Bolton School Senior Girls

Civil War to be Reenacted at Bolton School

Cannon will fire, drums will sound, and swords will clash as schoolchildren from across Bolton get the chance to go back in time to the English Civil War - thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

A new project will see special education days staged at Bolton School to teach local children about their town’s part in the Civil War that rocked the nation in the 1640s. 

Roundheads and Cavaliers will then descend on 7-8 July for ‘The Storming of Bolton’ - an exciting weekend of thrilling battles and fascinating ‘living history’ in the grounds of Bolton School, all free for local people and staged by costumed reenactors from The Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote, the local regiment of the Sealed Knot reenactment society. 

The Earl of Manchester’s Regiment was awarded a £9,800 regional grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the costs of the project, which means it will be free for local families. 

Thanks to the generous support of Bolton School, the project's education days and first event in July will give youngsters the chance to see what life was like for ordinary people in Bolton in the 17th Century and aims to improve educational access for children from across the town. 

Known as ‘the Geneva of the North’ due to its staunchly Puritan population, Bolton was attacked in May 1644 by forces led by King Charles’ nephew, the dashing Prince Rupert, on his way to relieve the siege of York. After repelling the first assault, Parliamentarian defenders hanged one of Rupert’s officers, which led to a notorious massacre when the Royalists finally stormed the town. The outmatched Parliamentarian commander and MP for Wigan, Colonel Alexander Rigby, pretended to be an enemy soldier before fleeing the defeat, which ended up being a huge propaganda coup for the Parliamentarians. Local magnate, the Earl of Derby, was later executed next to Bolton Market Cross for his part in the massacre and the third Civil War in 1651.

Headmaster of Bolton School Boys’ Division, Philip Britton, said: “We are very pleased to be able to share our facilities to enable this event to take place. It is an eye-catching way of reminding the young people of Bolton about an important moment in our history. We look forward to welcoming everyone in the summer.” 

David Frederick, commanding officer of the Earl of Manchester’s Regiment of Foote, said: “To be able to provide such an immersive educational event like this with the ability to reach hundreds of local children is very exciting for both myself and for our regiment. We’d like to say a huge thank you to both the Heritage Lottery Fund and to Bolton School for making this possible.”

Morning and afternoon education classes (9.30am-12 noon and 1.30pm-3.00pm, for Year 5, 6 and 7 pupils) with experienced local reenactors at Bolton School are available to book now on 7th and 29th June. To book your class's place on one of the free education sessions, contact Mrs Michaela Fox Makin at Bolton School on 01204 840201 or at BDInfo@boltonschool.org

You can download a flyer about the event here.

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