Chester's under siege!

This August bank holiday, around 2,000 re-enactors have flooded to Chester in order to perform a re-enactment of the historic Battle of Rowton Moor, which was the last major battle of the English Civil War.

Although the original battle, which took place on September 24, 1645, was actually fought around 2 miles away from the city, the re-enactment's make-shift battle ground is Chester Racecourse.

I actually had no idea this event was taking place until around lunch time today, when I was sitting eating my lunch and watching YouTube videos and all of a sudden started hearing booming drums in the distance outside. I popped my head out of the window and saw the great hoard of re-enactors marching in formation across the bridge from Handbridge to Chester, making their way to the racecourse. I ummed and ahhed for a few minutes as to whether I should venture outside and see what was happening, and eventually decided that I couldn't miss it.

A little known fact about me is that I actually did exactly this type of re-enactment, same time period and everything, from basically birth until I was around 10, and so seeing so many re-enactors brought memories flooding back and filled me with nostalgia.

I raced down to the racecourse (sorry, had to be done), settled down in a prime viewing grassy spot and watched the battle unfold. This is a pretty picture heavy post, so brace yourself!

The troops marched onto the field...

 As the Royalist forces took position, the Parliamentary forces began to march onto the battleground.

As they did so, the Royalist musketeers started to open fire.

In no time, the cavalry were charging around the field.

More musketeers began firing and the battle truly started to commence, with both sides starting to march towards each other, ready to fight. 

By now, the field was starting to become clouded with gunpowder smoke, as the battle's intensity grew and troops were edging closer and closer to each other.

Cannons were firing left, right and centre, and the troops collided. 

After watching the battle unfold spectacularly for about an hour, I'd had my fill of action for one day and decided to head back, not before taking one or two overview snaps of the battle as I left it raging on.

I didn't get to see the battle end, but what I did see was truly brilliant to watch. I'm so glad I chanced upon hearing the troops marching to the racecourse because otherwise I would of missed out on the whole spectacle! It was a really brilliant event, which will be carrying on into tomorrow with the battle being played out all over again for the spectators to goggle at. Seeing the battle and all the re-enactors made me feel truly nostalgic and almost made me yearn to be a re-enactor again. However, I do think I've had my share of it for one lifetime and will perhaps just stick to watching it as a spectator whenever the opportunity arises. That said, I think it will always spark memories and yearning in me - they were such fun days and I couldn't recommend it enough. 

Congrats on making it this far, and here's a bonus fact for you before you leave. One of my middle names is Fairfax, which is after the Civil War general Thomas Fairfax, who controlled the parliamentary forces at the time - the forces that me and my family re-enacted when I was younger. I was born into re-enactment and dressing up and acting as one of Thomas Fairfax's followers, and so I guess my mum and dad saw it fitting.

Let me know if you've ever been to or even taken part in any kind of re-enactment - I'd love to know what you thought of it!

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1 comment :

  1. Lovely post Beth. Maybe you and I should dig out some kit sometime and go to an event for old times' sake! CRT


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