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.


Remedial work being carried out in the Earth Fort.

TF3464 : Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3464 : Earth Fort, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3464 : Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne

The following photographs indicate the three places to
access the Rout Yard and Castle grounds, which are from
Moat Lane near the Old Watermill, from Moat Lane at the
old store and via the footbridge off the permissive
footpath, which is south of the Rout Yard.

TF3564 : Moat Lane, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3465 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne TF3464 : Footbridge, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne

Map indicating the Rout Yard and Earth Fort.

1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright


Royalist Encampment in Bolingbroke Castle - panorama


TF3464 : Bolingbroke Castle re-enactment - 1 of 3 by Dave HitchborneTF3464 : Bolingbroke Castle re-enactment - 2 of 3 by Dave HitchborneTF3464 : Bolingbroke Castle re-enactment - 3 of 3 by Dave Hitchborne

A Civil War army was made up of pikemen and musketeers, usually two musketeers to one pikeman, regiment of horse - cavalrymen and dragoons (musketeers on horseback) followed by the artillery. Each regiment would have about 1,200 officers.

According to the English Civil War Society:

"The main weapon of the musketeer was the matchlock musket. Early versions were heavy and had a barrel forty-eight inches long which, because of its weight, had to be supported on a 'rest', a wooden pole about four feet long with a steel fork at the top. Lighter, shorter muskets that could be used without rests had been specified by the government in the 1630s and these became the standard pattern as the war progressed. Matchlocks were cheap, strong and easily repaired.

Coarsely ground gunpowder (or ‘black powder') was carried on a shoulder belt called a bandoleer from which hung a dozen or more wooden or leather bottles each containing enough powder for a single charge. Lead bullets were carried in a bag on a waist belt. An alternative to the bandoleer and bullet bag was a pouch of ready-made paper cartridges each containing a charge of powder and a lead ball.

The musketeer also carried a flask of finely ground powder for priming the musket. To ignite the gunpowder a coil of slow-burning ‘match' (cord boiled in saltpetre and vinegar) was used. Both ends of this were kept alight in case one went out. Wet weather was a serious problem for the matchlock musketeer as rain could render both priming powder and match useless.

Loading and firing was a lengthy process, requiring over thirty separate movements. Trained musketeers could achieve a rate of fire of two rounds a minute. In order to provide an almost continuous fire the musketeers were formed in ranks six deep or more, each line firing in rotation. Despite improvements in firepower, musketeers still needed to be supported by armoured pikemen, especially when opposed by cavalry. Bayonets did not come into use until later in the 17th century."

The pike was a long shaft of wood with a steel spike and was used against man and horse, which ever was the most easy to attack. If the horse fell the rider would fall with it. The pikemen were a formidable barrier and were positioned forward of the musketeers who were vulnerable during reloading of their weapons, which was a very slow process.

The Rout Yard - Drill Practice

TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
A display put on by musketeers and pikemen before battle commenced.
by Dave Hitchborne


The Parliamentarian encampment

TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The Parliamentarian encampment. Fortunately, the weather was very kind for the event and it got quite warm during the day.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Musicians at the Parliamentarian encampment.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
What looked like the making of a meal at the Parliamentarians encampment, turned out to be boiling linen. Meat and two shirts anyone? The backdrop is Hall Hill, the Lincolnshire Wolds.
by Dave Hitchborne


The Rout Yard - Drill Practice

TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Before the battle we were given a demonstration of drill. The Royalists were setting up cannon on the earth fort.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The yell "Fire" has gone out and the nearest two musketeers have just reacted a little quicker than me, one only just, but digital cameras are a bit slower at firing than the striking hammer of a musket. In real life, when there is no discharge from the barrel, the powder has ignited in the priming pan, but the main charge has failed to ignite. This coined the phrase, "Flash in the pan". The Americans would say differently and relate that to, "There being no flash of gold in the pan", when panning for it.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Firing over, the musketeers will reload and fire again.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The musketeers fire another round in this demonstration of firing and re-loading. In a close quarters battle the musket was used as an effective club, probably more effective at that, than what it was designed for, it being very inaccurate at a distance.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
When there isn't time to reload a musket, there has to be another way of defending oneself. The musketeers demonstrate the effective use of the musket as a club.
by Dave Hitchborne


The Rout Yard - Battle Re-enactment

TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Dragoons line up at the castle ready for battle. Spectators will soon have to vacate the walls.
by Dave Hitchborne


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


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Dragoons of both sides meet for a close quarters battle, while Royalists wait on the earth fort for their involvement in the fight.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
A lone dragoon launches himself into the fray as musketeers and pikemen advance upon the earth fort.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The backdrop of Hall Hill becomes hazy with the smoke of battle.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Royalist cavalrymen pursue their Parliamentarian foes. LinkExternal link
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The parliamentarians regroup and turn to face their attackers.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The defence of the earth fort, by the Royalists, begins to collapse as the Parliamentarians attack from both sides.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The Parliamentarians have seen off the Royalists.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The battle is over for the Royalists and the earth fort has been taken.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
The battle is over and the re-enactors regroup to head up to the castle for the wreath laying ceremony, which was in commemoration of those who fell during the actual siege in 1643.
by Dave Hitchborne


Bolingbroke Castle - Wreath Laying Ceremony

TF3465 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Re-enactors gather on Bolingbroke Castle for the wreath laying ceremony, which was in commemoration of those (thankfully few) who fell in 1643.
The siege was staged by EventPlan and directed by Howard Giles, a former resident - LinkExternal link
Thanks go to the re-enactors, EventPlan, StableStars, Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire, English Heritage, Bolingbroke Parish Council, the Ambulance Service, Splisby ATC, and many others.
by Dave Hitchborne


Thanks to all

TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Steve Lumb, Parish Councilor, thanks everyone for their involvement in the event including David Start, the Director of the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire and Howard Giles, of EventPlan, who staged and directed the excellent re-enaction of the Battle of Winceby and the Siege of Bolingbroke Castle.
by Dave Hitchborne


Bolingbroke Castle - The Wreath

TF3464 : Re-enactment - The Siege of Bolingbroke Castle by Dave Hitchborne
Five days after the re-enactment I went onto the castle to photograph the wreath, which still looked as fresh as the day it had been placed there. It was laid to commemorate the few who died during the actual event, in 1643. The siege ended on 14th November 1652 and the castle was mostly demolished.
The wreath, on the ruins of the castle, overlooks the rout yard and what is believed to be a defensive earth fort.
by Dave Hitchborne


Bolingbroke Castle

TF3464 : Bolingbroke Castle, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne
"An Englishman's home is his castle", so they say. Well, I've included my 'castle' in this shot, which was taken from the walls of Bolingbroke Castle.
There are plans LinkExternal link to clear out the moat, at a cost of £40,000, which used to be more than ninety feet across. When the castle was demolished the moat was filled in and it silted up to form a marshy weed-filled area, which is inhabited by waterfowl.
Looking south is this view of the Rout Yard (as photographed from the castle wall) LinkExternal link LinkExternal link
The siege of Old Bolingbroke LinkExternal link LinkExternal link
The nearby church LinkExternal link
Outline plan of the castle remains LinkExternal link
by Dave Hitchborne
Shared Description


Bolingbroke Castle and Moat

TF3464 : Bolingbroke Castle, Old Bolingbroke - #1 of 2 by Dave Hitchborne
The left-hand side of a panorama of the castle.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Bolingbroke Castle, Old Bolingbroke - #2 of 2 by Dave Hitchborne
The right-hand side of a panorama of the castle.
by Dave Hitchborne


The Moat

TF3465 : Site of Bolingbroke Castle and Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne
The banks of the moat looking more natural with the new growth.
by Dave Hitchborne


The Rout Yard

TF3464 : Bolingbroke Castle, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne
During the first English Civil War and following his escape from battle with the Earl of Newcastle, Sir Thomas Fairfax made his way to Old Bolingbroke with a handful of men, meeting up with Cromwell on the southern bank of the Humber.
Then here, in the rout yard, on Monday 9 October 1643, a siege took place between a garrison of about 200 men, encamped in Bolingbroke Castle – King’s Charles I’s Royalists, and 6,000 Parliamentarians led by the Earl of Manchester, General Sir Thomas Fairfax, with Oliver Cromwell as his second-in-command. LinkExternal link The castle was surrounded with cavalry positioned as far away as Tattershall, to prevent escape. The call to surrender was rebuffed, there being a sizable Royalist force in Newark to draw on.
On Tuesday 10 October 1643, firing broke out from the castle. LinkExternal link Meanwhile, a force of 1,500 Royalist mounted infantrymen, led by Sir John Henderson, set out from Newark and on the same day, encountered Parliamentarians at Horncastle, who took flight.
On Wednesday 11 October 1643, the Earl of Manchester called on most of his men and set out to engage those of Sir John Henderson, just leaving enough to secure the castle at Old Bolingbroke. The two opposing forces met at Winceby and a battle took place. The battle lasted for less than an hour and saw Cromwell’s horse shot from under him and the Royalist force thrown into confusion. In their flight back to Horncastle, some of the Royalists were cut down without mercy.
The Parliamentarians carried on marching forward, regaining lost ground and taking Lincoln on Thursday 19 October 1643.
On Tuesday 14 November 1643, with supplies running low and winter approaching, the garrison in Bolingbroke Castle finally surrendered.
Another Christian against Christian battle over …well for the time being.
The nearby church LinkExternal link
by Dave Hitchborne


The Earth Fort

TF3464 : Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke 1 of 2 by Dave Hitchborne
Taken from Bolingbroke Castle. 2 of 2 LinkExternal link LinkExternal link
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3464 : Rout Yard, Old Bolingbroke 2 of 2 by Dave Hitchborne
Taken from Bolingbroke Castle. 1 of 2 LinkExternal link LinkExternal link
by Dave Hitchborne


The Church of St Peter and St Paul

TF3465 : St Peter & St Paul, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne
The church sits at the very edge of the Wolds and close to the ruins of the castle, LinkExternal link which was the birthplace of Henry IV in 1366. There was a church here as early as 1086, but the present church is the south aisle of a church built about 1363. This was badly damaged during the Civil War LinkExternal link and was restored to its present form by Reverend Edward Pain in 1889. The window in the east wall is a fine example of 14th-century work. On either side of the window are two carved heads said to represent King Edward III and Queen Philippa whose son, John of Gaunt, is thought to have built the church.
by Dave Hitchborne


TF3465 : Interior of the Church of St Peter & St Paul, Old Bolingbroke by Dave Hitchborne
Looking towards the east window, which is thought to be no later than c1370 and that's at least 639-years-old.
by Dave Hitchborne


The Village Cross

Remembering those who fell in more recent times.

Map centred on the Village Cross
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
+
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright

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