This August Bank Holiday, come and watch a HUGE battle at Sherborne Castle in Dorset!

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The August Bank Holiday weekend is always a special for the Sealed Knot – it’s when the entire society comes from all over the country, and abroad, to one place and puts on the biggest historical re-enactment battles you’ll see in the UK.

This year, on Saturday 23rd August to Bank Holiday Monday 25th August, we’ll be at Sherborne Castle in Dorset. This is a spectacular location for what should be a great weekend and is a slice of English Civil War history in a gorgeous part of the world that you’ll just want to explore!

This two-day event will see the Sealed Knot recreate the civil war history of the castle, its surrounding area and take visitors back to the 17th Century when the Digbys and the old castle stood for the Royalists and the castle was under siege by Parliamentarian forces. 
There will be a 17th Century camp, where visitors will be encouraged to wander and engage with the soldiers and civilians; drill displays with interactive sessions for visitors to have a go; and a spectacular battle reenactment with hundreds of soldiers and cannon!

knot01Photo by Carl Blythe

During the First English Civil War, Sherborne was strongly Royalist and the Marquis of Hertford’s army endured a brief and badly organised siege by the Parliamentarian forces of the Earl of Bedford early on in 1642. Faced with a hostile population and discouraged by the surrender of the Royalist garrison at Portsmouth, Hertford abandoned Sherborne on 20 September 1642.

Following the Royalist defeat at the Battle of Naseby and Langport in the summer of 1645, Lord Thomas “Black Tom” Fairfax led the New Model Army into the West Country to mop up the King’s remaining forces and retake Bristol. He besieged Sherborne Castle, where a large Royalist garrison was commanded by Sir Lewis Dyve, in August 1645. Dyve surrendered on 17 August after the castle walls were shattered by heavy bombardment and mining. The name “Sherborne Castle” was then applied to a new house that replaced the shattered castle.

knot02Photo by Carl Blythe

Here are all the details for the weekend:

Saturday 23rd • 11am to 4pm

Admission charge for all visitors – £6 per adult (No concessions) and £3 per child (over age 5 and under age 16)
Admission charge into the castle – Adults: £5; Seniors £4

Sunday 24th and Monday 25th • 11.00 to 17.00

Includes Pitched battles
Admission charge for all visitors – £9 per adult (No concessions) and £6 per child (over age 5 and under age 16)
Admission charge into the castle – Adults: £5; Seniors £4

Finding Sherborne Castle

Sherborne Castle is located in the north of west Dorset – on the edge of the medieval town of Sherborne.

Sherborne boasts two castles – the New, and the ruins of the Old; despite having over 400 years of history, we (Sherborne Castle) are the ‘New’ Castle. B3145, 3/4 mile from the town centre.

Sherborne Castle, New Road, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 5NR Tel. 01935 812072

By Road:
From The North: Leave the M5 at Junction 25 and follow signs for Yeovil and then Sherborne.
From The East: Via the A303 signposted Sherborne (via Wincanton) or A30.
From The West: Via the A30 from Exeter and Honiton and follow signs to Yeovil then Sherborne.
From the South: Via Blandford or Dorchester (A352).

IMPORTANT – PLEASE NOTE: There is only one entrance gate into Sherborne Castle. This is on New Road, Sherborne (B3145) – adjacent to Castle Gardens garden centre. Other routes shown by in-car SatNav or Google mapping systems etc, are physically NOT possible.

By Rail:
London Waterloo to Exeter St. Davids services call at Sherborne (approx 2 hours 15 minutes from London).
The Castle is a 10 minute walk from Sherborne Station, and a local taxi firm can be found just outside the station.

By Bus:
Regional bus services to Sherborne from other regional towns can be found by contacting traveline.

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Photo by Harry McWilliams

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