Unfortunately, our usual blog writing fairy couldn’t make it to this event, so Graham stepped up to write a short round up of events.
Graham is a long standing member of the regiment with a wealth of historical knowledge, as well as being a member of the society’s commentary team, meaning he always gets a brilliant view of what’s going on in the battle to tell the public!
Stanford Hall was an amazing crowd spectacle with units appearing from all over the landscape of hedge-lines, tree lines, streams, bridges and gateways and all rising up from the beautiful stately home in which original paintings could be seen. The events following Naseby actually occurred here so we could recreate villagers holding a bridge crossing to prevent the victorious New Model Army from cutting off the desperate retreat of the Oxford army remnants. Best of all, I got to do commentary so it was possible to explain the presence of Newcastle’s whitecoats as those who had escorted the Queen to Oxford in 1643 (much was made of this!).
As the crowd watched thin files of running desperate men, bereft of weapons and armour and crying alarum, the distant field exploded in ground charges, to all intents and purposes from a gun we had emplaced near the crowd line. This deterred the Parliament army from crossing the clearing to leave the cover of the tree line against which they looked like a blood line, glistening with steel and red wool. As the firing died down the green field filled with red like a tide of poppies and the crowd physically gasped especially as the Royalist Army appeared from amongst them. Soon the historical recreation would be over and a Sealed Knot battle appeared before this surprised group of spectators who knew only of the vintage car and bike exhibition when they first entered the grounds. The sponsor smiled and nodded as if to say “This is what we need here” but what I thought I heard him say was “I need to plan this as an annual event”.
The Royalist army, now divided in to three brigades with Newcastle’s Tercio a substantial presence, faced a lesser Parliament army even when bolstered by the Scots Brigade. Making the best of it, the rebels grouped in to large blocks but our pikemen were still able to break them down, often pushing great holes in to their lines which we, as gentlemen, stepped back from rather than make best our advantage. The whole weekend being a fantastic success with a jump-up-and-down-and-push-everyone-over band in the beer tent, which our Corporal Fish seemed to enjoy immensely.
Thank you so much to Graham for this write up, it’s been great to see the fun that Newcastle’s had at this event, the first ‘Major’ event of this season! Here are a selection of photos from Sealed Knot photographer Rusty Aldwinckle showing the fun we all had.
As always, if this post has intrigued you and you think this is something that you would like to give a try one weekend, you can head to our Joining Us page to find out how to do just that.