“ A re-enactment society that commemorates battles and historical events from the English Civil War. „
Between the years of 1642 and 1651 England was in the grip of civil war, Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians against King Charles 1st and the Royalist army. The civil war was actually made up 3 different wars, these being the 1st 1642-1646, the 2nd 1648-1649 and the 3rd 1649-1651.
The parliamentarian armies eventually won in Worchester in 1651 leading to the execution of King Charles 1st, thus establishing the Commonwealth of England.
Enough of the history lesson..............
The Sealed Knot is a re-enactment society based on these wars, and the everyday life for 17th century England.
It was started in 1968 by a group of friends who were keen on wartime history, and now after over 40 years it has over 5000 members from all walks of life.
It is classed as the oldest and biggest re-enactment society in Europe and is also a registered educational charity.
Membership is paid every year for a full season January through to October, or half a season July to October.
Prices as of 2011
Family (2+4) - £46.50
Single parent family - £31
Individual - £29
Young person (18-24) - £23
Half Yearly Membership
Family - £23.25
Single parent family - £15.50
Individual - £14.50
Young person - £11.50
Friends of the Knot (UK and Europe) - £12
Friends of the Knot (Rest of world) - £20
Once paid you will receive a quarterly Members magazine 'Orders of the Daye' and your membership cards, if you only have a friends of the knot membership you will only receive the magazine NOT the membership cards.
These cards allow you access to the camp site and also onto the field of battle.
Pets are allowed although should be carefully watched during battle's due to canon fire etc.
There can be around 200 events a year, this includes school visits, marches, memorials etc although there are only around 25 actual 'camping' events and sometimes a number of these fall on the same dates. You do not have to attend every single one and can go to as many as you like.
The event calendar usually starts with a 1 day event at the famous 'Nantwich' in January for a memorial service, and ends around October in'Edgehill' with a skirmish and parade, there is also usually a 'major' event lasting around a week and is usually in Scotland.
***Can I choose my own Regiment***
Yes you can, but you have to choose to be Royalist or Roundhead (parliamentarian), although you can choose to be neither and be somewhere in the middle.
The Sealed knot has regimental bases throughout the UK and you will be in the catchments area for possible more than one.
The Royalist army is made up of 5 smaller armies or 'Tertio's' these being -
- Oxford army - King's Tertio (3 separate regiments) and Jacob Astley's Tertio (5 separate regiments),
- Lord Hopton's Tertio (7 regiments)
- Marquess of Newcastle Tertio (5 regiments)
- Prince Palatine's Tertio (5 regiment's incl Vaughan's (that's my one))
The Parliamentarian army is made up of 5 smaller armies also
- Independent - Parliament Trayne of Artillerie and Sir William Waller's regiment of horse
- Cittie of London Brigade (5 regiments)
- Midland association (3 regiments)
- Northern Association (7 regiments)
- Western association (6 regiments)
There is also an army of Ireland and Scotland this consists of
- Colonel Hugh Fraser's regiment of Dragoones
- Colonel William Gordon's regiment of Foote
Colonel Thomas Laghtnans Regiment of Foote
Manus o'Canan, His own
Failing that you can join
- Sir Bernard De Gommes companie of pioneers and fir workers
The living history.
Each regiment has their own colours of uniform and you are required to wear them, at all time on the battle field, although you don't have to otherwise.
Living history represents the people who do not use modern things for the duration of the show and basically live and breathe the history all weekend, these are the people that the public generally engage with and learn from.
To go on the battle field you have to be trained in one of 7 roles or 3 un trained these being....
- Ensign (carries the regimental colours)
Or you can choose to be a civilian, or in the medical service, or a 'behind the scenes' helper.
The sealed knot is a very family orientated society, with lots of families and young children, I find it very educational for my children and they love the sense of excitement and adventure. They don't seem to mind the roar of cannon either!!! There is plenty to do when not re-enacting the camp site has a 'trader's row' selling food, uniform kit, and bits and bobs. Port-a- loos are based all around the camp site also, and finally there is the 'beer tent' this is somewhere to relax and listen to live music, and generally catch up with friends.
Overall it is a brilliant experience and definitely a learning experience!!!
You can find out more info at www.thesealedknot.org.uk
Registered Charity No. 263004.