On 23 October 1642 the Royalist Army of King Charles I engaged the Roundheads at Edgehill in what was the first major battle of the English Civil War. Edgehill is often referred to as a draw, but the day belonged to Charles. There are numerous figures regarding the number of casualties, many exaggerated I fear. Each force fielded roughly 14,500-15,000 soldiers and a conservative estimate places the butcher’s bill at 2000 dead and the same again wounded.
Edgehill saw a famous charge by the cavalry of Prince Rupert which routed a large part of the Parliamentarian army and the fall of the Royal Banner which was wrenched from the dying hands of Sir Edmund Verney. The banner was re-captured later that day by Captain John Smith. The ghost of Sir Edmund is said to haunt Claydon House.
It is said a ghostly replay of the battle haunted the site in the years following the war and the battlefield is said to be still haunted.
Edgehill can be found seven miles North West of Banbury. The battlefield is on Ministry of Defence land and access is restricted.