Another weekend and another Sealed Knot Re-enactment.
This time at Tattershall Castle, a picturesque 15th Century moated castle with an imposing red bricked keep known as the Great Tower.
The weekend began much like any other with members arriving from Friday afternoon to Friday evening and setting up camp. The campsite was situated in a small field adjacent to Holy Trinity Collegiate Church which provided stunning views of both the castle and the church.
Once we have pitched our tents news quickly spread of a beer festival taking place in the village hall. We therefore got ourselves ready and headed off in search of the village hall. The selection of beer and cider on offer was wide and varied offering something for everyone’s tastes. Following one or two drinks young David was sent to buy fish and chips from the local chippy that we had passed on our way to the village hall. The resulting feaste really hit the spot and after one or two more drinks we were ready to head back to camp for a sing song around the camp fire and bed.
Saturday morning saw a beautiful sunrise which lit up the red bricks of the Great Tower. Around mid-morning we were then absolutely spoilt as the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Avro Lancaster took off from RAF Coningsby which is situated less than a mile to the South of the castle. The Lancaster took off and underwent it’s morning test performing figure of eight flights over the Great Tower. It was a truly amazing sight. We had this pleasure both Saturday and Sunday.
We then got ourselves dressed into our 17th Century kit. The ladies of the Regiment took themselves over to the Living History encampment where they knitted, sewed and nattered. The gentlemen of the Regiment retired to a local pub for a little light refreshment. I myself went to visit the Great Tower and grounds of the castle.
Early afternoon came and it was time to prepare ourselves for battle. We returned to camp to collect armour and weapons and then formed up beside the church. With this being a small muster, we formed a what is known as a mixed regiment which consists of members from many different regiments.
We marched on the to field of battle fighting our way over the moat and into the inner bailey where the opposing army retreated and formed a battle line in front of the great tower. Following an artillery battery, we marched on to engage the opposing forces who had two divisions or bodies of pike to our one division. This resulted in our division being heavily outnumbered. However, we had the upper hand in experience and were victorious in all engagements until we were forced to retire back over the moat taking heavy casualties on the way.
The battle was concluded with the capture and subsequent (attempted) execution of our commanding officer. This as you would expect, resulted in our commanding officer surviving the firing squad and the two Parliamentarian soldiers restraining him being shot. To the applause of the crowd we raised the dead and marched off the field.
Following the battle we returned to Living History to meet and interact with the public, demonstrating our arms and dressing willing children in our armour.
Once the living history encampment and castle had closed to the public we returned to our encampment to change out of our soldier’s kit and into our finer evening wear. Once we had changed and eaten we once again headed off to the village hall for round two at the beer festival. Soon enough we were engaged in conversation with the local residents and playing football with the children. Once we had drunk the beer festival dry we moved on to the local pub for a little pool and karaoke. Our ‘Regimental Puppy’ (he’s just SO excitable!) Nathan serenaded us with a very interesting rendition of Pinball Wizard. Final orders were called and it was back to the camp fire for another sing song before bed.
Heads were a little hazy on Sunday morning but all was forgotten when the Battle of Britain flight passed over head. We prepared and ate breakfast and spent the remainder of the morning laughing over the previous nights antics. This continued until it was once again time to prepare for battle.
The battle began much the same as the previous day with the exception that our forces had been reinforced overnight and now we had the advantage in numbers over the garrison. The fighting was once again fierce however with greater numbers we soon forced the garrison back into final stand where those who did not fall were taken prisoner.
With victory ours it was the turn of the garrison commander to face the Royalist firing squad. Again, this ended rather well for the garrison commander who managed to avoid the lead shot and fled to safety over the bridge.
With rapturous applause from the crowd the dead were raised for a final time and marched off the field to again to meet with the people who had visited the castle to see us.
It was then time to pack our camp away and sadly say our goodbyes to friends. However, the benefit of a muster in August is the next one is never far away.
This post was written by our Sergeant, Chris Wesson (the lazy pikeman in the photo above!)
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All photos courtesy of Rusty Aldwinckle.