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Newark re-lives its historic siege with spectacular English Civil War weekend

Stephen Foster, chief organiser of the Pikes and Plunder Festival, gets ready for the event in his civil war uniform at Newark Castle.

Newark will be plunged back into the 17th century this weekend (6 and 7 May) with 300 British Civil War re-enactors descending on the town.

The 4th Pikes and Plunder Civil War Festival is expected to attract thousands of visitors and will take place at iconic locations including Newark Castle, Queen’s Sconce and the historic cobbled Market Place.
Pitched battles at the Sconce - an amazing civil war period fort - will this year feature a squadron of Parliamentarian cavalry galloping across the turf in buff coats and lobster pot helmets, wielding their swords to rally the troops.
Staged by the National Civil War Centre and The English Civil War Society the spectacular free event marks the 372th anniversary of the Nottinghamshire's town’s fall on 8 May 1646 after a six month siege during the bitter conflict between crown and Parliament. 
Sequences will be directed by Stephen Foster, Commanding Officer of Robert Overton's Regiment.  He said: 
“We have excellent numbers taking part, adding a real sense of scale to the battle scenes.  There’ll be nearly half a dozen cannons – including one called Barak, possibly the biggest of its kind still working anywhere in the world – plus horses.  The fact that we are doing this at such an amazing venue creates an incredible atmosphere and makes Newark unique as a re-enactment venue.  It gives us an amazing window on the dramatic events that took place here in 1646 which signalled the end for King Charles. That adds up to a terrific family event.”
Timetable for the weekend (applies to both days): 
Newark Castle: amazing living history displays between 11am and 5pm.  See iron workers, blacksmiths, weavers and cooks in action, typical of the skills used to support civil war armies.  The level of detail and accuracy is stunning.  Try on a civil armour for yourself and hoist a 17 foot pike!
Queen’s Sconce: fought over by musketeers, pikemen, cavalry and artillery between 2pm and 3pm.  You’ll be able to meet the re-enactors at the conclusion of the battle. 
Plus a parade through the town to the Market Place with flag flourishes, drill and musket fire between 11am and 11.30am.
The National Civil War Centre is also open 10am to 5pm daily with a fabulous display of recently acquired period armour in the new Cutting Edge exhibition (normal admission charges apply).   
 More information at:
Twitter  @civilwarcentre    

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