This Day in History: 1460-12-28
On the morning of 28th December 1460, a Lancastrian army of 15,000 set out from Pontefract Castle marching the nine miles south west to fields and woods surrounding Sandal Castle in preparation for the upcoming Battle of Wakefield. The leaders of the Lancastrian force included the Duke of Somerset, Lord Clifford, Earls of Wiltshire and Devon, Lord Roos, Lord Dacre, and the Earl of Northumberland. The centre of the Lancastrian army, led by Duke of Somerset and the Earl of Northumberland, was drawn up on Wakefield Green on the open ground to the north of the Castle between the castle itself and the town of Wakefield. The left wing of the Lancastrian army, under the Earl of Wiltshire and Andrew Trollope, was hidden in the woods to the east, whereas the right wing under Lord Clifford was drawn up resting near the River Calder. The castle could not hold the whole of the Yorkist forces, so those that weren’t absent on foraging duties would have taken up a position on the flat ground to the north of the castle.