Cropredy comes alive for battle celebration

(Courtesy Sealed Knot) NNL-190626-143141001
(Courtesy Sealed Knot) NNL-190626-143141001

Visitors to Cropredy this weekend would be forgiven for thinking they had stepped back in time as it will be transformed into a 17th century living history village.

Exactly 375 years ago the Battle of Cropredy Bridge was fought between Parliamentary and Royalist armies and to celebrate the village has a weekend full of historic activities taking place.

Cropredy Bridge, the play will be performed during the 375th anniversary NNL-190625-163704001

Cropredy Bridge, the play will be performed during the 375th anniversary NNL-190625-163704001

The jewel in the crown of the commemorative weekend will be the Sealed Knot re-enactment of the battle, taking place at 2pm, preceded by a march of the armies at 1.30pm.

Villagers will welcome some 2000 soldiers, complete with a contingent of horses, for a rare commemorative re-enactment which will take place on the actual date of the anniversary on the battlefield itself.

In addition the Sealed Knot’s experienced living history team will be out in force with some 60 exhibitors portraying every aspect of 17th century life.

There will also be a living history trail around the village thanks to the work of local historian Pam Keegan’s research in the 1980s.

Cropredy has a wealth of information about the houses and their inhabitants particularly during the civil war period.

Wills and inventories of the period list both names and house contents allowing not just the identity of people living in particular houses to be known, but also their occupation and social position.

Cropredy Harlequins are contributing to the commemorative weekend with the revival of the play, The Bridge, first staged in 1994 for the 350th anniversary.

Written by Sue Neaves, The Bridge explores the devastating effect of the Battle on residents. With original songs written by Cropredy Song Writers Workshop, set to popular tunes of the seventeenth century, the original outdoor production included dance and even a dramatic elopement on horseback.

This year’s performance will feature all the music from the original production, animated with an edited version of the play, with many of the original cast and musicians are taking part.

The production will run for two nights, Thursday June 27 and Friday 28 in Cropredy’s medieval church. Doors and bar open from 6.30, performance starts at 7.30. Tickets £7 from Mulberry Cafe Cropredy or on the door.

For more information about the weekend’s events and re-enactments visit www.cropredy375.uk.