Wellington deplored the damage done to the battlefield by the Dutch in erecting the Lion's Mound. One does wonder though whether this was less to do with environmental concerns than with a sense that the Dutch King (and former Prince of Orange) was appropriating some of the glory.
|JMW Turner's scene of the field of Waterloo shows casualties the day after the battle. It also shows the open nature of the landscape just north of the sandpit looking south towards La Haye Sainte in the near distance.|
This post examines the contemporary evidence for what the battlefield looked like. The best sources are of course the two Siborne models. Siborne not only studied the topography but also the crop types.
This photograph on the National Army Museum model looks south towards Hougoumont. The field system is clearly delineated.
These photographs below show the layout of Plancenoit and the surrounding field system. It's not surprising that the fight around Plancenoit was so hard fought.
|Aerial view of Plancenoit|
The Leeds model shows the high crops - mostly rye which would have been close to harvesting in June. This rye was of a much taller variant than modern types.
|These French troops of D'Erlon's corps can be shown making their way through the crop.|
|As this photograph above shows, with the reverse slope and smoke obscuration, the height of the crop would have further concealed the Allies from the French.|
|This picture looks like the village of Waterloo. A Highlander can be seen next to the carriage.|
|This scene of Quatre Bras shows the ghostly image of casualties stripped bare in the foreground.|
|I am not sure whether this is part of Plancenoit or somewhere else.|
|Waterloo field systems|
This scene shows the view towards Rossomme
The church at Plancenoit