Up to 1,000 people to re-enact English Civil War at Claydon Estate

Nicholas Verney and wife Alexandra with replica Royal Standard
Nicholas Verney and wife Alexandra with replica Royal Standard

Claydon Estate in Buckingham is hosting an English Civil War re-enactment over the August Bank Holiday weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Europe’s largest historical re-enactment group.

In excess of 1,000 re-enactors are expected to recreate the sights and sounds of the English Civil War, including the clash of arms, the sound of musket and cannon fire, and the charge of the cavalry.

Claydon House happens to be the ancestral home of the Verney family. Sir Edmund Verney was killed at the Battle of Edgehill in 1642 defending Charles I’s Royal Standard – indeed his severed hand was found still clutching it after the battle, though his body was never recovered.

The Estate is still owned by the Verney family and fittingly Sir Edmund Verney’s descendant Nicholas Verney and his wife Alexandra will be present to once again hold a replica of the Royal Standard, 376 years on, in front of the memorial to Sir Edmund which stands in the grounds of the Claydon Estate.

The Verney family were intimately connected with the war and exemplified the divisions it caused. Sir Edmund’s eldest son, Ralph, was an early supporter of the Parliamentary cause before going into exile rather than sign the Solemn League & Covenant. His other two sons both fought for the King’s cause.

The event is the centre-piece of the Sealed Knot’s 50th birthday celebrations. As well as being Europe’s oldest and largest single re-enactment society they are also a registered educational charity, founded in 1968 by military historian and D-Day veteran Brigadier Peter Young and some of his friends.

The aims of the society are not to glorify war, but to honour those that died in the many battles of the English Civil War and to educate the public.

Nicholas Verney said:

“Our family has a deep connection with this turbulent period in our nation’s history. It seems fitting that the Sealed Knot, who have dedicated the last 50 years to educating people about this important time in our history, should celebrate their milestone anniversary here at Claydon, with us.”

The English Civil War raged from 1642-1651 between the Parliamentarians (Roundheads) and Royalists (Cavaliers) over the manner of England’s governance.

From 1642-1649 the war pitted the supporters of King Charles I against those of the Long Parliament.

After Charles I was executed in 1649 fighting continued between King Charles II’s army and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with a Parliamentarian victory on 3 September 1651.

Ultimately the civil war led to the establishment of Parliamentary sovereignty in the UK in 1688.

As part of the Sealed Knot’s step back in time at Claydon Estate, there will also be a living history camp, which brings to life military and civilian life in the 17th century, such as how local justice was dispensed.

The living history camp opens at 11am on Sunday and Monday and the battle re-enactments will begin at approximately 2pm.

For information on the Sealed Knot and how to buy tickets visit: www.thesealedknot.org.uk.

To find out more visit: www.claydonestate.co.uk