There’s a battle royal on the way and it is coming to Sunderland.
Hylton Castle will provide the perfect backdrop for an English Civil War battle re-enactment this August Bank Holiday weekend.
A cast and crew of more than 300 people from the English Civil War Society (ECWS) will take part in the two-day event on Sunday, August 26, and Monday, August 27.
They will be setting up rival camps in the castle grounds and anyone wanting to find out more on the society should visit www.ecws.org.uk
A busy itinerary of events is planned for both days and it includes:
l A Living History Village which will run from 11am to 4.30pm each day.
The people within the camp will be in period costume and they will be demonstrating the crafts and cookery which used to be used by the people who prepared the troops for battle.
l There will be displays of cavalry, infantry and artillery and they will be held between 11am and 1.45pm.
This is a chance to see the troops in uniforms and using replica weapons of the time.
l Then comes the military finale to the whole event. It will last for an hour and it will be called the Battle for Sunderland.
It runs from 2.30pm to 3.30pm and organisers are promising a battle re-enactment which will be fought between the Parliamentarians and Royalists.
The great news is the event is free and there’s lots more to enjoy as well as the re-enactments.
Apart from the military spectacle, there will be a funfair, stalls, face-painting and story-telling.
Organisers have revealed more detail of the event which is being held on a huge scale.
They described it as a battle re-enactment which will be one of the largest ever staged in this part of the country.
It is also the latest in a series of community engagement events held within 14th century Hylton Castle and its grounds.
This is part of the ongoing Sunderland City Council and Heritage Lottery Fund £4.2million restoration project to return Hylton Castle to the centre of community life.
The two-day free event is funded by Sunderland City Council’s north area committee and has been organised by the local voluntary sector organisation Sunderland North Community Business Centre (SNCBC).
It is being presented by the English Civil War Society and will include cavalry, artillery and infantry displays, along with demonstrations of horsemanship and stunts as well as canon firing.
Chairman of the north area committee, Coun Denny Wilson, said: “The community-led cultural heritage project to return Hylton Castle to life as a visitor attraction and local hub for education, training and volunteering opportunities is exciting for us all.
“We thought that staging this English Civil War battle re-enactment would be a great way of capturing the public’s imagination, and reminding everyone of the historical significance of the site and the continuing restoration work going on there.
“Inviting the Sunderland North Community Business Centre to organise such an event is also a great way of providing funding and demonstrating our support for a community led business and local creative talent.”
Jemma Amer, from the Sunderland North Community Business Centre, added: “This will be the largest English Civil War Battle re-enactment ever staged in the region.
“The English Civil War Society volunteers make history come to life, this is a must see event for all local people.”
Andrew Newton, director of the English Civil War Society, said: “We feel very privileged to be able to help tell the story of Sunderland’s importance to the Parliamentarian cause during the English Civil War.”
“Hylton Castle will make a wonderful back-drop to our displays, and our members are looking forward to making the event a huge success, as well as highlighting the beauty of the castle.
“I’m sure the roaring of the cannons and pounding of the horses hooves, along with the colourful clash of weapons, will make ‘The Battle For Sunderland’ an August Bank Holiday to remember.”