Battle of Nantwich re-enactment at Mill Island

Thousands braved the snow and ice to watch the annual “Battle of Nantwich” spectacular played out in the town.

And this year, the town centre was packed with other activities to keep the crowds entertained before the march and battle re-enactment.

The event is organised by The Holly Holy Day Society in association with the Sealed Knot re-enactment society and Rotary.

This year was the 41st year the battle has been re-enacted.

Sealed Knot troops marched from Malbank down Welsh Row at 1pm to the town square for a wreath-laying ceremony.

Then they continued on from the square down Mill Street to Mill Island where the battle took place.

Holly Holy Day traces back to the 17th century and the four year long first English Civil War between Parliamentarians (Roundheads) and the Royalists (Cavaliers) loyal to Charles I.

A variety of events took place in town during the day as well as the wreath-laying at the war memorial to commemorate people who died in the Civil War Battle of Nantwich and other battles.

There was a Farmers Market, the Domesday Morris dancers performed as did the Nantwich Players and the Nantwich Museum staged activities and tours.

The 1644 battle was re-enacted on Mill Island and was followed by a prize-giving ceremony for the best regiment.

There were fears the event could be postponed because of the weather and ground conditions.

Organiser Shaun Cafferty said: “We had a look at Mill Island where the battle takes place, and obviously it was a bit soggy in places, but the new drainage system seems to be doing its job.

“Ground conditions were similar to what they were about four years ago, so it’s a situation we’ve handled before.

“We spoken with the Sealed Knot and they assured us that they are happy to fight in any conditions!”

(All pictures courtesy of Jonathan White)


  1. Steve says:

    Derek the fact that visitors are spending money in the town means that businesses have more chance of staying open. You only have to see the empty shops meaning loss of jobs to realise that these events are very much needed.

  2. Kat says:

    I agree it is an inconvenience… For one day! I live in one of the nearby houses and yes the common fire is disturbing and I don’t venture down every year for the simple fact like you say you’re charged to cross mill island, but its one day out of 365 to honour a piece of town history. It brings revenue and custom into our dying high street and keeps the town afloat. I’d rather be put out for ONE DAY and keep our town, than lose it all because heaven forbid I had to walk down welsh row…

  3. Derek Ashworth says:

    This Holy Holly Day may be fine for the economy of the town as our MP thinks but what about the negative effects on the local residents. The fact if on foot people face wide detours and that is when they are provided. The condition of Mill Island churned to mud for the next three months at least. Being charged to cross Mill Island after paying our taxes is a further insult. The shaking and vibration of the effect of the cannon fire on the neighboring properties causing pictures and mirrors to fall off walls and other damage from shaken ornaments. The darned battle didnt even take place on Mill Island! Put it in the correct area near the aquaduct! Whoops no we cannot because it would mean people had to walk to town and as usual in this town it is profits before people. The monies Mr Timpson says is good for the town is good for a few only. Share the benefit that we are supposed to be getting!

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