Battle stations!

A HUGE historical festival will bring 17th century life to Alnwick Castle this weekend with a civil war re-enactment.

Actors from Sir Thomas Blackwell’s Regiment Foote will set up a living history encampment on Saturday and Sunday as part of the event, which has been dubbed the Battle of Alnwick.

It will feature realistic interactive exhibits, which will be manned, open to questions, discussions and training with the public. These include the regimental officers’ HQ, regimental kitchens where real food is cooked and can be sampled in the officers’ dining tent, an artillery tent where trades such as ball (bullet) casting, blacksmithing, bodging (wood turning) can be seen as well as herbalist, seamstress and tailors’ tents. With weapons, fires, fixtures, tents and flags, the scene that’s set creates a truly cinematic experience which will immerse you in the period.

But the biggest spectacle will be the battle which takes place each afternoon at 3pm on the pastures between the Castle and the River Aln, involving all the possible arms of the period, with between 100 and 200 people on the field, consisting of a Parliamentary force and a King’s force. There will be full commentary throughout.

A morning drill will also take place to demonstrate how a regiment moved in formation, going through their individual complex motions that lay at the heart of 17th century warfare in England as well as a separate children’s drill session, making this not only a light-hearted day out for the family, but also a fun learning experience.

The encampment will run from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday. The event is free, but normal admission to the castle applies.