THEY were the last successful invaders of English soil - and now the Normans are coming back.

Full details have been revealed about Middlewich's first Norman Festival on the weekend of September 17 and 18, a follow-up to the Roman Festivals of 2001 and 2003 which will celebrate the town's Norman heritage.

Town events organiser Dave Thompson said: 'We are working hard to provide the town with another weekend of free family entertainment. We've completed most preparations, all that remains are the final details. It looks like it'll be a great show.'

The event begins with a festival parade at 10.30am on the Saturday when horse mounted Norman knights will lead an 'invasion' of the town up Wheelock Street, towards the Norman church of St Michael and All Angels.

The festival will be opened by Lord Vernon, Baron of Kinderton, at noon on Harbutt's Field, where a living history village will give visitors a taste of Norman life.

Griffin Historical and Preservation Society, the Cheshire Falconry Centre and the Conquest Society will provide displays of combat, archery, jousting and falconry.

There will also be The Harrying of the North, where trained men and horses will recreate the events proceeding the Battle of Hastings.

Mr Thompson said: 'We will encourage adults and children to get involved in some of the action, with expert guidance, of course.'

Contact point For more details of activities and times contact Middlewich Town Council on 01606 833434 or visit the website,