Anything but civil: war comes to Aston Hall
Pikes & Muskets, Saturday 11 June 2016
Honourable battles between flamboyant Royalists and austere Roundheads may be how the English Civil War is portrayed in films and on TV, but the reality of this bloody conflict was anything but civil, as visitors to Aston Hall’s Pikes & Muskets event on Saturday (11 June) will find out.
The day of 17thcentury combat runs from 11.00am until 4.00pm within the grounds of Aston Hall, where visitors can hear the crack of rifle fire and hear the boom of cannons as part of this historic re-enactment event. A crack unit of Royalist troops will muster to show off some of the drills and formations used during the conflict, which not only saw Parliamentarians take up arms against those loyal to the King, but brothers and families split as they were forced to fight.
“When we talk about the Civil War, we are actually referring to three periods of unrest in English history, when Parliament challenged the absolute authority of the reigning monarch Charles I, and later, after his execution, his son Charles II. This was not really war about who was in charge, but how the country was to be ruled – a battle between birth-right and democracy,” explains Andrea Fox, Marketing and Communications Manager at Birmingham Museums. “Battles were particularly bloody, fought with muskets at fairly short range which could cause serious injury or death despite being difficult to aim, whilst pikes were used to protect the front line of musketeers from charges by the cavalry – one of the techniques that will be demonstrated on Saturday.”
Indeed, the stories of battle wounds form part of the repertoire of one of the most interesting characters of the day, the Barber Surgeon. With his role ranging from trimming whiskers to amputating limbs, his role was crucial – and visitors to Pikes & Musket will be captivated – and sometimes appalled! - by his tales of unusual cures and remedies that he applied to help nurse a soldier back to health, with mixed results.
Entry to the event, which includes admission to Aston Hall itself, is £8.00 for adults, £6.00 for concessions and £3.00 for children. Family tickets are also available for £17.40, £20.00 or £22.60 for families of three, four or five respectively.
For more details, please visit www.birminghammuseums.org.uk/aston or call 0121 348 8100. Aston Hall is located on Trinity Road in Aston, postcode for SatNav is B6 6JD.
Birmingham Museums Trust
Aston Hall is operated by Birmingham Museums Trust, an independent charity that manages the city’s museum collection and venues on behalf of Birmingham City Council. It uses the collection of around 800,000 objects to provide a wide range of arts, cultural and historical experiences, events and activities that deliver accessible learning, creativity and enjoyment for citizens and visitors to the city. Most areas of the collection are designated as being of national importance, including the finest collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the world. Attracting over one million visits a year, the Trust’s venues include Aston Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Blakesley Hall, Museum Collections Centre, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, Thinktank and Weoley Castle. www.birminghammuseums.org.uk
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