Civil War Re-enactment - Winceby and Old Bolingbroke

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Text © Copyright Dave Hitchborne, September 2010
Images are under a separate Creative Commons Licence.


Since the photographs of the re-enactment were taken, most of the castle moat has been cleared of silt and vegetation. Part of it was deliberately left alone, to create a sanctuary for the wild creatures that inhabit the moat, while work was being carried out. All of the silt and vegetation that was removed from the moat was transferred to the inner part of the earth fort and levelled off.

Below are some of the photographs that were taken during this period and the last three show the end result.

TF3465 : Bolingbroke Castle, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3465 : Bolingbroke Castle, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3465 : Bolingbroke Castle, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne

TF3464 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3464 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3464 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne

TF3464 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3464 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3464 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne

TF3464 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3464 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3465 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne

TF3464 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3465 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3465 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne

Saturday 11th October 2003 - The Battle of Winceby

TF3268 : Battle of Winceby by Dave Hitchborne
The 11th of October 2003 and this was the 360th anniversary of the Battle of Winceby. The historical re-enactors have ridden up from Old Bolingbroke to Winceby to re-enact the battle.
The UK Battlefields Resource Centre, created by the Battlefields Trust, has, "The Battle of Winceby is one of the lesser battles of the civil war, with no more than 6000 troops engaged." It goes on to say, "Its significance far outweighs its scale. For Parliament’s Eastern Association army from East Anglia this was their first major campaign. It was also the first nationally important victory for Cromwell’s cavalry and the first action in which he fought side by side with Sir Thomas Fairfax, with whom in the New Model Army he would finally destroy the royalist cause in 1645-6.
In this battle, which lasted no more than half an hour, followed by many hours of pursuit, the parliamentarians destroyed a combined force of royalist cavalry and dragoons from Lincolnshire and Newark. The victory was so swift and complete that the Association infantry did not even have time to engage the enemy. The outcome was the fall of much of the county of Lincolnshire to parliament and a halting of the royalist ascendancy in the region.
The battle was fought on the high ground, where the route from royalist garrison at Lincoln via Horncastle to the besieged royalist garrison at Bolingbroke crosses the Lincolnshire Wolds. Although the general location of the battlefield is certain, the exact place where the action was fought within Winceby parish is still open to dispute."
Sir Thomas Fairfax’s account of this engagement is as follows:
“Chusing a convenient ground to fight on, we drew up the army there. The enemy did so on the side of another hill close by, having a little plain betwixt us. Lieut.-General Cromwell had the van and the reserve of horse, and my Lord Manchester all the foot. After we had faced one another a little while, the forlorn hope began the fight; presently the bodies met in the plain, where the fight was hot for half an hour, but we forced them to a rout. Above two hundred killed, and two thousand taken prisoners. This was the issue of the Horncastle fight, or, as some call it, Winceby fight.”
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3268 : Battle of Winceby by Dave Hitchborne
This image was taken on the adjoining grid square to where the actual battle took place on 11th October 1643, and this was the 360th anniversary.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3268 : Battle of Winceby by Dave Hitchborne
The re-enactors have grouped to do 'battle', but there's the matter of respecting those who actually died in the real conflict, 360-years-ago. A two-minute-silence was held.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3268 : Battle of Winceby by Dave Hitchborne
The re-enactors chat amongst themselves, ahead of the two-minute-silence. There's a 'battle' to be played out very shortly, between the Royalists and Parliamentarians. 360-years-ago, Oliver Cromwell nearly came to grief here when his horse was shot from under him.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3268 : Battle of Winceby by Dave Hitchborne
It was the two-minute-silence in honour of those who died for their cause, 360-years-ago. Not only was there silence, but the horses never moved. It was all very emotional.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3268 : Battle of Winceby by Dave Hitchborne
I was intrigued by the helmet at centre, it looks lethal for the wearer. On another note, I wonder if there were any female soldiers in the Civil War.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3268 : Battle of Winceby by Dave Hitchborne
Musketeers on the march. A 360-year-old re-enactment.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3268 : Battle of Winceby by Dave Hitchborne
Civil War re-enactment of a battle which took place on 11 October 1643.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3268 : Battle of Winceby by Dave Hitchborne
Here, on the 11 October 1643, a close quarters battle, which lasted for half-an-hour, ended with the massacre of fleeing Loyalists, who were cut down by the pursuing Parliamentarians.
The UK Battlefields Resource Centre, created by the Battlefields Trust, has, "The Battle of Winceby is one of the lesser battles of the civil war, with no more than 6000 troops engaged." It goes on to say, "Its significance far outweighs its scale. For Parliament’s Eastern Association army from East Anglia this was their first major campaign. It was also the first nationally important victory for Cromwell’s cavalry and the first action in which he fought side by side with Sir Thomas Fairfax, with whom in the New Model Army he would finally destroy the royalist cause in 1645-6.
In this battle, which lasted no more than half an hour, followed by many hours of pursuit, the parliamentarians destroyed a combined force of royalist cavalry and dragoons from Lincolnshire and Newark. The victory was so swift and complete that the Association infantry did not even have time to engage the enemy. The outcome was the fall of much of the county of Lincolnshire to parliament and a halting of the royalist ascendancy in the region.
The battle was fought on the high ground, where the route from royalist garrison at Lincoln via Horncastle to the besieged royalist garrison at Bolingbroke crosses the Lincolnshire Wolds. Although the general location of the battlefield is certain, the exact place where the action was fought within Winceby parish is still open to dispute."
Sir Thomas Fairfax’s account of this engagement is as follows:
“Chusing a convenient ground to fight on, we drew up the army there. The enemy did so on the side of another hill close by, having a little plain betwixt us. Lieut.-General Cromwell had the van and the reserve of horse, and my Lord Manchester all the foot. After we had faced one another a little while, the forlorn hope began the fight; presently the bodies met in the plain, where the fight was hot for half an hour, but we forced them to a rout. Above two hundred killed, and two thousand taken prisoners. This was the issue of the Horncastle fight, or, as some call it, Winceby fight.”
Courtesy of local farmer Gerald Enderby, the commemoration was held at what is thought to be the centre of the historic battlefield on the exact 360th anniversary, down to the actual hour itself. It was organised by EventPlan on behalf of the Friends of Bolingbroke Castle and Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire, featuring a talk about the battle by respected Lincolnshire historian David Robinson, tactical displays by members of the English Civil War Society, parade and wreath-laying by the Chairman of the 'Friends', Steve Lumb. Betty Brammer, author of 'Winceby and the Battle', was also present, as was a descendant of one of the original villagers present at the time of the battle, and a large number of onlookers.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3268 : Battle of Winceby by Dave Hitchborne
The 1643 battle that left much of the county of Lincolnshire in the hands of the Parliamentarians.
by Dave Hitchborne


Saturday 11th October 2003 - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle

TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The Fairfax Battalia - A re-enactment group which recreates military and civilian life of the 17th century. They are re-enacting an infantry company based on Sir Thomas Fairfax's New Model Army 1st Regiment of Foot. Here they are in the rout yard working with EventPlan, directed by Howard Giles, a former resident of Old Bolingbroke. Behind them a cannon is being set up on the earthwork.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The Fairfax Battalia ride through the village boundary to the Parliamentarian camp; an arable field of farmland let to grass. The riders have just come down from a battle with the Royalists at Winceby. Across the road another field is used as a car park.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Some, if not all the horses for the event, were provided by Stable Stars, which has been split into two companies.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Filming the action. The event was spread over three days.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
A group of re-enactors take a brace of cannon down to the lower end of the rout yard. They are walking past the earthwork, said to be an earth fort.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Parliamentarians have fired off a round at the Royalists, who are holed-up in the earth fort, and are quickly reloading. The Roundhead's camp can be seen positioned beyond Back Lane, in a field.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The Royalist's battle against the Parliamentarian's outside the Royalist's earth fort.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
As the battle intensifies, smoke from the cannon fire spreads across the rout yard. The re-enaction was staged by EventPlan and was directed by Howard Giles, a former resident of the village.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Royalist musketeers on the castle walls, are firing on Parliamentarians attacking the earth fort in the rout yard.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Dragoons head up the rout yard.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Musketeers and pikemen group together.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
A dragoon momentarily looses control as a musketeer lets fire on the earth fort.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The battle is over for the day and the armies reform their ranks to line up and salute the large and appreciative audience.
This image, amongst others of mine, appears on the EventPlan website, but is incorrectly attributed to Steve Lumb.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
In total, if I remember correctly, about 250 extras took part in the re-enactment, staged by EventPlan. Check out the dates for events this year and 2011 - LinkExternal link
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Battle over, the Royalists and Parliamentarians make their way to their respective camps and will resume fighting next day.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
That's the trouble when you've done playing, you've got to put your toys away.
The crowd disperses having lined the embankment, which runs alongside Hagnaby Road.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
A casualty of 'war'.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Battle over, the dragoons head up the rout yard to take the exit onto Hagnaby Road. This exit has since been removed, but not necessarily with permission.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Musketeers and pikemen have finished for the day, but have it all to do again tomorrow. An excellent display.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
A temporary bridge was built across the dyke on the south side of the rout yard and these musketeers exited there.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The big gun leaves. The pieces of wood were a spiked barricade.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Dragoons pass what used to be a way into the rout yard. I've no idea what happened to it, but it was a convenient way in.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
17th century fashion.
by Dave Hitchborne


Sunday 11th October 2003 - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle

The Royalist Encampment in Bolingbroke Castle

TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
A cannon placed in defence of the castle. This gun is moved around on four wheels, the rear ones having been removed prior to the battle.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Business end of a cannon.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The cannon at the castle wall has been raised up on a timber platform. Its rear wheels stand nearby.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The smoothbore cannon, first appeared in the early 14th century. It took on its classic form at the beginning of the 17th century and remained as such to the mid-19th century, when it was superseded by the breechloading rifled gun.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The smoothbore cannon, first appeared in the early 14th century. It took on its classic form at the beginning of the 17th century and remained as such to the mid-19th century, when it was superseded by the breechloading rifled gun.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The smoothbore cannon, first appeared in the early 14th century. It took on its classic form at the beginning of the 17th century and remained as such to the mid-19th century, when it was superseded by the breechloading rifled gun.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
With their forge, anvil, hammer, tongs, vise and file, blacksmiths made agricultural tools for farmers and iron rims for wheelwrights. They also repaired many iron objects. For the householder, blacksmiths cast, bent, welded, and riveted fireplace racks, pothooks, locks, utensils, and decorative wrought iron. They also made weapons for war.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The Royalist encampment on Bolingbroke Castle.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3465 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Filming one of the re-enactors, in the castle.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3465 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Re-enactors in their various styles of uniform.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3465 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Howard Giles of EventPlan, directing the re-enactment - LinkExternal link
Behind him is a former butcher's shop, which caught fire when a stolen car was set alight next to it.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3465 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Royalist encamped on Bolingbroke Castle.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3465 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The gunpowder waggon.
by Dave Hitchborne


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