Walking Tour – Battle of The Yellow Ford

The Battle of the Yellow Ford was fought on 14 August 1598. Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, engaged and defeated Queen Elizabeth I’s field army in Ireland. It remains the greatest victory of Irish arms over the English, but the quiet fields on which it was fought betray little of their violent past.

Four thousand English troops marched from Armagh to relieve the beleaguered Blackwater Fort. Led by Sir Henry Bagenal, it was one of the most powerful and well-equipped armies deployed in Ireland by the Tudor Queen, but O’Neill engaged and overthrew the Crown army with his better-trained and well equipped Irish army.

On 23 March 2024, Dr James O’Neill will lead a walking tour through the key sites in the landscape where the bloody events of 1598 took place. He will take the group from hill to hill, describing the events as they unfolded, from the confident beginning of the English march north, the slow escalation of gunfire, the growing panic and ensuing carnage as the English army collapsed under a hail of Irish gunfire.

The walk will begin at 11am, starting at the junction of the Blackwatertown and Moy Roads. It will cover just over two miles as Dr O’Neill explains the course of the battle, the tactics used and the brutal reality of late 16th century warfare.  Ranfurly House Box Office staff will contact those who have made a booking one day before the tour to confirm details of the meeting point.

Bio: Dr James O’Neill worked in archaeology in Northern Ireland for 16 years, where he specialised in battlefield archaeology and twentieth century defence heritage. He received his doctorate at Queen’s University, Belfast, in 2013 and has published extensively on the Nine Years’ War, including a monograph titled The Nine Years’ War 1593-1603: O’Neill, Mountjoy and the Military Revolution.

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