Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire: 27th – 30th May 2016

At the end of May we went off to our first Major Muster of the year which took place at Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire. This gorgeous house was the home of famous poet Lord Byron and has provided the back drop to a couple more of our big events over the past few years so it was nice to be back in familiar territory.

The regiment had a lovely time seeing each other again all together for the first time this season and a couple of good battles coupled with good weather made for a great weekend.

The regiment started to arrive and set up camp on Friday afternoon in glorious sunshine and enjoyed catching up with each other again. The evening was spent relaxing and having a few drinks and a visit to the beer tent to say hello to friends from other regiments too.

Saturday was a rest day so it was a great opportunity to catch up and relax as more of the regiment arrived for the weekend. Our drummers went off to practise on Saturday afternoon for a whole Royalist Army drumming event that was due to take place for the first time before the battle on the Sunday and Monday and our Drum Major Jane led the whole army in playing together as a group.

The late afternoon was spent prepping for a party as regimental member Beth B (there are two Beth’s!) had become Beth K a couple of weeks before when she married Aidan from Tillier’s regiment. The two regiments combined for the evening to have a big party to celebrate. Tillier’s provided the drink whilst Newcastle’s put on a great spread of food for the two regiments to enjoy. Newcastle’s will happily find any excuse for a party!

It was a lovely evening and a great way for Tillier’s and Newcastle’s to get to know each other more so than the immediate friends of Beth and Aidan. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and although we had plenty of food from the regiment, we enjoyed slices of wedding cake made by Elfie from Lisle’s regiment. The rubber ducks were a prominent feature of the wedding so it was only right to carry the theme on!


As dusk drew in people headed off to the beer tent for some dancing and socialising with other regiments before heading back to Tillier’s camp for singing around the fire. A great evening for both regiments.

Sunday dawned and it was time for battling. Regimental members Tom and Mu frequently take part in Living History and this weekend the Living History team were putting on various displays and cameos during the day before the event. Tom and Mu got stuck in and are the two on the far left of this photo, taking part in a Court Leet.

As well as Tom and Mu showing more of life outside the battles in the 17th Century, Nick had bought along his coracle and decided to try it out on the lake. He did report afterwards that he had a drink or two beforehand which wasn’t problematic when in the boat, but getting in to start with was a different story. He was a little on the soggy side when he returned.

The afternoon rolled around and after a lunch of leftover party food, we took to the field. Jane led 42 Royalist drummers in a fantastic display at the beginning of the battle whilst the army got into position and then the regiments got stuck in.

It was a hard fight, especially with it being the first big battle of the year, but the pikemen came off the field happy and the musketeers were pleased with the amount of both shooting and hand to hand combat they did.

All in all, a good day ‘at the office’ so to speak and after a march back past the lake and the house it was time for a well-earned rest and relax. We enjoyed an evening of singing and dancing in the beer tent along with some singing back at the campsite before the evening drew to a close.

It was the same again on Monday with plenty going on in the Living History campsite and the Royalist Drums playing again after great compliments from lots of people on Saturday evening. It was a much harder fight for the boys in the pike that afternoon as various people had only been able to attend one day, but they tried their hardest and came away proud of how they did.

The musket again had a good battle and musketeer Dan Beck was on the field for the first time after passing his sword test, so had extra fun during the hand to hand combat. At one point he was involved in a particularly impressive parry with one of the Sword Inspectorate, the group of people who co-ordinate sword training and proficiency tests. It’s been a while since we have had someone go for a sword test as we’ve not had so many new members of the musket block so it was a good achievement for the regiment to have another person passed.

As the event drew to a close the regiment packed their tents and belongings back into cars ready to head home, tired but happy and looking forward to the next time we could come out to play again.

As always, we’d love it if you wanted to come and give this hobby a go, all the information is on our Joining Us page.

Images courtesy of Rusty Aldwinckle, Icnic Images, John BeardsworthBob Headley, Alison Bason and Jo Isaacs.

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