Award-winning civil war exhibition staging open weekend - The Rugby Observer

Award-winning civil war exhibition staging open weekend

Ian Hughes 20th Oct, 2017   0

AN EXHIBITION in South Warwickshire chronicling The Battle of Edgehill has received national recognition.

The Battle of Edgehill Exhibition at St Peter’s Church in Radway has been awarded the Battlefields Trust President’s Award for its outstanding contribution to the cause of battlefield preservation and interpretation.

The exhibition, close to the actual battlefield, explores what happened and why at the first battle of the English Civil War, the weaponry used, and what the 17th century battle site has revealed to historians. Artifacts are displayed in cases and life-sized mannequins demonstrate the clothing worn by soldiers and villagers.

And ahead of the 404th anniversary on Monday (October 23), the exhibition will be staging an open event this weekend.

In addition to the ususal display, on Saturday and Sunday (October 21 and 22) there will be additional artefacts including a framed document signed by Charles I.

Also, on Saturday, the winners of a poetry competition – held to coincide with the anniversary of the battle, and mark two years since the exhibition and accompanying website was launched – will be announced. The competition has been judged by Clare Mulley a Yorkshire born poet, journalist and teacher who is Poet in Residence at the Battlefields Trust.

The Battle of Edgehill saw the 12,500-strong Parliamentarian army, led by Lord Essex, come face to face with Charles I and his Royalist army of 13,500 men, on a glorious sunny autumn afternoon on Sunday October 23, 1642.

Not only was it the first pitched battle of the English Civil War, it was also the longest, spanning three days, although the actual result was somewhat inconclusive with both sides finally going their own way – but not before leaving an estimated 1,000 dead, and nearly 3,000 injured.

Despite no clear outcome, the severity of the fighting and the length of the battle sent a clear message to the country it was to be war in earnest. Edgehill battlefield is the largest battlefield on the English Heritage Battlefields Register, stretching from the escarpment of Edgehill and sweeping down some 2.5 miles to Kineton.

The battlefield is also reputedly the most haunted in Europe, with people having claimed to have seen ghost armies reenacting the battle in the days after, to people today who say they have heard drums being beaten on the anniversary of the battle.

The open event runs from 11am to 3pm on both days. Visit for further details.

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