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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

History With A Bang: The Battle of Nantwich

Last weekend we put on our thermals and had a trip to Nantwich. Every year the townsfolk celebrate Holly Holy Day, which commemorates the battle which took place here on 25 January 1644.

During the Civil Wars the loyalties of counties, towns and families were divided between the cause of Charles I, who believed in the ‘divine right’ of kings to do as he wished with his country, and the Parliamentarians who believed that the King should govern with the consent of parliament.

Cheshire, too, was split between the two factions: Chester was staunchly royalist, but Nantwich was Parliamentarian.  During the winter of 1643, Nantwich was besieged by Lord John Byron’s forces.  On 25 January, Sir Thomas Fairfax (‘Black Tom’) lifted the siege and many Royalist troops were captured.  

The Sealed Knot and the Holly Holy Day Society stage a thrilling re-enactment of the battle annually at Mill Island after a procession through the town centre. As you can see, the combatants sport wonderfully detailed costumes. During the battle, cannon and musket are fired, and a good time is had by all. We really enjoyed it!

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