Last Updated on December 9, 2022 by Suzy
One thing we enjoy doing is going to see a major muster by the English Civil War re-enactment group the Sealed Knot. They reenact a number of battles from the period and one of our favourite re-enactments was the battle of Edge-hill. This couldn’t take place at the site itself but was held nearby at a farm in Wiltshire.
My husband used to be a member of the Sealed Knot, for 10 years he was a pikeman fighting on the side of the royalists. When I met him he was still a member and we even did a couple of events together. But then we moved to France for 14 years and being a member was no longer possible. It was something he really wanted our little boy to see, so he could show him what Daddy used to do. The people of the sealed knot did not let us down.
Our day out – Review of a Sealed Knot Major Muster
Most major musters are mostly hosted at a castle or other major attractions. All in some way have history linking back to the English Civil War. They tend to vary where they go and what they do every year. They also have smaller musters at places like Tattershall Castle in Lincolnshire and Middleton Hall in Tamworth, these are more living history weekends than battles. Here you can find a list of future events. This is the website to keep an eye on for future events.
What you can expect from a major muster
You can expect a re-enactment camp. This wasn’t as big as some we’d seen but the re-enactors were so incredibly friendly that we spent a lot longer than we normally would wandering around. They were keen to engage Jamie and show him various things such as a pistol and what the soldiers would have eaten back on the 23rd of October 1642.
They had a few outside caterers at the event. There was plenty of coffee, a man selling lager and cider out of a van and a hot food stall where we bought a reasonably priced cheeseburger each. There was, of course, an ice cream van, much to Jamie’s delight.
Plus you will see a battle re-enacted by a large group of dedicated people. Everything they wear is authentic to the 1700’s. Even down to the glasses that they wear.
The Battle of Edgehill
This was the first pitched battle of the English Civil War. Throughout the re-enactment, a well-briefed man commented on what we were watching. The battle itself sounded as authentic as they possibly could make it. Obviously, the numbers were far greater back in 1642.
King Charles I and Parliament could not reach a compromise. They gathered their armies and accidentally found themselves near to each other on the 22nd of September. They went to battle the next day and I’m sure you can imagine how these men felt. This was not something they were really ready for. Neither side won the battle of Edgehill. We actually saw the re-enactment on the same day some 375 years later.
The Sealed Knot Re-Enactment
It started with canons being set up and the side fighting for parliament entering the field. They lined up ready for battle. King Charles 1 entered at the top of the field and his soldiers then followed him on. He stood back throughout the battle. He did not join in himself.
Canons were fired at each other and then the Royalist side advanced on the opposition. The horses would circle the enemy, sword fights would break out. Pikeman would advance on each other with their long dangerous poles and muskets would fire at each other.
The air soon smelt of the powder used in both the canons and muskets. The shouts from the battlefield sounded very authentic. The only thing missing was casualties. Here are some photos from the battle.
Why You Should See the Sealed Knot
Mark believes the numbers may be dwindling now in the Sealed Knot as he said that major musters used to attract a lot more interest. Both in the Sealed Knot and spectating. This is a great shame as battles like this are a great way to teach young and old about the English Civil War.
They are a charity and they need you. If you have a re-enactment near you please go along and show your support. We only had to pay £5 for our car on that day. You couldn’t ask for a cheaper day out. Take a picnic, take some chairs or a blanket and watch the day unfold.
Why not read my review of where we stayed? Knights Village Glamping at Warwick Castle – A Review + Tips.