Battle of Sourton Down

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Battle of Sourton Down
Part of English Civil War
Date 25 April 1643
Location Dartmoor
Result Parliamentarian victory
Royalist Parliamentarians
Commanders and leaders
Ralph Hopton
Lord Mohun
Bevil Grenville
Nicholas Slanning
James Chudleigh

Battle of Sourton Down was a battle of the first English civil war that took place on 25 April 1643. Sourton Down lies on the edge of Dartmoor west of Okehampton in Devon.

The battle involved Cornish Royalist troops under Sir Ralph Hopton who were ambushed by Major-General James Chudleigh with his cavalry. Captain Drake also led a charge against Royalist dragoons.

Other Royalist commanders included Lord Mohun, Sir Bevil Grenville[1] and Sir Nicholas Slanning.

The Parliamentarians attacked but were eventually driven back and the Royalists took up defensive positions among ancient earthworks on the moor. Reinforcements of infantry came from Okehampton and Chudleigh and continued to threaten the Royalists, but as skirmishing continued into the night, a violent rain storm broke over the battlefield with added to the confusion and terror.

Grenvile played a key part in a stand amongst the Royalist guns that saved the Cornish army from destruction but eventually the Royalists were routed and left behind their weapons, stores and gunpowder. Hopton's portmanteau was also captured. It contained letters from the King ordering the Cornish army to join forces with the Earl of Hertford and Prince Maurice in Somerset.


  1. ^ Sir Bevil Grenvile, 1596-1643, Cornish Royalist General

Coordinates: 50°42′29″N 4°03′48″W / 50.7080°N 4.0632°W / 50.7080; -4.0632