Fifth year of civil war festival set to be most explosive yet

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Hundreds of Civil War re-enactors will descend on the historic town of Newark this early May bank holiday as the town turns the clock back to the mid-17th century for the 5th Annual Pikes and Plunder Civil War Festival.

This year’s event, on Sunday 5th and Monday 6th May, is set to be the biggest yet, with the introduction of stunning pyrotechnics which will simulate the effect of cannon balls ripping into the Queen’s Sconce fort. Across Newark, the sights and sounds of a town under siege are sure to amaze, from the boom of cannon and musket fire to the barking of drill sergeants and clang of steel from armourers and blacksmiths.

Organisers from the National Civil War Centre and English Civil War Society expect up to 300 re-enactors to take part in these stunning battles and displays which mark the anniversary of the town’s fall on 8th May 1646.

Carys Coulton-Jones, Business Manager of the National Civil War Centre says: “This event is a fantastic way for all the family to spend the bank holiday weekend and an amazing insight into life in Newark almost 400 years ago.”

Throughout both days, from 11am to 4.30pm, the magnificent venue of Newark Castle will host fascinating displays of living history offering a glimpse of day-to-day life in the 17th century. Nearby, from 11am, the picturesque Market Place will echo to drills and musket fire followed by a chance for child spectators to have a go at a mini musket and pike drill.

Another first for the Festival’s fifth outing will see extra living history offered at the Sconce from 12pm with the chance to discover what life was like on the front lines and an eye-opening look inside an artillerymen’s camp. Visitors will be able to see the incredible weapons they used up close, hear from a senior Royalist officer and chat to the crews about the science behind 17th century gunnery. Then, from 2pm, an initial skirmish will see dramatic brawls between growing troops lead up to the spectacular main battle at 3pm.

This year’s event also sees the introduction of a free shuttle bus service which will transport visitors from the living history displays at Newark Castle to the scenes of battle at the Sconce with buses departing at 15 minute intervals before and after the re-enactments.

More information about the event, which is free to attend, can be found at www.nationalcivilwarcentre.com or by calling 01636 655765.