Claydon Estate to host huge Civil War re-enactment

On August Bank Holiday, The Sealed Knot will be at Claydon Estate, putting on two splendid battles for the public.
On August Bank Holiday, The Sealed Knot will be at Claydon Estate, putting on two splendid battles for the public.

On August Bank Holiday, The Sealed Knot will be at Claydon Estate, putting on two splendid battles for the public.

This August Bank Holiday (Sunday 26th and Monday 27th), Claydon Estate will be home to the sights and sounds of the English Civil War as the Sealed Knot, the biggest single re-enactment society in Europe, celebrates its 50th birthday at the home of the Verney family, who were intimately connected with the war and exemplified the divisions it caused.

The Sealed Knot is an educational charity, which re-enacts the English Civil War for the public, with large battles which include live firing, cavalry and troops, to smaller personalised demonstrations at local fairs and schools.

At the first major battle of the English Civil Wars at Edgehill in 1642 Sir Edmund Verney gave his life defending Charles I’s Royal Standard.

Nearly 376 years later, his descendant Nicholas Verney and his wife Alexandra hold a replica of the Royal Standard in front of the memorial to Sir Edmund, which stands in the grounds of the Claydon Estate, the family’s ancestral home in Buckinghamshire.

The house itself is now owned by the National Trust.

They said: "We are the largest reenactment group in Europe, and this year celebrate our 50th anniversary.

"As a part of our celebrations, we are holding special 375 events throughout the year, and Claydon Estate is to be our major event of the year.

"You can find out more information about us at http://www.thesealedknot.org.uk/."

Founded in February 1968 by military historian and D-Day veteran Brigadier Peter Young and a few of his friends after the publication of his book ‘Edgehill 1642 – the Campaign and Battle’, within a matter of weeks it had 200 members and today has a global membership of several thousand. It is therefore Europe’s oldest, largest and best-known re-enactment society.

Sir Edmund Verney died defending the Royal Standard at the Battle of Edgehill. The Royal Standard was found with Sir Edmund's severed hand still grasping it; but his body was never recovered from the battlefield.

His eldest son, Ralph, was an early supporter of the Parliamentary cause before going into exile rather than sign the Solemn League & Covenant. His other two sons both fought for the King’s cause.

This Bank Holiday’s spectacle, involving over a 1,000 re-enactors, will include a battle re-enactment, living history camp and displays. All this set against the back-drop of the Estate’s beautiful gardens, courtyard, and All Saints Parish Church, within which is the memorial to Sir Edmund Verney.

Commenting, Nicholas Verney, son and heir to the current Baronet, said, “our family has a deep connection with this turbulent period in our nation’s history. It seems fitting that the Sealed Knot, who have dedicated the last 50 years to educating people about this important time in our history, should celebrate their milestone anniversary here at Claydon, with us.”