Battle of Lewes: The weekend's medieval battle re-enactment

The annual re-enactment of the 1264 Battle of Lewes took place on the weekend of May 13 and 14, marking one of the most significant battles in England.

Jeff Southgate, one of the organisers, said: “We feel that this was one of the most significant battles fought on English soil. It paved the way for the development of democracy.

"It is not only a historic event, but nowadays it is an educational, fun, and open community weekend which we are delighted to organise and run. Thanks to all who came, both for fun and to support us.”

The Battle of Lewes was one of two main battles of the conflict known as the Second Barons' War. It took place at Lewes in Sussex, on 14 May 1264. It marked the high point of the career of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, and made him the ‘uncrowned King of England’.

Henry III left the safety of Lewes Castle and St. Pancras Priory to engage the barons in battle and was initially successful, his son Prince Edward routing part of the baronial army with a cavalry charge.

However, Edward pursued his quarry off the battlefield and left Henry's men exposed. Henry was forced to launch an infantry attack up Offham Hill where he was defeated by the barons' men defending the hilltop. The royalists fled back to the castle and priory and the King was forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, ceding many of his powers to Montfort.

The procession through Lewes town also included Newhaven based Earthquake Drummers.


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