Monday, 5 May 2008

English Civil War at Lulworth Castle

On Sunday 4th May I went to an English Civil War re-enactment event held at Lulworth Castle. Lulworth Castle is part of the vast Weld Estate in East Lulworth, Dorset. The Castle was badly damaged by fire in the late 1920's and has now been beautifully restored with the help of English Heritage. The weather wasn't too good on Sunday but we decided to go anyway. The Battle was due to start at 4 p.m. and by then the rain had gone and the sun began to shine. The Battle started with one or two parliamentarians coming out of the woods to survey the situation a few shots were fired and then it started. The drummers led the pikemen on to the field and everyone took up battle stations. There was plenty of rough stuff and lots of bangs and smoke.

The Cavalry was two strong. One of these was a girl. She made a very impressive sight riding around the battle field in her Buff coat and chest armour. The horses were so good and didn't flinch at all the canon fire and musket shots. There were several oxygene breaks while the soldiers got their breath back and were given water by the water carriers who are always on the battlefield. Then the battle seemed to reach stale mate and so there was a call for 'parlez' and during the confusion the Royalists over ran the Parliamentarians who then ran off the battle field and a Royalist Victory was proclaimed.

It was a great day. After the soldiers had left the battlefield we wandered around the Living History Camp. There were a couple of Trade Tents. One was selling the most beautiful fabric. The trader, who had also been on the Battlefield, has done extensive research into the type of wool and linen that was used for clothes in the 17th century. He now has wool especially woven to historical standards. He also had some scrumptious lightweight white linen. This is hand woven and he had two types, one woven with wool and one pure linen. I really wanted to buy some, but as I don't have any need for a historically accurate garment I resisted. I would love to make something for myself in this fabulous fabric but as it is only 27 inches wide and expensive I need to be sure of how much I need first. In the meantime I shall try to dream up a valid reason for buying some.
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