It was the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil and changed the course of history.
But a remarkable archaeological discovery means the Battle of Towton on March 29, 1461, will go down in history for another significant reason.
Artefacts unearthed by a metal detector in a Yorkshire field have shown that some of the earliest handguns were fired on this day – making it the first proven gun battle in British history.
The ten-hour clash between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians ended with the slaughter of 28,000 men – the equivalent of one per cent of the English population at the time.
Fought in a snowstorm, hundreds of arrows rained down on the opposing armies, who also massacred each other with swords in terrible scenes of close combat. Bodies were piled so high that fighting briefly ceased so they could be moved out the way.
Now researchers have learned that a number of Lancastrians were armed with these secret and deadly new weapons as well.