New Perspective on the Battle of Sedgemoor

The common misconception is the Battle of Sedgemoor was fought between a vast host of misguided peasant and a thin line of outnumbered Redcoats. That it was a forgone conclusion, but new research uncovered in my book Fighting for Liberty, has uncovered an engagement between two well matched Armies, in the early hours of July 6, 1685. In truth, it was a hard fought bloody encounter and in the balance for nearly two hours.  This page will give you a new fresh perspective on the Sedgemoor Battlefield of July 6, 1685.

To read the story of the Battle visit the Battle of Sedgemoor

Battle of Sedgemoor then 6 July 1685 & now 6 July 2020

The Battle of Sedgemoor in Today’s Landscape

The Battle of Sedgemoor took place on the northern edge of the Kings Great Sedgemoor. This was low lying land, flooded in winter and cattle grazing moor in the Summer. The moor was surround by raised ground locally called Zoy’s; Chedzoy to the north and Westenzoyland to the south. Today the landscape is dominated by the King Sedgemoor Drain cut in the 1780s and later widened when the Chedzoy Cut was added to further drain the land.

The Battlefield & Surrounding Landscape
The Sedgemoor Battlefield Today

Today the Battlefield of Sedgemoor has Electricity Pylon that cut across the moor, while the drains have dried out the moor except after heavy rain. The battlefield is orientation around the Monument and car park at Bussex farm.

The Sedgemoor Battlefield in 2021

The monument to the Battle of Sedgemoor in November 2019 look across the Fowlers Plot.

Monument to the Battle of Sedgemoor
The Battlefield Landscape with Historical Features

When the historical features are added to the landscape old track-ways and watercourses appear in the landscape.

The Battlefield Landscape with Historical Features
The Battlefield today with the missing historical features

The key features of the battlefield are the Bussex Rhyne, Longmoor Stones, Upper & Lower Plungeons. On the Chedzoy side of the moor the raised ground had cornfields, while the Windmill at Sutton Mill was another distinctive landmark. On many maps of the battlefield the Kings Sedgemoor Drain is incorrectly placed on the battlefield and renamed as the Black Ditch, however this feature still remains in the landscape today.

The Battlefield todays with features from 1685

Today the whole Battlefield can seen from the foundations of Sutton Mill. The same spot from where eyewitnesses watched the battle in 1685.

The Battlefield Today from Sutton Mill
The Sedgemoor Landscape in 1685

With the modern features removed the moor takes on a more open perspective. The Peasey Pond acted as feed to the ditches that helped the water flow to the River Parrett to the west.

The Wider Sedgemoor and Battlefield
The Sedgemoor Battlefield in 1685

In 1685 the track-way from the Longmoor Stone forked to the Upper Plungeon and the Lower Plungeon. At the Upper Plungeon the track joined another path that cut across the moor from Westonzoyland to the village of Sutton, cutting across the Halsom Rhyne.

The Historical Features of the Sedgemoor Battlefield

In the Winter of 2019 the heavy rain revealed the Bussex Rhyne. This is the view across the Bussex from the Whig’s firing line towards Westonzoyland.

The Bussex Rhyne revealed in 2019


This account is based on a more detail description of the Earl of Argyll’s & the Duke of Monmouth’s campaign of 1685 available from Helion & Company in my Book Fighting For Liberty.