Malmesbury skirmish at Abbey House

This Is Wiltshire: Colonel Nicholas Devereux’s Regiment of Foote, part of the Civil War Society, will be fighting Colonel Nicholas Devereux’s Regiment of Foote, part of the Civil War Society, will be fighting

The centre of Malmesbury will step back into the 17th century this month, when a living history weekend recreates an English Civil War skirmish over Abbey House.

Colonel Nicholas Devereux arrived on June 14, 1644, took over the property and garrisoned his Regiment of Foote in the town.

Now, 370 years later, more than 200 professional re-enactors will take over the town dressed in period costume.

Highlights of the free event on June 14 and 15 will be at 3pm each day. The skirmish will be re-enacted at St Aldhelm’s Mead by the Civil War Society’s regiment of Colonel Nicholas Devereux’s Regiment of Foote.

People will also have the chance to see the town as it might have been in the 17th century, with guards posted at the High Street gates and muster and drill demonstrations in the Cloister Gardens.

There will also be stalls showcasing produce and goods on sale and a food demonstration.

The event has been organised by Athelstan Museum, schools, the Warden and Freemen, civic trust, town council and the chamber of commerce.

Canadian author Judith Silverstone will also be carrying out research for her latest historical novel.

Chamber of commerce chairman Aimee Frankham said: “We think it will be a very good way of showcasing the town and it will be great fun for all the family.

“Personally, I am looking forward to the opportunity of dressing up as a wench.”

Mayor Sue Poole said: “It is a good way of putting Malmesbury on the map.”

Re-enactors will visit schools before the event, to talk about life in the era.

For event information, see malmesburylivinghistory.co.uk

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