If you're ever in that neck of the woods it's well worth a visit. It's a "living" history museum where you're led round in small groups by entertaining staff and participate in various activities and talks. There's section with a history of the siege set in a mock up of a town street, a talk on weapons and shotte casting in the hovel. The herb garden talk is particularly entertaining as is the obligatory bit where you get to try on armour. If you're lucky with the weather and staff in attendance on the day then you may even get to do a bit of pike drill. Tours last about two hours which means you probably won't get to do everything, we had to miss out on the town talk and the new barber surgeon section. If you do go make sure to check the website to see if they've got a school party booked as we went last Tuesday only to find them shut. Helpfully they've now added a section on their new website to let you know (because of me ) and they also put on some pike drill specially for us when we went back on the Friday as it's the one thing my daughter really wanted to do. Children and long sticks...
Be warned, they do be a right thinking Royalist town!God save the King!
Bonfire 1996. Fire & Steel 1646 Torrington was one of the last battles of the english Civil. The battle of Torrington took place on Tuesday February 16th 1646 in the streets of the town. The church was used both as a prison and a gunpowder store when suddenly there was a massive explosion destroying the church and much of the town and killing the 200 prisoners within. No one knows whether the explosion was deliberate or not. We built a full size wooden replica of the church as it stood before it was blown up. It had a graveyard, stained glass windows, an alter and pews. Another organisation in town brought the largest muster of the sealed knot society to re enact the battle. Members of the society actually had a wedding in our church along with a local couple who had a blessing there.
I was one of the Pikemen in attendance. Excellent weekend.
Very cool. I visited Old Fort Henry when I was a kid, and got to see the Lord Strathcona's show troop. But that was it. You lot in the UK spend way more on history. Canada is downright thin, and getting worse, when it comes to this kind of thing.
the same about history remembrance in the u.s. grant, the mackinaw island, michigan reenactments used to be spectacular when i was kid, we would go every year up to my early teens. i went a few years ago and its like they have high school drama classes running it and it was way toned down. the same goes for old Tuscon, Arizona western reenactments and tours. the few times i went as a kid were fun with random shoot outs and audience participated trials and fun shites like that. i went like 7 years ago and all it had was a few random cowboys walking around and little carnival rides........id give my pinkies to go see some stuff like the wonderful stuff i see on sealed knot and such! i know we have ACW shows here but that not my cup o tea i guess. lol
Face the front,keep looking to the front,don't be distracted,and for pity's sake don't look back! - 18th century soldier litany - Unkown Elävät nyt, maksa myöhemmin (Live now,pay later) - Jukka Hilden
We did a joint Sealed Knot/English Civil War Society muster in Virginia in 1995. At the Museum of Frontier Culture in Staunton. Had an amazing time with some wonderful people. We were made very welcome by Blackwell's regiment of the US ECWS
Also had a great time at the Jamestown settlement, the poor guy demonstrating matchlock muskets took a while to understand why 2 dozen people in the audience all knew how to load and fire one.
From my experience at that event the people in the US that we met did an awesome job of preserving and promoting history. Not saying that you all do but we certainly met some very enthusiastic and welcoming people.
mikeland wrote:That looks like fun... I will have to don a foppish caviler disguise and pay a visit some time.
I would pay to see that!
I remember really cool events as a kid here the US as well. I'm beginning to think that we are becoming so PC that the cool, fun events are becoming more touch feely "let's take hands and sing Kumbaya". I know one of the re-enactors in a place near here called 'Cowtown'. It is a recreation of Wichita KS from 1873 and is so well done movies have been filmed here. As a kid they would do all the 'gun fight in the street' stuff, crowd participation (even one show where they grab a person to hang), etc. Anyway - they guy said all that type of stuff was cut out for fear of someone getting hurt, or offended (yes - he said that), and getting sued. There was one incident that took place there involving Indians (or should I say Native Americans). They were depicting something dealing with the town pre-Civil War. Anyway, someone was offended and said that the way the Natives were being portrayed was blatantly racist. Get this - the Natives were the real decendants of the tribe and THEY are the ones that wrote the program!!!!
“conscribe te militem in legionibus. pervagare orbem terrarium. inveni terras externas. cognosce miros peregrines. eviscera eos” ̴ “Join the legions, see the world, travel to foreign parts, meet interesting and exotic people, and disembowel them.”
We (the Sealed Knot that is) did a couple of big battle re-enactments in Torrington in the 90s and I have a few good mates in the town as a result. It was quite odd to sit sipping wine in a friend's garden to have him suddenly say "you see those trees over there? The New Model came through there. They did a dig a few years ago and found a few bodies and loads of spent shot". Suddenly felt a lot more real.
If you do visit the centre there is (or at least was) a wonderful chap called Big Al who is very knowldegeable on a huge range of matters, but DO NOT GO DRINKING WITH HIM IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIVER.
There is also a book on the battle written by John Wardman.
Boy, it sure would be nice if we had some grenades, don't you think?
@Hobbitmiles- Surely though you should have been supping 'Cavalier' ale from Torrington's Clearwater brewery? Or maybe Oliver's ale? I do not know if they still make it but they were both excellent a few years back when I tried them.