Cannon will fire, drums will sound, and swords will clash as Roundheads and Cavaliers descend on Bolton School on 7-8 July for ‘The Storming of Bolton’ – an exciting weekend of thrilling battles and fascinating ‘living history’, all free for local people and staged by costumed reenactors from The Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote of the Sealed Knot reenactment society.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the reenactment is just part of a new project aiming to teach local children about their town’s part in the Civil War that rocked the nation in the 1640s.
The Earl of Manchester’s Regiment has been awarded a £9,800 regional grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the costs of the project, which means it will be free for local families. Thanks to the generous support of Bolton School, special education days in the summer will give local schoolchildren the chance to see what life was like for ordinary people in Bolton in the 17th Century and aims to improve educational access for children from across the town.
Known as ‘the Geneva of the North’ due to its staunchly Puritan population, Bolton was attacked in May 1644 by forces led by King Charles’ nephew, the dashing Prince Rupert, on his way to relieve the siege of York. After repelling the first assault, Parliamentarian defenders hanged one of Rupert’s officers, which led to a notorious massacre when the Royalists finally stormed the town. The outmatched Parliamentarian commander and MP for Wigan, Colonel Alexander Rigby, pretended to be an enemy soldier before fleeing the defeat, which ended up being a huge propaganda coup for the Parliamentarians. Local magnate, the Earl of Derby, was later executed next to Bolton Market Cross for his part in the massacre and the third Civil War in 1651.
Morning and afternoon education classes (9.30am-12 noon and 1.30pm-3.00pm, for Year 5, 6 and 7 pupils) with experienced local reenactors at Bolton School are available for teachers in Bolton to book now on 7th and 29th June. To book your class’s place on one of the free education sessions, contact Mrs Michelle Fox Makin at Bolton School on 01204 840201 or at [email protected]
Battle weekend details:
Where: Bolton School, Chorley New Rd, Bolton BL1 4PA
When: 7-8 July 2018
Provisional battle weekend activities:
10am – 4pm: a ‘living history’ display on Bolton School’s grounds will include traditional crafts, cooking, and talks about 17th Century life, as well as give children a special scavenger hunt so they can learn more about Bolton during the English Civil War.
2pm: a thrilling battle between Roundhead and Cavalier will be staged in the grounds, including cannon, muskets, and pikes.