The founding of the Naseby Battlefield Project
In 1999 a Battlefields Trust walk took place to view the battlefield of Naseby. At the end of the day’s fascinating tour, Peter Burton challenged members of the Trust to do something about making Naseby better known. As a result a working party was set up including, vitally, Peter Burton and Michael Westaway, and additionally author and military historian Martin Marix Evans. Peter had lived all his life in Sibbertoft and Michael’s family, originally from Devon, farmed Prince Ruperts farm on the battlefield for 25 years. They had been carrying out metal detecting on the battlefield and its environs for over 20 years and had recorded their finds on maps. Together with the contributions of other detectorists, this research had provided the foundation for a complete revision of historical accounts of the battle.
The Naseby Battlefield Project was set up in 2001. At first under the aegis of the Battlefields Trust, and then from 2007, as an independent charity, the Naseby Battlefield Project raised in excess of £300,000. These funds have been used for the refurbishment of existing sites such as the Cromwell Monument and the Obelisk Monument close to Sibbertoft and Naseby respectively and their integration into the Naseby Battlefield Tour with further viewpoints. Interpretation panels have also been added, along with walks and parking facilities, to make self-guided visits to the battlefield possible.
Martin, Peter and Michael co-authored Naseby – June 1645 (Pen & Sword, 2002), a new account and guide to the battle. Michael Westaway died in 2009, and is commemorated at the King’s Oak viewpoint on the Sulby Hedges permissive path. Peter Burton and Martin Marix Evans handed over their tasks as trustees to fresh hands in 2011.