At Bradford on Avon on Saturday July 30th and Sunday July 31st more than 400 cavaliers and Roundheads from The English Civil War Society will be recreating a skirmish from the English Civil Wars. The guns, drums and chaos of a 17th century battlefield will be brought to life in a superb spectacle.
Before and after the skirmish, visitors will be able to talk to the soldiers, try on the armour and even handle a real musket or pike. In the Living History village, members of the English Civil War Society will be talking about everyday life in England during the 17th century. Living History craftsmen will explain their trade and demonstrate skills by which our seventeenth century forbears made a living such as – how to make bread, forge weapons, cook for the gentry, brew small ale, printing and carpentry.
Organiser of the event Councillor Laurie Brown said “Bradford on Avon is the perfect setting for the recreation of such an historical occasion. It has been my long term aim to stage this huge event in my home town and work again with the E.C.W.S. Now it is finally going to happen I know those who attend and those who participate are in for a right royal treat”.
This event is presented on part of the original site of the Battle on July 2nd 1643, when the Royalist Western Army led by Sir Ralph Hopton and Prince Maurice stormed Bradford on Avon in a surprise attack and seized the important bridge across the River Avon. The following day, the Royalists marched north towards Bath but were ambushed in a ‘Sally’ by a Roundhead army from Somerset under Sir William Waller. Fierce fighting saw Waller’s forces charge out of Claverton and Monkton Farleigh, but the ferocious Cornish Infantry in the Royalist Army defeated both attacks and forced Waller’s Army to retreat. Local landmarks ‘Sally in the Woods’ and ‘Dead Man Wood’ are possible reminders of the Ambush in 1643.
Members of the Society will be carrying out visits to local schools a few weeks before the event to meet the pupils, tell them all about what will be happening at the ‘Storming of Bradford on Avon’ and to demonstrate some of the weapons and equipment to tie in with the National Curriculum about the 17th Century.
More information on The English Civil War Society may be obtained by visiting www.ecws.org.uk
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