31st July 2006

Uncertain future for battlefield

More than 350 years ago, in 1648, it was the scene of a Civil War battle when Oliver Cromwell and more than 14,000 Parliamentarian soldiers marched on Preston.

But today mystery surrounds the future of historic Cromwell's Mound near Eastway in Fulwood, after it was sold to property firm Matli Asset Management and cleared of mature trees. It is now rumoured more office blocks could be built on the land.

The mound is classed as an historical monument one of 145 in Lancashire meaning it can only be built on with permission from Lancashire County Council, but as the Evening Post went to press, no request for permission had been received.

No-one from Fulwood-based Matli, was available to comment on plans for the site.

According to historians, the name Cromwell's Mound is misleading and the land is actually a reminder of medieval Preston.

Former county archaeologist, Ben Edwards, said it was associated with the Broughton Tower moat and added: "It was probably originally part of a dam which goes back before Oliver Cromwell.

"It may have played a part in the Battle of Preston, but it is difficult to say for certain as that was not so much a battle as a skirmish over a vast area.
"Whatever they plan, I don't think it will impinge on Cromwell's Mound as it is protected."

But councillors and residents are concerned development will destroy the area and create more parking problems.

Former councillor Elaine Abbot, of Fulwood, said: "When you get rid of a natural hedgerow it is detrimental to wildlife."

Preston councillor Marie Milne added: "The traffic will be a problem. Where are they going to park?"

The Battle of Preston, during the English Civil War, took place from the 17th-19th August 1648.

It was a battle between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists and Scottish "Engagers" who were on the side of the Royalists.

It was a decisive victory for Cromwell and the Parliamentarians and helped to bring an end to the Civil War.

In 1715, another battle was fought near Preston during the Jacobite Rising.