Historic Hylton Castle is set to provide the perfect backdrop for an English Civil War battle re-enactment in Sunderland this August Bank Holiday weekend.
A cast and crew of more than 300 people from the English Civil War Society (ECWS) www.ecws.org.uk will take part in the two day event on Sunday August 26 and Monday August 27 setting up rival camps in the castle grounds.
The programme for both days includes:
Living History Village 11.00am – 4:30pm with camp followers in period costume demonstrating the crafts and cookery used preparing troops for battle
Cavalry, Infantry and Artillery Displays 11am – 1.45pm in uniforms and using replica weapons of the time
‘Battle for Sunderland’ 2.30 – 3.30pm Military finale with battle re-enactment fought between the Parliamentarians and Royalists
With free entry, the family event also includes a funfair, stalls, face-painting and story-telling.
The battle re-enactment which will be one of the largest ever staged in this part of the country, is the latest in a series of community engagement events held within 14th Century Hylton Castle and its grounds, as the Sunderland City Council and Heritage Lottery Fund £4.2million restoration project to return it to the centre of community life continues.
Funded by Sunderland City Council's North Area Committee and organised by voluntary sector organisation Sunderland North Community Business Centre (SNCBC), the event, presented by the English Civil War Society will include cavalry, artillery and infantry displays, along with demonstrations of horsemanship, stunts and canon firing.
Chairman of the North Area Committee Councillor 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 SNCBC 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 Wars”.
"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 horses hooves, along with the colourful clash of weapons, will make ‘The Battle For Sunderland’ an August Bank Holiday to remember."