When Charles I acceded to the throne in 1625, there was every reason to hope his reign would be as peaceful and prosperous as any. But by 1642, after almost two decades of religious aggravation and personal ‘tyranny’, tensions reached boiling point. The chance for peaceful resolution and diplomatic compromise was over. Charles raised his standard at Nottingham in August 1642 - a declaration of war against the parliamentary rebels. But where, and when, would the two armies of Cavaliers and Roundheads meet? Alice Loxton uncovers the chance encounters, thundering cavalry charges and ghostly apparitions which marked the first conflict of the English Civil Wars: The Battle of Edgehill.