Introduction

Hi and welcome to my site.
Cheshire is full of weird and wonderful stories of the supernatural, local heores and the mysterious.
I will take you on a tour as I look deep into the Cheshire that lies underneath the wonderful countryside and find the secrets that still hide there.
What magic and long lost secrets will we find?
So, sit back and enjoy my journey. This is a land of Magic, Knights, Dragons, Wizards, Witches, Boggarts, Murder, Ghosts and Old Forgotten Knowledge.


I would love to hear your stories as well. So if you have anything you would like me to look into and find information out, please let me know.

Friday, 25 February 2011

THE BATTLE OF NANTWICH, 1644


King Charles I, King of England, Scotland and Ireland had been an unpopulare King. He had dissolved Parliament in 1629 and for the next eleven years, he had ruled alone. He was married to a Roman Catholic (which dis pleased many people including the Puritans). He raised taxes and was generally thought of as beening un fair.

In 1639, King Charles attempted to reform the Scottish Church and this lead to conflict between Scotland and England. This later became known as The Bishops Wars. To fund this war, King Charles had to call back Parliament. As you can imagine, Parliament were not going to support the King and this Scottish/English War only lasted till 1640 and it was the start of the King's downfall.

Parliament took control of most of the English Army but King Charles had some supporters. So both sides started recruiting and during the summer of 1642, King Charles set up his headquarters at Nottingham.

A series of battles took place, the first being at Edgehill and soon spread nationwide. It reached Cheshire in 1643. The war had families against their own fathers and sons, brothers against brothers.

Nantwich had been the only town in Cheshire to go against King Charles and sided with the Parliamentarians. Nantwich had had a few skirmishes between the two forces but by the end of 1643, Nantwich was besisged by Lord Byron's Royalist Army.

Sir William Brereton was the Parliamentary leader in Cheshire, sent re inforcements to help fortify Nantwich. Imagine the scene for the ordinary people of Nanwich. The town was defended by 2,000 men. Their headquarters were at The Lamb Hotel, a beatiful mansion house, which was surrounded by earthern walls to help withstand the canon balls. The town itself was surrounded by walls 4 meters high and 3 meters thick. Guards kept watch at the end of every street. The people of Nantwich lived in fear. Not only was there more people to fed and find them somewhere to live but they would be attacked from time to time.

By December The Royalist army had set up camp at Acton. They were now 5,000 strong and Lord Byron had set up a large canon at Dorfold Hall, forever pointing at Nantwich. When that was fired, the noice of the thundering canon ball heading towards the town wold have struck fear into th people's hearts. They would have seen it flying through the air and then panic as they ran away from it. Houses and barns were set alight and women and children had to carry water from the river to try and put the flames out.

The towns defences held but Sir William Brereton knew it was only a matter of time and he needed help. He sent for Thomas Fairfax. He came with an extra 3,000 men from over the Pennines.

Thomas Fairfax came through Delamere Forest on January 24th 1644. He met with a couple of small skirmishes but nothing serious. He set up his camp at Tilstone, just outside Tarporley.



On the morning of Thursday 25th January, the Parliamentary army with all its ammunition, soliders and provisions marched towards Nantwich on what is now the A51, Nantwich to Chester road. They met a small group of Royalist soldiers. Bur they were no match for the Parliamentary army and 30 prisoners were taken.


The scene was now set for The Battle of Nantwich. Half the Royalist Army was based at Acton. The other half (cavalry led by Sir John Byron) had been left marooned on the otherside of the River Weaver because of a sudden thaw during the night.





One half of the Royalist army attacked the Parliamentary army coming into the area from the rear. The Parliamentary army from Nanwich closed in on the other half of the Royalist army. The battle only lasted for an hour and a half (half past three till five pm)




Victory went to the Parliamentary army. Nearly 2,000 prisoners were taken including 120 women who carried and used long knives. Many prisoners were held at Acton Church and 188 Civil war casualties lie in the churchyard, this site is now grassed over. Some bones have been found recently under the church floor. These have now been given a formal re burial in the church grounds.




The site of the battle is known as DEAD MAN'S FIELD and ghostly phenomena around the church and this field has been reported. It is claimed that the sounds of a battle can still be heard. Ghostly soldiers screaming, shouting and fighting eachother. There has also been sightenings of a civil was soilder walking around Nantwich town.


Nantwich celebrates this battle every year. Its called HOLLY HOLY DAY, on the saturday nearest to the 25th January. There is a full day's programme of events including a re enactment of the battle by the Sealed Knot Society.





I went for a walk around Acton Church and Dead Mans Field and hear is my report.

I only spent a couple of hours in this area. It was a cold and foggy day. It wasnt hard to inagine the fear and emotion felt by every man and woman that day. As I was walking around the site with the fog rolling across the fields, it was so easy to inagine a solider walking up to me. In fact, I was getting the feeling of being watched but that was more my imagination than anything else. Nothing happened to me that day but I will return on the day of the battle.

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