Details have been revealed of thrilling events to mark the 370th anniversary of the dramatic fall of Newark, during the British Civil Wars. The capitulation on 8th May 1646 on the orders of the ill-fated King Charles I brought to a close the first phase of the brutal conflict between Crown and Parliament.
Now 125 re-enactors from across the UK will garrison Newark Castle, Friary Gardens and the National Civil War Centre on 1st and 2nd May, firing cannons and parading to recall that tumultuous time. Highlights will include a massed musket salvo and soldiers' drill for children.
Then on 8th May Royalist troops return to the Castle to mark the actual date of the surrender with another day-long event. The final acts of a terrible six month siege will be played out as the army of Parliament moves in to take control with a ceremony in the cobbled Market Place.
Michael Constantine, Manager of the National Civil War Centre, said:
"Watching scores of re-enactors march through the streets is a wonderful sight and the action will be vivid, noisy and at times poignant. Newark was a crucible of the civil wars, holding out as a Royalist bastion until the very end, despite being plague-ridden and losing up to a third of its people. We are looking forward to three amazing days."
Taking part will be regiments of the English Civil War Society and Sealed Knot, together with the History Re-enactment Workshop. Scroll down for the full timetable for both weekends.
Howard Giles from Eventplan, who has co-ordinated the action, explained:
"Most re-enactments involve pitched battles, but Newark is different as it was a town under siege. What is more the civil war landscape and buildings have survived beautifully so you get a fantastic sense of history. After last year's re-enactment to mark the launch of the National Civil War Centre there were no shortage of volunteers wanting to return. The first weekend will depict the closing stages of the siege of Newark, with the following Sunday devoted to its climax."
The National Civil War Centre – the first in the UK – will be the command post for all the events and is open daily 10am to 5pm. The acclaimed Battle Scarred exhibition is also currently running, providing a glimpse into the human fallout of Newark's darkest moment and Britain's deadliest war.
Photo © Red Zebra Photography