Sunday, 4 September 2011

Battle in the Park - Loseley Park, Guildford

Last weekend I went to my first proper re-enactment. I think I said the same thing in my post about the Battleprom, but this was a very proper re-enactment (not sure if that is good English!!), anyway this one had battles, traders and camps. It was a 3 day, multi-period event that was organised by The Sealed Knot (they re-enact the English Civil war and are the oldest and largest historical re-enactment society in the UK), and held at Loseley Park (which I realised after I had left, was used as Barton Park in 2008 version of Sense and Sensibility!) .

I have to admit that I was slightly apprehensive about the whole weekend as I am not a camping person, but I was pleasantly surprised. The tents were large, the portaloos stayed relatively clean throughout the event and all the food was fresh (no horrible 'add water' pasta). Far from having flashbacks of the hideous experience of camping on Duke of Edinburgh Bronze at school, I actually really enjoyed myself.

Apart from The Sealed Knot, there was also Napoelonic French and English groups (I'm a member of an English one, though most members of the French groups are actually English!), and a Vietnam War reenactment society. Every day was pretty much the same - the Napoleonic groups would have a battle and then The Sealed Knot would have an enormous one which went on for a least half and hour, and despite the commentary, it was rather hard to tell who was winning and whose side everyone was was on. I didn't know this before, but apparently each army, whether they were Royalist or Parliamentarian, had their own uniform, and it wasn't until after the Civil War that an official British army was formed and they started wearing the red uniforms that they still wear today (but now only on ceremonial occasions). I also learned that the colour red was chosen as it was the cheapest option!

The Vietnam society didn't really have a battle, unless you can call just continually firing their giant guns at some trees, a battle!

As well as the battles, The Sealed Knot also put on displays of Civil War fine dining, and had traders selling everything you would ever need if you did English Civil War reenacting. Sadly they weren't selling anything Regency as they had no idea that any Napoleonic groups were going to be there. Thought it was interesting to wonder round and see all the items that were for sale.

I spent most of my time talking to the lovely lady who I mentioned in my Battleprom post (her and her husband have been so kind and welcoming), drinking copious amounts of tea, doing my new Jane Austen cross-stitch :) (I wanted to do one that was historically accurate - though regency ladies probably weren't stitching portraits of Jane Austen!) and wandering around the "shops". It was a lovely relaxing weekend, minus the insanely loud cannon fire and constantly stinking of cannon smoke! I am very glad that I went, and look forward to the reenactment season starting again next year.

Here are some photos: They're not great as we couldn't really take photos when the public were around, and once again my camera was misbehaving.

The Sealed Knot on the battlefield 

Our Camp (the British Camp)

The French Camp 

Marie - the really nice lady who I spent most of my time chatting to.

Napoelon's Army on the battlefield

The British on the battlefield

The Sealed Knot display camp

The 95th Rifles (British) on the battlefield

A friend of Marie's who I met 

The Sealed Knot and a lone Frenchmen

The Sealed Knot lining up to enter the battlefield. There were over 1500 of them, and apparently that was a bad turnout!!!!

Cromwell's Cavalry

The Sealed Knot on the battlefield

The Sealed Knot bringing on a cannon

More Sealed Knot

I thought this was really sweet - father and son in civil war costume. :)

I thought this was adorable - people who had children who were really young 0-4, dressed them in full period garb and wheeled them around in these small carts which were lined with sheep's skin. 

Sealed Knot drummers

The back of Loseley Park House - we weren't meant to go near the house as it wasn't opened to the public during the weekend, but I squeezed through a hedge that was separating the camps from the house, and took a few photos. :) Sadly I couldn't get any closer as there was a moat between where I was standing and the lawn!

Oh forgot to mention that there was one Polish Regiment - apparently they fought with the French. Here they are pushing cannons through the camp to the battlefield.

And again

The Vietnam War reenacters driving onto the battle field with their very load automatic gun/cannon thing. As you can tell I am very up on all things weapon-related! lol :)

Another photo of Cromwell's Cavalry

Have found a website which has loads of photos of the event. They were taken by a professional photographer so are very good. There is one photo of the back of me! :) It's of my group sitting round our table talking.


  1. Lovely photos, and how fun!!

    I'm at Lindsay Dobson's site... trying to figure out which one is you... I've narrowed it down to the girl with pearls in her hair, and very doubtfully the one with the mint green bonnet on... which one are you?

  2. I'm the one in the green bonnet with the group of soldiers and one other lady. :) I am rather unphotogenic and thinking about it, I look rather like an old woman all huddled up in multiple layers!! lol. Truth is I was - the weather went from being really hot to freezing - at that point it was cold!

  3. lol, you didn't like an old woman at all!! I just thought you *had* to be the one with the pearls... hehe :) Plus I thought you had a dress like that, but what did I know? ;)

    You *do* look bundled up though (cozy!), and with that sort of weather, I would be too! ♥

  4. The pearl hairstyle is really pretty isn't it. I think that lady was a English civil war reenactor, but am not 100% sure. Would love to try and do my hair like that some day. :)