It’s nearly time for Newcastle’s biggest event of the year, this weekend our annual August Bank Holiday event is happening in the glorious city of Chester.
The Earl of Manchester’s regiment are organising a fantastic event where the city of Chester will be under siege for 3 days and plunged back into 17th Century life. We are looking forward to getting together with the rest of the Sealed Knot to be part of what’s set to be a great event in the heart of a city full of history.
During the Civil Wars Chester was an important Royalist stronghold, with various important battles such as Rowton Heath and Nantwich taking part in the county and the city itself was under siege for nearly a year between February 1645 and January 1646. It was an important location throughout the first Civil War in the North West due to it’s river crossing into North Wales and the Royalist cause would have been severly hampered if they had lost the city.
The battle of Rowton Heath took place just outside the city in September 1645 and this will form the basis of the weekend’s re-enactment, taking place on Chester Racecourse on Sunday (2:30pm) and Monday (2pm). As well as the battle, there will be a ‘Living History’ camp allowing people to see what life was like in the 17th Century in the authentic setting of a soldier’s camp.
Although there isn’t a big battle on Saturday, there is plenty going on to get ready for the events over the rest of the weekend. Re-enactors will be taking over the Market Cross, Eastgate with cameos telling the story of the siege. There will also be soldiers and 17th Century civilians all around the town, going about their daily business and on hand to tell you all about what’s going on.
At 12pm, keep the roads clear and your eyes and ears peeled, you’ll hear us before you see us as the sound of the drums will signal that the commemorative march will be on it’s way through the city centre. We’ll be leaving the camp site near the West Cheshire college campus and marching to the Roman Gardens for a commemorative service and unveiling of a new plaque.
Also, just to make the Saturday’s events tip-top and extra special, head down to Chester Town Hall for 1:30pm and witness a real-life, 17th Century Wedding! The Chester Chronical wrote all about it the other week, so click here to read about it and find out who the happy couple are!
On the Sunday & Monday all the events will take place at the Racecourse where the camp will be open from 11am-4pm, but you will be able to see the armies march again as they march from the campsite to the battlefield, through the city centre. The best news of all for anyone thinking of coming along and seeing what’s going on? All the events over the whole weekend are completely FREE!
From a regimental point of view, we’re all looking forward to seeing each other again, celebrating birthdays, enjoying the biggest event of the year and having an opportunity to sit down as a regiment in our annual meeting, discussing this years successes and what we want to see happening in 2016.
We also have big plans for the Saturday night, where we will be sampling the local ale houses of the city centre en masse and looking for the best location for our evening sing song. If you see the soldiers in the white coats coming or hear us singing, don’t be afraid to come and say hello, ask questions or join us for the evening, but please, have a beer ready!
Images courtesy of The Sealed Knot Society and Marketing Chester.