THERE is an intriguing twist to the massive 17th century battle re-enactment taking place in Glynde over the Bank Holiday Weekend.
While the sights and sounds of 3,000 men will give the fighting an authentic feel, it is historical fact that there never was an English Civil War encounter between the Roundheads and Cavaliers in East Sussex.
Instead, the Glynde Epic is very much a case of “what might have been” if a real-life battle fought a dozen miles north west of Lewes in December 1642 had been won by the Royalists and not Cromwell’s followers.
The latter engagement took place at the location known today as Muster Green on the outskirts of Haywards Heath. A Royalist force heading south to capture Lewes was intercepted and routed by supporters of Parliament led by Sir Harbert Morley, MP for the Sussex county town.
By a fascinating coincidence, Morley’s home was Glynde Place, the Elizabethan manor house which is hosting the re-enactment from August 25-27. He is buried in the church on the Glynde estate and his descendants still live in the house today.
The Sealed Knot’s Dave Thomas said: “There is no doubt that if the Royalists had won at Muster Green they would have advanced on Lewes in pursuit of Morley.
“The idea of him and his army making a final stand at Glynde Place really isn’t far-fetched at all.”
In addition to the spectacular battles the Glynde Epic features a huge “Living History” village where hundreds of Sealed Knot enthusiasts recreate everyday life and activities in 17th century England in displays that will fascinate children and adults alike.
The event encompasses not only the English Civil War but also the Napoleonic era with re-enactors in colourful costumes recreating skirmishes between French and British troops and cavalry.
More recent history is represented by Rolling Thunder and their Vietnam War experience.
Their display of US army vehicles includes an awesome 155mm howitzer that actually fires (blank!) shells. Plus there will be live music in the huge refreshments marquee and lots of other entertainment.
The Glynde Epic will open noon to 6pm daily. Admission prices are adults £15, children under 16 £7, family (two adults, two children) £35 in advance; £20, £10, £50 respectively on the day. Book online (no booking fee): www.glyndeepic.co.uk or call 01273 483448.