Rebel town re-enacts English Civil War

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HISTORY was brought to life in Colyton on Saturday, as the town hosted re-enactments of the English Civil War.

Following the success of its Monmouth Rebellion day in 2015, the Promote Colyton Group organised an English Civil War day with the help of Taunton Garrison Living History Group, which staged re-enactments complete with full costumes, weaponry demonstrations and gun powder explosions.

The scene was set as summer 1644 when the historic conflict between the Roundheads and Cavliers had been raging for two years. In Colyton, the Pole family of Colcombe Abbey were royalist supporters, while the Erles of Stedcombe in Axmouth were of the parliamentarian persuasion.

Prince Maurice based himself at Colcombe Abbey and launched attacks on Stedcombe, but Sir Walter Erle soon retaliated with a nightime raid on Colcombe, eventually burning it to the ground. Colyton suffered continual pilaging and plundering, leaving its residents to man the barricades against the opposing forces.

residents threw themselves into the spirit of events on Sunday, with many dressing up and taking on the roles of the Roundheads and Cavaliers, while children enjoyed creative activities, including making flags and medals. Market stalls were set up in the town centre and in the town hall, and a living history camp was based on the church green. The Tannery Yard played hots to the royalist camp, with pizza and local ale keeping visitors refreshed, and face painting and storytelling for the children.

Further entertainment included morris dancing and a performance from folk singer Jim Causley.

Lyme Regis editor & Colyton reporter | Francesca gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University before joining the paper full-time in 2011. She is now editor of the Lyme Regis edition, as well as a sub-editor on the East Devon and South Somerset editions, and reporter for Colyton.

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