Visiting Key Locations

The Locations page lists forty-two key locations connected with the escape. Not all of these lie on the Monarch’s Way itself; this page tells you where to find them and if they can be visited.

1. Powick Bridge

On 3 September 1651, the forces of the future King Charles II were routed by Cromwell’s New Model Army at Worcester, early action taking place at Powick Bridge.
On the MW.
2. Confluence of Teme and Severn

Cromwell’s troops built bridges overs the rivers Teme and Severn to attack Royalist troops to the West of the City.
On the MW.
3. Worcester Cathedral

Charles and Royalist commanders watched the battle develop from the tower of Worcester Cathedral.
Not quite on the MW, see my Battle of Worcester Walk. Open to visitors.
4. Commandery, Worcester

As the battle was waged to the West, Charles moved to the Royalist HQ, the Commandery (near Sidbury Gate) to  attack on Cromwell’s troops in the East.
On the MW. Open to visitors.
5. Fort Royal

Fort Royal was a Royalist redoubt on a hill just beyond Sidbury gate, to the east of the City. When the Roundheads took this late in the day, the battle was effectively lost.
Not on the MW, see my Battle of Worcester Walk. Now a public park.
6. King Charles House, Worcester

From Fort Royal, Cromwell’s forces moved on to take the Commandery Charles fled along Friar Street to his lodgings and  escaped via the back door near St Matin’s Gate.
On the MW. Charles lodging house is now a working pub – serves good pies.
7. Site of St Martin’s Gate, Worcester

Charles left the city with a group of Officers via St Martin’s Gate, the only gate which has not yet fallen to the Roundheads.
On the MW. 
8. Barbourne Bridge

One mile outside Worcester, at Barbourne Bridge, the Royal Party conferred. It was agreed that Charles would ride North with a small group of supporters. 
Not on the MW, see my Battle of Worcester Walk.
9. Stourbridge town centre

The Royal party encountered troops in Stourbridge but avoided attention and carried on out, now heading for White Ladies Priory, North of Wolverhampton.
On the MW.
10. White Ladies Priory ruins

Arriving in the early hours of 4 September, Charles hid in the grounds of White Ladies with Richard Penderel, a Catholic Recusant who family looked after the Boscobel estate.
On the MW. Always open.
11. Hobbal Grange ruins

A plan was formed to escape via the Welsh coast. Charles and Richard Penderel walked to Madley on the night of 4 September where a sympathiser lived. The journey was broken by a meal a Hobbal Grange.
On MW. Very little to see.
12. Evelith Mill

There was an altercation at Evelith Mill later in the day when Charles thought he had been recognised.
Near the MW, can be seen from road
13. Madeley Barn

Charles discovered that Cromwell’s men were patrolling the Severn so the way to Wales was blocked. He spent the 5th September hiding in a barn at Madeley and travelled to Boscobel House in the evening.
On the MW.
14. Wesley Brook

When returning to Boscobel, the King had difficulty fording a river, most likely Wesley Brook.
I think the MW crosses this, in the woods, east of Shifnal. Not entirely certain.
15. Boscobel House

Arrived in the  early hours of the 6th and spent day hiding in the famous Oak Tree and the night in a priest hole.
On the MW, open to visitors.
16. Royal Oak at Boscobel

Spent the day of the 6th in the tree being supported by Major Careless. This was the most famous part of the escape; the tree became a major icon of Charles’ reign.
Close to MW. Visit Boscobel House to get closer.
17. Pendeford Mill ruins

On 7 September, Charles was taken to another Catholic House, Moseley Old Hall, by the Penderel brothers. He was handed over at Pendeford Mill.
The mill site is in Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve, off Pendeford Hall Lane. To access, where the MW leaves Lawn Road, carry on for 200 yards and turn left and make your way through the reserve. Allow one hour for the diversion
18. Moseley Old Hall

Spent the nights of 7 and 8 September at the hall. Left for Bentley Hall on 9 September.
On MW, open to visitors
19. Bentley Hall ruins

At Bentley, developed plan to sail for France from Bristol. Left on the morning of 10 September.
Very close by MW. A cairn surrounded by a fence, presented as a monument.
20. Ye Olde Black Cross, Bromsgrove

Stopped at blacksmith forge in Bromsgrove to get horse reshod. The forge is now a pub.
On the MW, a working pub.
21. Kings Lane, Stratford

Encounters troops at what is now Kings Lane, outside Stratford.
On the MW.
22. Kings Lodge, Long Marsden

Stayed here on the night of 10 September.
On the MW. 
23. The Fleece, Cirencester

Charles stayed at Cirencester on the night on 11 September, most likely at this Inn. 
Close to the MW in Cirencester Town Centre. A working pub.
24. Norton Court

Demolished 1815 and replaced by Leigh Court, 500m to the north east. Charles stayed for nights of 12-15 September. As there were no boats from Bristol, Charles decided to sail from the South Coast and left early on 16 September.
Quite a way off the MW, but well worth a diversion, if only for the fun of exploration. After Abbot’s Leigh church, turn right, later right again towards Garden centre. The remnants of a stone gazebo and a garden lake are visible opposite garden Centre Car Park. This is all that is left of a great house.
25. The Old House, Ansford

Most likely location for stay of night of 16 September.
Unfortunately, the official MW route recommends a footpath just beyond the parish notice board in the road known as Lower Ashford, which means the Old House is not to be seen . If however, you carry along Lower Ashford, you pass The Old House which is a private residence. You will soon re-join the official path.
26. Trent Manor

Stayed for 17-21 September while Charmouth plan developed. Returns to stay for 24 September to 5 October while Brighton plan hatched. “…Trent, the ark in which God shut him up when the floods of rebellion had covered the face of his dominions.”
A private home. Parts of the building, including the window of the room where Charles stayed can be seen from the Church grounds at Trent, close to the MW. The church is well worth visiting as a proxy for the house; the memorial to Sir Thomas Wyndham records his role on sheltering Charles.
27. Elsdon Farm,  Monkton Wyld 

The party took a break on his journey to Charmouth, most likely  at Elsdon Farm, very near Hawkchurch.
The MW arrives at Monkton Wyld by going down Elsdon Lane. Near the Church it turns left off Elsdon Lane. Elsdon Farm is reach by carry on along the lane and the house on the right near the A35. There is little to see as it is on private land.
28. The Abbots House, Charmouth, formerly the Queens Arms

Charles and his party went to Charmouth on 22 September to board a boat to France, but the boat did not appear. They left the next morning to return to Trent.
Close to the MW, about 50 yards to the left as the way crosses The Street. It is now a private house but has adjacent self-catering accommodation and monthly dining evenings if you would like to see more.
29. George Inn, Bridport

Charles and party got lost on way back to Trent, narrowly avoided capture at an inn in Bridport and carried on out of the town. 
A small diversion is necessary as the MW avoids the centre of Bridport. To see The George, head for the centre along South Street. No longer an Inn, it operates as a charity shop.
30. Memorial, Lee Lane, Bridport

The road where they escape from Bridport.
On the MW.
31.  King Charles Cottage, The Square, Broadwindsor, on site of George Inn

Where Charles spent the night of 23 September before returning to Trent the next day.
On the MW. A private house.
32. The Chapter House (formerly The King’s Arms), St John’s Street, Salisbury

Wilmot stayed at this Royalist Inn from 24 September, planning the Brighton escape, while Charles was at Trent.
Not on the MW, it is near Salisbury Cathedral. A boutique hotel and restaurant specialising in South African food.
33. George Inn, Mere

On the early hours of 6 October, Charles left Trent to head for Heale House which was nearer Brighton where the best chance lay of securing a passage to France. Dined at this inn on the way.
On the MW. A working pub, offering accommodation.
34. Heale House

Arrived 7 October and stayed until 12 October. Largely rebuilt in the Nineteenth Century.
On the MW. The House is private but the gardens are open in the summer.
35. Stonehenge

Where Charles visited on 8 October.
Not on MW, but can be walked by heading North on the Great Stones Way which intercepts the MW just beyond Middle Woodford – perhaps 4 miles each way. The official MW guidebook suggests walking the Great Stones Way in the opposite direction, to Great Sarum, a site unconnected to the escape.
36. Old Winchester Hill

Here the King, accompanied by Phelips, rejoined Lord Wilmot who was with Colonel Gunter.
On The MW.
37. King’s Rest cottage, Hambledon

The King stayed at Bury Lodge (now demolished) the home of Colonel Gunter’s sister on 13 October, the site of which is near this cottage, which is supposedly haunted by Charles’s ghost.
Nearly a mile off the MW. Where the MW emerges in the village centre off Speltham Hill, turn left onto West Street and keep following the road (also the B2150). Pass Cams Hill on the right towards the end of the village and just after passing a turning onto a minor road on the left, the white-roofed property can be glimpsed through the trees. It seems to be mostly enclosed in a walled garden, semi-derelict, and inaccessible. Therefore, well worth looking for. Link
38. George & Dragon, Houghton

Took refreshment here on 14 October.
On the MW, a working pub.
39. Bramber Bridge

Encountered troops near the bridge. To avoid further incident, he diverted over the Downs towards Brighton.
On the MW.
40. The Old George Inn, West Street, Brighton

Most likely site of where the King spent the evening of 14 October and early hours of 15 October, before travelling to Shoreham. No trace of the Inn remains, the site is now occupied by an Art Deco Travelodge.
The MW passes the top of this road as it moves through Brighton. An option would be to go down this road and turn right at the end along the sea front to reconnect with the MW.
41. Shoreham harbour

At 2:00am on 15 October, Charles boards The Surprise at Shoreham, near Brighton. The boat sails at 7:00am and arrives at Fécamp, France the next day after taking a circuitous route.
The end point of the MW.
42. Old Ship Hotel, Brighton.

Bought by the captain of The Surprise with proceeds from helping Charles escape.
On the MW on King’s Road, Brighton, a working hotel and restaurant.