Contrary to public opinion, the British Civil Wars were fought more in the trenches and on ramparts and walls, than in the open fields and moors. In his Fortifications and Siegecraft, Professor Jeremy Black concluded that civil wars involved more fortresses than in any other war , whilst the late Professor Christopher Duffy described the conflict as “a war of trenches, ramparts, palisades, bombardments and blockades” . For example, in its first year of campaigning, the New Model Army conducted a dozen sieges and assaults but just two field actions, whilst Prince Rupert, a commander with a reputation for seeking battle as a first resort, participated in twice as many actions involving attacking or defending fortresses as he did battles. It is of no surprise then that, whilst reflecting on the wars, Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery, a veteran of the fighting in Ireland, commented that "we make war more like foxes than lions, and you will have twenty sieges for one battle" . This was no British phenomenon: Vauban would later calculate that there had been 200 unsuccessful sieges and only 60 battles during the previous two centuries .
Yet, fortress warfare during the British Civil Wars, that is the fortification and defence of urban settlements, houses and castles, and the conduct of sieges, has always been the poor relation in in the military history of the period. This is despite sieges dominating the fighting; in England between 1642 and 1648 there were 28 battles, but 189 places were besieged (some more than once) . But when the number of sieges-actions is expanded to include those fortresses which fell without a shot being fired, this number is likely to increase significantly. But it is not a dominance that is reflected by the written word, and far more has been published about battles and campaigns than about fortifications and sieges. And if something happens to be written about sieges, it tends to focus on the First Civil War, in other words the fighting between 1642 and 1646-7, despite sieges also dominating the Second and Third Civil Wars, and even after the end of the Third Civil War, up until the Restoration, the country experienced two foreign wars and three major uprisings, adding further siege actions to the list.