PICTURES: Sights and sounds of seventeenth century battle come to town

PICTURES: Sights and sounds of seventeenth century battle come to town <i>(Image: Wimborne BID)</i>
PICTURES: Sights and sounds of seventeenth century battle come to town (Image: Wimborne BID)

THE sounds of the seventeenth century echoed around Wimborne this weekend as the town went back in time.

Beginning the town’s first summer of history, hundreds of members of the English Civil War Society (ECWS) came to the town to reenact the Battle for Wimborne.

More than 3,000 people watched the two large, exciting reenactment battles which took place on Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27.

With the towers of the Minster as the backdrop, the sounds, sights and smells of canons and musket fire rang out as foot soldiers and cavalry battled it out.

The realistic reenactment told the story of how the Wimbornites hatched a plot for a Roundhead officer in Poole to open the gates of the town in return for money.

Bournemouth Echo:
Bournemouth Echo:

On the night, the group set off but found the inner gates unopened after entering through the main gates.

They were forced to feel with heavy casualties after coming under heavy attack, following their betrayal.

Across the bank holiday weekend, military parades, demonstrations of manoeuvres and war drums filled the town.

There was also a recreation of the riot in the Minster when Lord Shaftesbury, whose family still lives at Wimborne St Giles, ordered musketeers to shoot at the town’s citizens in the church.

Shoppers and visitors to Wimborne over the weekend could also encounter characters from 17th century civilian life around the town.

Bournemouth Echo:
Bournemouth Echo:

They showed off skills such as hurdle making, leather working, apothecary and candle-making, along with playing traditional instruments.

Wimborne resident Stephen Burden has been a member of The English Civil War Society for 50 years and is now the ECWS Royalist Colonel General of Dorset.

He said: “The English Civil War Society loves to support towns throughout the country.

“This immersive type of event where the whole town is transported back to the 17th century has never been staged in Dorset.

“We couldn’t wish for a better backdrop than the beautiful, historic Wimborne Minster. The whole town has been captivated by exciting and spectacular displays.

Bournemouth Echo:
Bournemouth Echo:

“Everyone seems to have really enjoyed it and we are getting lots of people asking when we are coming back.”

Fiona Harwood, chair of Wimborne BID said: “This has been such a successful event, which has drawn new visitors to the Wimborne and really bought the town to life over the weekend.

“Over three thousand people turned out to witness the battle reenactments.

“It’s been tremendous fun to host the ECWS this bank holiday and Wimborne BID are delighted to have been part of it.”