PRESS RELEASE: The Roundheads take over Clarence Dock!


Clarence Dock in Leeds may be more used to the footfall of shoppers, but it’s set to sound with the footsteps of history — as the English Civil War comes to terrifying life!

Cannon will boom, muskets will fire and the sights, sounds and smells of the 17th Century conflict come to life with an outdoor display next to the Royal Armouries on 25th and 26th September.

An authentic historical encampment, complete with cooking and traditional crafts, will form the centrepiece of a display by the re-enactors of The Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote.

Kids will be able to learn all about the people of the 17th Century, from the hard lives of Oliver Cromwell’s Roundhead veterans to the even harder existences of the women whose job it was to cook and clean. See history brought to life with real weapons, period costume and displays throughout the day that recreate this pivotal moment in local and national history.

Set during the military dictatorship of Cromwell’s Protectorate in 1655, a former Leveller finds the past comes to haunt him as a detachment of New Model Army soldiers returns from Ireland and seeks revenge for his mutiny.

Julian France from the Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote said:
“History lessons usually focus on the conflict between King Charles’ Royalists and the Parliamentarians.
“Yet few people realise that after Charles’ execution the country rapidly slide into what was a military dictatorship, with the infamous New Model Army used to suppress any rebellion.
“This is a part of Leeds’ history that most people don’t know even existed – we want to bring it to life and also put on a great show that the whole family will enjoy.”

Leeds has a rich English Civil Wars history – Briggate and Leeds Bridge were the scene of a battle in 1643 when the Parliamentarians stormed the town from Woodhouse Moor, a fight witnessed by St John’s Church which still stands on New Briggate; overlooking the Royal Armouries, the Cavalier pub now sits on the site where the town was bombarded by Royalist forces; and King Charles himself was interred at Red Hall on the Headrow, where the Cube shopping centre now stands, by Scottish forces on their way to hand him over to Parliament.

For more information, please contact public relations officer
Michael Molcher on 07821 405 772 or

Event details:
 Royal Armouries museum, Armouries Drive, Leeds
When:  10am – 5pm, 25th and 26th September
Activities: Historical encampment with 17th crafts and artefacts; re-enactors in period clothing; regular displays of arms including the firing of cannon and muskets; recruitment of youngsters into the regiment.

About the Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote:
Part of the Sealed Knot, the world’s oldest and Europe’s largest re-enactment society, the members of Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote re-enact a regiment from the English Civil Wars period from 1642-1660. They portray the lifeguard of Edward Montagu, the second Earl of Manchester, who was one of the leading generals in the First English Civil War of 1642-5.

For more information about the regiment, go to

About the English Civil War:
The English Civil War was actually a series of armed conflicts between 1642 and 1652, culminating with the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660. Far more complex than simply ‘Roundheads versus Cavaliers’, the English Civil Wars was a tumultuous period when our modern nation state was first formed.

Long arguments between King Charles I and his Parliament over taxation, religion and control of the country spilled over into open conflict in 1642, with the country dividing into those who supported the King and those who supported Parliament.

Defeated in 1645 at Naseby by Parliament’s New Model Army, Charles was arrested but his subsequent escape sparked the second Civil War. His army was defeated at Preston, and the King was then tried before being executed in January 1649.

His heir, the future Charles II, began the third English Civil War when he invaded England with a Scottish army in 1650. They were defeated by the forces of Oliver Cromwell, who went on to invade Scotland and Ireland.

The only commoner to ever rule England, Cromwell headed the English Commonwealth and then became king in all but name as Lord Protector. He died in 1658, but his son and successor Richard Cromwell soon abdicated. Charles II returned and was restored as King of England in 1660.


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