8. Conclusions

Methodologies of map regression and military terrain analysis can be successfully applied to the battle of Dussindale, corroborating Carter's approximate positioning of the site while also developing an understanding of the area's historic landscape and its impact on the engagement. The process of terrain reconstruction has also enhanced the value of narrative accounts for the battle, enabling a more complete assessment to be made of the conflict, while revealing where particular phases of the action were likely to have occurred. The results of this undertaking have also delineated areas of interest for subsequent archaeological investigation, particularly in the undeveloped lands to the east of the valley, which may further enhance the site's importance should battle-related artefacts or remains be recovered.

Consideration of the opposing armies and the action itself has emphasised the degree to which Dussindale can be considered as an example of 16th-century warfare, rather than being dismissed as the one-sided suppression of a poorly armed and undisciplined peasant rabble. Although the rebels were conclusively vanquished, their defeat was far from inevitable and was only accomplished via the skilful use of combined-arms tactics by professional soldiers equipped to the highest standards of the period. Indeed, all evidence points to the insurgents' relatively high level of sophistication, with Kett's forces forming a large and well-equipped army, performing a complex night march from Norwich, and selecting and fortifying a tactically advantageous site in preparation for confronting their opponents. While Dussindale can facilitate a comparative assessment of England's traditional and modern armaments of bow and bill and pike and shot, these weapons represented only one facet of the underpinning methodologies dictating how armies deployed and fought. In this respect, the defeat of a traditionally armed and assembled English force by its more modern counterpart stands as unsurprising proof of the development of military technology and organisation throughout the 16th century, concretising the moment at which the former tactical systems were definitively outperformed by the latter. Dussindale also shows the extent to which the Tudor military establishment, exemplified by Warwick's army, adhered to the continental template of mid-16th-century warfare, containing soldiers and weaponry that England had been assumed to lack. When combined with information derived from Henry VIII's invasions of France, from the battle of Pinkie, and from smaller scale actions of the Anglo-Scots Wars, this evidence supports the conclusion that England was an active participant in the era's evolving military milieu.

Reconstructing Dussindale's historic terrain is thus highly significant for the future management, conservation, and exploration of the battlefield site, and for advancing current understanding of Tudor warfare, highlighting the continued relevance of battlefield studies and showing the ways in which GIS can support more traditional forms of archival research.