Sealed Knot – Major Muster English Civil War Reenactment – Edge Hill

OK hands up we may have slightly overdone the re-enactment bucket list ticks for this year. But luckily the UK has plenty more to offer us to experience next year. We’ve already been to the Bosworth medieval festival and watched the Battle of Bosworth. Also in August, we reviewed the Grand Medieval joust at Lincoln castle. Then in September we did what we really wanted to do last year, but never had the opportunity. We went to watch a major muster by the English civil war re-enactment group the Sealed Knot. The battle they re-enacted was the battle of Edge-hill. This couldn’t take place at the site itself but was held nearby at a farm in Wiltshire.

My husband used to be a member of the Sealed Knot, for 10 years he was a pikeman fighting on the side of the royalists. When I met him he was still a member and we even did a couple of events together. But then we moved to France for 14 years and being a member was no longer possible. It was something he really wanted our little boy to see, so he could show him what Daddy used to do. The people of the sealed knot did not let us down.

Our day out – Review of a Sealed Knot Major Muster

Most major musters are mostly hosted at a castle or other major attractions. All in some way have history linking back to the English civil war. They tend to vary where they go and what they do every year. They also have smaller musters at places like Tattershall castle in Lincolnshire and Middleton hall in Tamworth, these are more living history weekends than battles. Here you can find a list of past events. This is the website to keep an eye on for future events.

What you can expect from a major muster

You can expect a re-enactment camp. This wasn’t as big as some we’d seen but the re-enactors were so incredibly friendly that we spent a lot longer than we normally would wandering around. They were keen to engage Jamie and show him various things such as a pistol and what the soldiers would have eaten back on the 23rd October 1642.

They had a few outside caterers in. There was plenty of coffee, a man selling lager and cider out of a van and a hot food stall where we bought a reasonably priced cheeseburger each. There was, of course, an ice-cream van, much to Jamie’s delight.

Plus you will see a battle re-enacted by a large group of dedicated people. Everything they wear is authentic to the 1700’s. Even down to the glasses that they wear. Find out more about the Sealed Knot here.

The Sealed Knot dress as authentic as they can
Horses played a very important role in the English Civil War

The battle of Edgehill

This was the first pitched battle of the English civil war. Throughout the re-enactment, a well-briefed man commentated on what we were watching. The battle itself sounded as authentic as they possibly could make it. Obviously, the numbers were far greater back in 1642.

King Charles I and Parliament could not reach a compromise. They gathered their armies and accidentally found themselves near to each other on the 22nd September. They went to battle the next day and I’m sure you can imagine how these men felt. This was not something they were really ready for. Neither side won the battle of Edgehill. We actually saw the re-enactment on the same day some 375 years later.

The Sealed Knot Re-Enactment

It started with canons being set up and the side fighting for parliament entering the field. They lined up ready for battle. King Charles 1 entered at the top of the field and his soldiers then followed him on. He stood back throughout the battle. He did not join in himself.

Canons were fired at each other and then the Royalist side advanced on the opposition. The horses would circle the enemy, sword fights would break out. Pikeman would advance on each other with their long dangerous poles and muskets would fire at each other. The air soon smelt of the powder used in both the canons and muskets. The shouts from the battlefield sounded very authentic. The only thing missing was casualties. Here are some photos from the battle.

A bear was paraded around
Flags were waved by the parliamentarians at the start of the battle
Royalists advancing to battle
The clash of pikes – although back in 1642 they would have been horizontal, not up in the air
Defending against the horses in a ‘Hedgehog manoeuvre


Why you should see the Sealed Knot

Mark believes the numbers may be dwindling now in the Sealed knot as he said that major musters used to attract a lot more interest. Both in the Sealed Knot and spectating. This is a great shame as battles like this are a great way to teach young and old about the English civil war. They are a charity and they need you. If you have a re-enactment near you please go along and show your support. We only had to pay £5 for our car on that day. You couldn’t ask for a cheaper day out. Take a picnic, take some chairs or a blanket and watch the day unfold.

Why not read my review of where we stayed? Knights Village Glamping at Warwick Castle – A Review + Tips.

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  1. Thank you. Members of the Sealed Knot Society will be delighted you ticked something else of your Bucket List and most of all that you enjoyed the day. 😉

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