Ralph Hopton, 1st Baron Hopton DL (1596 – 1652)


After Lord Wentworth's defeat at Bovey Tracey, Sir Ralph Hopton was appointed Royalist commander in the west, with Wentworth commanding the horse and Sir Richard Grenville the foot. Grenville refused to recognise Hopton's command and was arrested for insubordination and imprisoned on St Michael's Mount. Hopton's army, numbering only 2,000 foot and 3,000 horse, advanced into Devon and occupied Torrington, where defensive works were thrown up to protect the town from capture by the Parliamentarians, otherwise known as the the Roundheads.
 
On the evening of 16 February 1646, the Roundheads approached the town from the east. In heavy rain and with night falling, they predictably ran into Royalist dragoons and fighting broke out on the outskirts of Torrington. The Roundhead commander, Sir Thomas Fairfax, decided to wait until morning to reconnoitre the Royalists' defences. However, when he sent his dragoons forward to test the defences and they came under fire, Fairfax pushed more troops forward in support and a general fight developed.
 
The fighting at the barricades lasted two hours at push of pike but at last the Cornish infantry gave way and retreated into the town, where bitter fighting continued. At this stage of the battle, a stray spark ignited the Royalist magazine in the Great Torrington parish church of St. Michael and All Angels partially destroying the building and effectively ending the battle with the remnants of the Royalist troops escaping into the open countryside to the south. The explosion killed all the luckless prisoners held within the church and narrowly missed killing Lord Fairfax. The extent of the damage to the church is discernible to visitors by the different style of supporting roof column adopted during the reconstruction.
 
Content courtesy of Wikipedia

Ralph Hopton, 1st Baron Hopton DL (1596 – 1652)


After Lord Wentworth's defeat at Bovey Tracey, Sir Ralph Hopton was appointed Royalist commander in the west, with Wentworth commanding the horse and Sir Richard Grenville the foot. Grenville refused to recognise Hopton's command and was arrested for insubordination and imprisoned on St Michael's Mount. Hopton's army, numbering only 2,000 foot and 3,000 horse, advanced into Devon and occupied Torrington, where defensive works were thrown up to protect the town from capture by the Parliamentarians, otherwise known as the the Roundheads.
 
On the evening of 16 February 1646, the Roundheads approached the town from the east. In heavy rain and with night falling, they predictably ran into Royalist dragoons and fighting broke out on the outskirts of Torrington. The Roundhead commander, Sir Thomas Fairfax, decided to wait until morning to reconnoitre the Royalists' defences. However, when he sent his dragoons forward to test the defences and they came under fire, Fairfax pushed more troops forward in support and a general fight developed.
 
The fighting at the barricades lasted two hours at push of pike but at last the Cornish infantry gave way and retreated into the town, where bitter fighting continued. At this stage of the battle, a stray spark ignited the Royalist magazine in the Great Torrington parish church of St. Michael and All Angels partially destroying the building and effectively ending the battle with the remnants of the Royalist troops escaping into the open countryside to the south. The explosion killed all the luckless prisoners held within the church and narrowly missed killing Lord Fairfax. The extent of the damage to the church is discernible to visitors by the different style of supporting roof column adopted during the reconstruction.
 
Content courtesy of Wikipedia

Ralph Hopton, 1st Baron Hopton DL (1596 – 1652)


After Lord Wentworth's defeat at Bovey Tracey, Sir Ralph Hopton was appointed Royalist commander in the west, with Wentworth commanding the horse and Sir Richard Grenville the foot. Grenville refused to recognise Hopton's command and was arrested for insubordination and imprisoned on St Michael's Mount. Hopton's army, numbering only 2,000 foot and 3,000 horse, advanced into Devon and occupied Torrington, where defensive works were thrown up to protect the town from capture by the Parliamentarians, otherwise known as the the Roundheads.
 
On the evening of 16 February 1646, the Roundheads approached the town from the east. In heavy rain and with night falling, they predictably ran into Royalist dragoons and fighting broke out on the outskirts of Torrington. The Roundhead commander, Sir Thomas Fairfax, decided to wait until morning to reconnoitre the Royalists' defences. However, when he sent his dragoons forward to test the defences and they came under fire, Fairfax pushed more troops forward in support and a general fight developed.
 
The fighting at the barricades lasted two hours at push of pike but at last the Cornish infantry gave way and retreated into the town, where bitter fighting continued. At this stage of the battle, a stray spark ignited the Royalist magazine in the Great Torrington parish church of St. Michael and All Angels partially destroying the building and effectively ending the battle with the remnants of the Royalist troops escaping into the open countryside to the south. The explosion killed all the luckless prisoners held within the church and narrowly missed killing Lord Fairfax. The extent of the damage to the church is discernible to visitors by the different style of supporting roof column adopted during the reconstruction.
 
Content courtesy of Wikipedia

Support us in conserving your local history.
14 South Street and The Market House-Great Torrington-Devon-EX388AF
Telephone - 01805 622306
Email - enquiries@torringtonmuseum.org.uk
Registered Charity 1166793
© 2016 Great Torrington Heritage Museum
Please support us in conserving your local history.
14 South Street and The Market House, Great Torrington, Devon, EX38 8AF.
Telephone - 01805 622306
Email - enquiries@torringtonmuseum.org.uk
Registered Charity 1166793
© 2016 Great Torrington Heritage Museum
Please support us in conserving your local history.
14 South Street and The Market House, Great Torrington, Devon, EX38 8AF.
Telephone - 01805 622306
Email - enquiries@torringtonmuseum.org.uk
Registered Charity 1166793
© 2016 Great Torrington Heritage Museum