Castle Bytham. Midsummer Fair. 23/24th June 2012
Colonel John Hutchinsons Regiment
welcome you to Castle Bytham and hope you all enjoy taking part in the Midsummer Fair.
Historical background. Spring 1643
A large force of Royalists commanded by Sir Charles Cavendish and Sir John Henderson left Newark and marched into Lincolnshire. The town of Grantham was easily captured in a surprise attack. Royalist troops then moved on toward Boston. The Parliamentary commander in Lincolnshire at the time, Lord Willoughby of Parham, tried unsuccessfully to block the Royalist advance with 1,500 troops in an engagement at Ancaster Heath (about 6miles due north of Castle Bytham) on 11 April 1643.
Worried that the Royalist manoeuvres might be preparation for a march South by the Earl of Newcastle's northern army, Parliament ordered Lord Willoughby to make another attack on Newark.
Willoughby joined forces with Colonel Cromwell of the Eastern Association and Captain Hotham with a contingent from Nottingham at Sleaford on 9 May. They advanced to Grantham on 11 May but remained there for a further two days, which gave Cavendish and Henderson time to prepare a counterstrike.
In the early hours of 13 May, Cavendish made a surprise attack on Lord Willoughby's Parliamentary troops quartered at the village of Belton just north of Grantham, killing 70 and taking 40 prisoners. Later in the day, the Royalists made a second advance.
After an exchange of musket fire, Cromwell, in his first independent action as a cavalry commander, led a charge that drove the Royalists from the field.
Our (imagined) skirmish takes place the following day as Willoughby’s troops search the neighbourhood for defeated Royalist troops looking to re-group after the defeat at Grantham.......
The campsite is at The Recreation Ground, Castle Bytham. Postcode NG33 4RJ
No camp fires! Dogs on leads etc...
There is a village store in Castle Bytham open during the weekend and nearest supermarket is;
The Co-operative Food 37 High Street, Colsterworth, NG33 5NE Tel: 01476 860291
Savemore Supermarket,Great Close,South Witham. Grantham, NG33 5QH
Jubilee Garage, A1 Great North Road, Colsterworth, Grantham, NG33 5JL
The Castle 11 High Street. 01780 410504
Food available Saturday Breakfast 9-11am, Lunch 12-2pm, Dinner 6-9pm
Sunday Breakfast 9-11am lunch 12-4pm, Dinner 6-9pm
Real Ales and garden beer festival if weather permits.
Fox & Hounds. 6 High Street, 01780 410336
Open Saturday 1200 to 1400 and from 1800 to whatever. Good honest pub food.
Sunday they will open from 1100 and stay open all afternoon and evening. No pub food but an excellent sandwich bar and beer cellar will operate as well as the normal pub. Beer Garden.
Both pubs are very SK welcoming with excellent food and a range of real ales.
Other activities. Saturday evening music festival (including bar/BBQ) will run from 1730 to 1000 next to the living history camp and battlefield. SK more than welcome.
Midsummer Fair takes place on Sunday. Some village roads will be closed for the duration.
There will be activities throughout the village on Sunday, Morris Dancers, Duck Race, Classic Cars, Dog Shows, lots of stalls. There may be a chance to visit the Castle Mound (on private ground, usually closed)
The music festival continues on Sunday and we are hoping to enter SK drummers in the “Drum Off” competition on the stage prior to the battle. Details from Jennie Stanley (Hutchinsons) at the guard tent. The more drummers the better!
On the field there will be much more food available on Sunday, including a hog roast baked spuds and pizza.
Village Hall has a splendid Fair Cafe and will be operating from early in the morning with bacon rolls and throughout lunch time with a wide selection of food.
Weather permitting there will be a visit from the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on Sunday. Timings to be confirmed, details at guard tent when we get them.
10.30am Officers briefing. Meet at guard tent.
11.30 Drummers “drum off” practice. Meet at the guard tent.
2.30 pm Form up on plastic campsite.
11.00am 17th Century Church Service in village in kit for those so inclined. **
12.00 noon. March in village, drumming and drill display.(Volunteers needed)
2.00 Form up on plastic camp
2.15 March through village, Parliament army calls into both pubs on the way to pick up stragglers. Royalist go directly to living history camp and stand down.
3.00pm – 4pm Battle.
Powder issue times will be advised at the guard tent.
**St. James’ Church is situated just up from the Castle Inn and was probably founded in Norman times. The church is unusual in that it has a north entrance said to have a door on the devil’s side. It has an 18th century sundial on the south side inscribed with the pun "Bee in Thyme". There are interesting memorials in the churchyard including a poetic epitaph for a local blacksmith. Inside the church is another unusual focal point, the ancient belfry-ladder which is made from the old maypole and marked "THIS WARE THE MAYPOUL 1660" and is thought to have been used to celebrate the restoration of Charles II.
Please do come along and have a great weekend. – Event Organisers.