Showing posts from January, 2023

Belvoir Castle

Belvoir Castle dominates the landscape around the Vale of Belvoir, so it doesn't take much to see why the Normans built the original castle on the site, nor does it take too much working out to why they named it 'beautiful view'. Of course, if you are wondering how to pronounce it, the locals pronounce it 'beaver'. The current 'castle' is a Regency house in a castle style, surrounded by a landscape envisaged by Capability Brown*. The original castle had fallen into ruin by Tudor times, and had been rebuilt by Thomas Manners, 1st Earl of Rutland. It is this second incarnation of the castle that became a thorn in Parliament's side. Belvoir was ideally located to protect the route from Oxford to Newark, the garrison used the castle as a stronghold from which to sally forth and disrupt Parliament's machinations in Lincolnshire , and Newark . The castle was owned by John Manners, 8th Earl of Rutland a Parliamentarian and Covenanter. In January 1643 one of

Warhammer English Civil War

Next rulebook to come under the KeepYourPowderDry microscope, is the gateway drug that is Warhammer English Civil War.  But first, a story... way back in the mists of time, almost everyone who was a wargamer who lived in Nottingham worked for the behemoth that is Games Workshop. A disparate group of individuals who liked all types of wargaming (not just space marines, orks, and eldars) banded together and formed what would become Warhammer Historicals. From this group a series of rules would be written, all incorporating Warhammer game mechanics.   But enough story telling. In the eighties Rick Priestly wrote a very successful, and influential, set of English Civil War rules called 1644 (see my review here ). Fast forward 15 or so years later, John Stallard was part of the group of Nottingham gamers who become the nucleus of the Warhammer Historicals group. (If you recognise the name, John would go on to found Warlord Games, and write their Black Powder rules.) John would effectively

Holly Holy Day 2023

Crivens! A second bonus post in less than a week. The first re-enactment date in the calendar is always Holly Holy Day in Nantwich. The day celebrates and commemorates the battle of Nantwich. This year was the 50th re-enactment of the battle, for which the Battle of Nantwich Society and The Sealed Knot should be applauded. So here, without any shame whatsoever, is gallery of some of the events from the day. The Royalist Army Parliament's Army The Armies march to the Battlefield The Battle Re-Enactment If you enjoyed reading this, or any of the other posts, please consider  supporting  the blog.  Thanks .

Act of Oblivion

Bonus Tuesday book post! The Act of Oblivion was passed in 1660 and was, in theory, a line drawn at the end of the Commonwealth allowing the Restoration of the crown with effectively a clean slate for everyone who had taken part in the Civil Wars. With the exception of the regecides. It is also the title of Robert Harris's latest novel. With one foot in a history book, and the other firmly in fiction Harris's story follows the fictitious agent of the crown Richard Nayler. Nayler's task is to hunt down the regicides, and the novel focuses on his hunt for Colonel Edward Whalley,  and Colonel William Goffe. The novel is currently serialised on BBC Radio 4's ' A Book At Bedtime '. There are ten fifteen minute long episodes. Well worth a download. (The series started Monday 16th January and should be available for a few months to come). If you enjoyed reading this, or any of the other posts, please consider supporting the blog.  Thanks.

Houses of Interest: Derbyshire

Derbyshire wasn’t the county of major battles, it was mostly the source for soldiers for conflict in neighbouring counties. There were however countless skirmishes and short lived sieges, the majority of which are poorly documented. The other thing that Derbyshire had was lead mines, vitally important for supplying the lead for musket shot. Bolsover Castle : mmmm, I hear you say. Besieged? Nope. Battle of? Nope. Home of William Cavendish the Marquis of Newcastle, and commander of the King's northern army? You'd be correct. Like several grand houses in Derbyshire, Bolsover had a Royalist garrison, which was a bit of a thorn in the Parliamentarian side. Troops from the garrison venturing out to disrupt Parliamentarian activities, and gather supplies. On one occasion an "agent" was sent to Derby to sow discord and incite rioting. Home to the Cavendish family, William entertained King Charles and his Queen, Henrietta.  William was an accomplished horseman, and was t