Giant cast ready to re-enact city battle
Gloucester celebrates one of the most famous periods in its history next month with a spectacular and explosive 'Civil War Summer' programme of events.
Between August 18 and 27, the clocks will be turned back to the year 1643, during the English Civil War, when Gloucester was under siege from King Charles I and 30,000 of his troops, who were kept at bay for almost a month.
An action-packed programme of events will be taking place throughout the city, starting on August 18 and 19, when members of the public will have the opportunity to visit four different camps and learn more about the soldiers and 'the bagage trayne' as they prepared for war.
Brunswick Square will be transformed into the Artillery Camp: Llanthony Secunda Priory will welcome The Royalist baggage trayne and an array of traders; Blackfriers Priory will be host to the gentry and the servants of the City Parliamentary officers; and North Quay and The Docks will become the headquarters for The Royalist Seamen.
The events will conclude with a cast of more than 2,000 people hoping to recapture the sights, sounds and smells of the siege, over the August bank holiday, in an explosive re-enactment of the battle which was to be a turning point in English history, from the first barrage to the final assault.
King Charles I will arrive in Gloucester, accompaniedby his cavalry, to begin the 'first barrage' on Saturday, August 25, in what The Sealed Knot describes as: "their biggest muster of the year".
In addition, there will be a "stunning and thought-provoking" display of flags, named "Signs of Conflict", created by local artists and young people from Central Technology school, Beaufort school and the Kurdish and Burundi asylum seeker communities.
As well as heralding the impeding Siege of Gloucester battle, the flags are intended to represent a message of hope in the world increasingly troubled by conflict and will be displayed aroud the battlefield and other sites in the city from Monday July 16.
Other events include an Archaeology Open Day on August 21 and daily 'Civil War Stories' at the story tellers bench of St ary de Crypt Churchyard from August 20 to 24. For more information call Gloucester Tourist Information on (01452) 396576 or visit www.mylife.gloucester.gov.uk.