St Mary’s - The Battle of Bosworth
On Sunday 21st August 1485, Henry Tudor arrived at the outskirts of Atherstone with an estimated 11,000 troops. He was ready to fight King Richard III for the Crown of England. It is reputed that Henry took Holy Communion at the High Altar in St Mary's chancel that night, knowing that he might die the next day in battle.
Henry's army trampled farmland and destroyed crops in the fields during the overnight camp at Atherstone. After the battle, Henry, now Henry VII ordered that reparations should be paid to those areas that suffered the damage, including £24 (approximately £ 15,670 today) which was paid to Atherstone.
Henry had fought under the emblem of the Red
rose of Lancaster. His enemy had fought under the White rose of York.
In 1486, when Henry married Elizabeth of York, reuniting the houses of
York and Lancaster, the chancels altar displayed the new 'Tudor'Rose,
which went on to symbolise peace at last.