The Battle of Hatherleigh Moor, Summer 2005
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Page updated: December 11, 2005

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Go to Day 1 - the fun battle that was real

The Battle of Hatherleigh Moor - Day 2

Re-enacted by Sealed Knot, August 2005

Day 2 (Sunday) was bright, with a little breeze to cool things down and a thousand or more folks wandered up to the moor, or drove, \to the specially organised arena. The battle area was roped off and no-one exceept the battlers were allowed over the other side.

The natural slope gave a great view and Sealed Knot were kind enough to give a short briefing to the audience a) to let them know what was coming and b) to let people get used to the explosions (keep your mouth open, was one bit of advice).

A 21st century microphone allowed the 17th century Royalist Captain to explain things to the crowd.

A trial battle between the pikemen of one side and the infantry/rfilemen of the other saw the infantry routed in a fun opening to proceedings. Then the battle (skirmish) proper got under way. Towards the end the action got a little boring and almost disappeared under a rise in the ground to the left. Shortly after the roundheads were routed and ran away.

Closure came with a march-past by both armies beyond the safety ropes ... except that someone dropped the ropes just as they came level with the crowd and the whole lot charged the audience enclosure, giving us a taste of the real thing.

We heard that the battle was fairly-well planned by the officers, though the men didn't know what might happen. Of course, the outcome was never in doubt but it was still an entertaining afternoon.

The demonstration fight: One sides marches off to the left ...

... while the other lets off a volley to test our ears.

Pikemen prepare to face the enemy ...

... the enemy shoot at the advancing pikemen.

Casualties are inflicted but the pikemen advance still ...

... and then charge, routing the opposition ...

... in a hand to hand fight

And so, on to the 'real thing'

First, our scouts spotted their scouts in the trees and a short fusilade was delivered by both sides.

Things got serious however, because the other side kept coming. We sent forward more riflemen to ward them off ...

The big guns were brought to bear but still they kept a-coming.

The only thing was to face them, so our side went forward to match them rifle for rifle.

Shots were exchanged, and then they turned nastier ...

... they brought up their tanks! Pikemen actually, but much the same thing in those days perhaps.

Some brave fire from our boys failed to dent their courage ...

... and the pikes were lowered in readiness for a charge.

This unnerved our side, who turned and ran!

Fortunately, our cavalry arrived in the nick of time. They'd marched out of sight around a hill and suddenly appeared, to save the day.

But it took some effort, pikemen on pikemen, while the rest took a short breather.

Rugby was never like this in my day

Then they started again ...

... so our boys got mad and set to in amongst them

Meanwhile, the pikemen pushed and shoved

Suddenly the battle turned and we had the initiative. Backwards they went until a peace treaty was signed somewhere over on the left.

Which only left the combined march-past/curtain call. This looked magnificent until ...

... they suddenly turned and charged us! Thankfully a rope barrier was in the way so they gave up without a fight ...

... and we all retired for a cup of tea or a beer.


Congratulations to all concerned in the organisation of this event. Better publicity might have drawn a few more people and a little more organising might have kept the crowd better entertained towards the end. But the good weather, nice location and excellent vista made this a day to remember. Let's do it again sometime please.

Go to Day 1 - the fun battle that was real



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