Sunday, 26 January 2014

Holly Holy Day

We went to a battle re-enactment between the Parliamentarians (roundheads) and the Royalists (cavaliers)that took place in 1644 in the First English Civil War. Nantwich in Cheshire was under siege by the Royalists but the Parliamentarians came to save the day. The day is referred to Holly Holy Day as the Royalists were defeated and the people wore holly sprigs in their hats to celebrate.
The event takes places every January with a re-enactment society called the Sealed Knot showing us the battle. I have a great admiration for such re-enactment societies as the effort put into such events is amazing and a truly great way for children to learn about history.
As soon as we arrived there was an almighty thunder storm, probably one of the best and the scariest I have seen for a long time. The lightening was forking across the sky and all of a sudden huge hailstones came hurtling down. Little Bird was amazed and looked completely perplexed by it all and put his hands over his head as they were really bouncing down. We then ran back to the car as I was worried about us being struck by lightening. It was all very thrilling and LB's face was full of excitement as we took refuge in the car.
The storm finally passed - I was looking on Twitter to see if others had a storm and it was interesting to work out the storm's route. 30 minutes previous Denbigh Castle in Wales had been treated to the wild storm too so it was moving easterly. We ventured out into the drizzle and followed the loud noise of cannon and guns.
We found a place on a muddy verge behind the river to watch the battlefield. The cannons were a real shock and many of the chldren were upset by them. LB didn't flinch although I was fussing about his ears and put his long eared woolly hat on and then a hood over that to protect them. He seemed to be enjoying the show and we watched the pikemen skirmish and the men do battle - although I noticed that many of the re-enactors are women - yay! 
















Drummers stirred up the soldiers and the artillery continued to fire the cannons  through the misty, gunpowder laden air. BOOM!

 I must admit that this era, the 17th century is one I know little about. I shall learn more one day and this event will now be in our annual event calendar. There were many more events happening in town at the local museum and displays but we are mindful of Little Bird not getting too overwhelmed. More to explore in future years..... The pikes are around 16ft long and were usually made of ash. Dressed in their simple armour and helmet - the 'pikeman's pot', the pikemen went to battle. They were the central defence in the army. These all looked a lot cheerier than they would have done :) I just finished a course where re-enactment societies were criticised as being more about entertainment than history but I disagree. These people put in a lot of time, voluntary too, providing a valuable resource of historical info, keeping traditions alive and giving us all a peek back in time. 

There were plenty of re-enactors dressed as civilians too and of course the musketeers who were mostly the ones dressed in red. They each have muskets and the group of little wooden flasks you can see, the bandolier, contains black powder charge for the muskets. It's a whole new world! Who knew how popular it all was. Living history is a wonderful experience.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

17 comments:

Happy Homebird said...

Aww I love Guinea Pigs. Bless. Here's to spring and dandelion leaves x

Happy Homebird said...

Huge storm yesterday, it was pretty scary! Lucky you with all that snow :) Love it!

Happy Homebird said...

Yeah I get really panicky on the winter roads. Lots of country lanes around here and I literally crawl down them with Land Rovers getting frustrated :)

Happy Homebird said...

Geology is a great subject. A lot of the enviro jobs were so hard to come by and then pretty low pay. Unfortunately in my younger years I chased the £'s. Ah well, still a great knowledge and one I'm keen to teach my son about.

Happy Homebird said...

The storm yesterday was amazing! Best thunder and lightening for ages!

Happy Homebird said...

I can't wait until I can get the washing on the line again :)

Happy Homebird said...

Thank you :) I love snowdrops too and then the daffodils of course.

Jenni said...

love this!

Katie R said...

Fantastic! We went to our first Sealed Knot battle re-enactment last summer. Love it!

Happy Homebird said...

They really are fantastic. I just got into history last year and I'm loving learning about different eras.

Louisa said...

I studied the Civil War at A' level, watching something like this would have really bought it to life for me.

pinkoddy said...

What a great way to learn about history - glad the storm didn't ruin things.

mummyoftwo said...

That looks like a lot of fun. What a great way to get children interested in history.

Twinsplustwo said...

Great post (love history) but can't see your photos? Says you need additional bandwidth ;)

rebecca beesley said...

love the bees! x

Happy Homebird said...

Oh I'm so sorry. You know this Disqus system is such a pain but the blogger one was even worse. I'm going to have a read about Imbolc, it's in few of my seasonal books. x

Happy Homebird said...

That sounds fun! Rather you than me though ;)

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