Historic England maintain a Register of Historic Battlefields that identifies 46 important English battlefields. Its purpose is to offer them protection and to promote a better understanding of their significance.
There is one Registered Historic Battlefield within the boundary of Newcastle upon Tyne which marks the site of the 1640 Battle of Newburn Ford.
Battlefields are significant in four ways:
- As turning points in English history, for example the Norman Conquest which followed the Battle of Hastings in 1066, or the turmoil of the Civil Wars in the seventeenth century which changed the roles of monarchy and parliament. The reputations of great political and military leaders were frequently built on battlefield success.
- Tactics and skills of war still relevant to the defence of the country evolved on historic battlefields
- Battlefields are the final resting place for thousands of unknown soldiers, nobles and commoners alike, whose lives were sacrificed in the making of the history of England
- Where they survive, battlefields may contain important topographical and archaeological evidence which can increase our understanding of the momentous events of history which took place on their soil