in Wilstrop Wood when one of our guests clearly heard the sound of a horse 'neighing'. She described the sound as "crystal clear" so it was doubtful that this was caused by a horse in a nearby field. Also worth noting that the surrounding fields mainly contain crops and wheat etc, not animals. Could this have been the sound of one of the horses from the battle that took place back in 1644? There was one other incident whereby an investigator heard a "male voice mumbling" whilst walking past the burial pit towards the monument; this event took place at 11am approx the following morning.
September 2014 - Coordinator Kevin Griffiths-Boden is scheduled to visit after a four year absence.