Article and images by Jonathan White
The annual ‘Battle of Nantwich’ takes place in and around Nantwich town centre and on Mill Island this Saturday (25th January 2020).
For over 40 years the faithful troops of The Sealed Knot have gathered in the historic town of Nantwich to re-enact the battle that took place in 1644, marking the end of the siege of the town during the English Civil War.
A variety of activities will take place during the day at St Mary’s Church, Acton; St Mary’s Church, Nantwich; Nantwich Bookshop & Coffee Lounge; Nantwich Museum, Pillory Street; and the town square – along with a parade and the battle re-enactment on Mill Island.
There will be live entertainment at the main stage on the town square from 10am.
This year, performers include Phoebe Crewe, Sinead D’Abreu-Hayling, The Funky Choir and the Cheshire Drums and Bugles.
Other activities around town include Plough Witches, Domesday Morris Dancers, a hog roast, tours of St Mary’s Church, Nantwich and a book signing at Nantwich Bookshop.
Nantwich Museum will host a musketry and pike demonstration by The Sealed Knot (10.30-11.30am, donations welcome) and 17th century music from Forlorne Hope (11.45am-12.45pm) and lead a Civil War tour (10-11.30am, £4 per person).
The parade – featuring several hundred Sealed Knot troops – will leave Malbank High School at 12.45pm and travel along Welsh Row to arrive into the town centre at 1pm.
A new patron has been appointed for the first battle of the new decade. Lord Lieutenant David Briggs has kindly accepted the role and will join the wreath laying ceremony and inspection of the troops.
The wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial on the town square at 1.15pm will commemorate the people who died in the Civil War Battle of Nantwich and other battles.
The troops will parade at 1.30pm to Mill Island to re-enact the 1644 battle.
Spectators are welcome onto Mill Island from 1.45pm (the cost is £3 for adults, £6 for a family of four, or £1 for concessions).
Liz Parkin, chair of the Holly Holy Day Society, said: “Once again the history of our town comes alive thanks to a small team of volunteers and a huge amount of support from local businesses.”
Volunteers are welcome to help with marshalling on the day and should call Liz on 07886 633 370 for further details.
For further information please visit www.battleofnantwich.org
(1) St Mary’s Church, on Monks Lane in Acton near Nantwich, will be open from 9am until 11:30am serving hot drinks and buttered toast with the opportunity to go up the church’s tower.
At 10am Mike Lea (local historian) will give a talk: ‘The Civil War explained’ and at 11am a guided walk will head off to view the battlefields.
Everyone is welcome (donations are gratefully received). For information please phone Steve Davies 01270 624 135.
(2) The day before the battle, Friday 24th January, the seventh annual Holly Holy Day author event – organised by the Nantwich Book Shop & Coffee Lounge – takes place from 7pm at Nantwich Methodist Church, Hospital Street, Nantwich.
This year the event will feature three Civil War authors: Norah Carlin, Margaret Evans and Mark Turnbull.
Tickets cost £7.50 per person, which includes snacks and a £2.50 discount upon book purchase.
For further information please phone 01270 611 665 or email [email protected]