There are a number of obstacles to seeing the countryside as it was on the day of the battle, 14 June 1645. It also demands imagination to understand how the armies and their followers would have experienced that countryside in practical terms.
Naseby stands on a high ridge and its windmill in 1645 would have been visible from as far away as Northampton itself. The tower of the church at East Farndon, at that time standing in a treeless landscape, would have been prominent on the skyline to people in the Welland valley near Market Harborough. Landmarks such as these guided ordinary travellers and columns of soldiers across the country. The few roads were poor and muddy, but wheeled transport had to follow them to avoid getting stuck in the mud. Horsemen could move much more easily across fields and foot soldiers were forced to find drier ground along the ridges if crowded off the roads.
The land around Naseby was still farmed as three, large, open fields. In Sibbertoft some fields had been enclosed with hedges by 1645, particularly those used to keep cattle overnight. Parish boundary hedges were usually, but not always, broad, dense obstacles to straying cattle or to fighting soldiers. Trees were few and woods were found on those hillsides too steep to cultivate, as was gorse and scrub – hard to march or ride through. Streams flowed through boggy ground in that wet summer, another obstacle to horses, as were rabbit warrens, in which horses might break their legs.
The hills and valleys played an important part in the battle. What could be known about the enemy was what was reported by scouts or what one could see. Men can be concealed by a hillock only a couple of metres high. As all cross-country runners know, even a slight slope slows you down. In hand-to-hand combat an enemy standing on ground only one metre higher than you becomes formidable.
All these factors have to be kept in mind to re-create the experience of fighting the battle of Naseby.