Chester was under siege on August Bank Holiday weekend as troops from all over the country reenacted the historic battle of Rowton Moor.
Thousands of 17th century soldiers from the Sealed Knot society descended on the city for the country’s biggest battle re-enactment at Chester Racecourse.
Before battle commenced, on Saturday afternoon Town Crier David Mitchell warned shoppers and tourists of the approaching invaders as the troops marched into the city from the south across the Old Dee Bridge.
All’s fair in love and war of course and re-enactors Keith Ronald and Helen Harwood-Smith took time out of their campaign struggle to get hitched outside Chester Town Hall in full costume.
Their official union was on Friday but their right royalist second ‘wedding’ was witnessed by crowds swarming the Town Hall square.
The couple’s outfits were handmade by Helen, who is part of a re-enactment tailoring business called The 1642 Tailor. Her friend and business partner, Ian Dicker, officiated the wedding in his role as a Royalist preacher.
On Saturday afternoon, Lord Mayor of Chester Hugo Deynem unveiled a plaque in the Roman Gardens to honour the victims of the Great Siege of 1645-6.
The Battle of Rowton Moor was the last major battle of the English Civil War and Charles I’s failed attempt to lift the Siege of Chester.
Fought on September 24, 1645, the battle was intended to relieve the siege of Chester, the last port under Royalist control but Charles, watching from the Phoenix Tower on the City Walls, saw his Cavaliers soundly beaten.
Charles then fled, ordering the city’s already starving and weary citizens to hold out for another 10 days. They managed five horrendous months before the walled city fell to Parliament. It is recorded that 2,000 Chester citizens, 20% of the population, died of plague after the siege.
The weather held for Sunday’s re-enactment at Chester Racecourse, but spectators had to endure drizzly showers for Bank Holiday Monday’s event.