Walkers learn a lot about history on their march to battle
A RECENT walk with the East Cheshire Ramblers was timed to view a display given by the Sealed Knot Society who re-enacted the Battle of Nantwich annually in the town.
The walk started in the nearby village of Acton which was the headquarters in January 1644 for the Royalist troops under the command of Lord Byron.
The figure of eight walk headed west across fields from the village to Swanley Bridge where the towpath of the Llangollen Canal was followed north to Hurleston Locks for the morning coffee stop before returning along the towpath of the Shropshire Union Canal back to the village.
Prior to lunch, the group were shown around Acton Church by volunteers which included a climb up to the belfry. The solid church tower is much older than the rest of the church and has stood for nearly one thousand years and was once used as a lookout for any raiding parties.
Lord Byron also used the tower as a vantage point to look towards Nantwich which at the time was the last place in the area to be held by the Parliamentarians during the English Civil War.
The Battle of Nantwich was fought in the fields east of the village of Acton on January 25, 1644 and despite Royalists successes during the weeks preceding the battle, a sudden thaw in the cold weather meant that the River Weaver burst its banks and the surrounding area turned to a quagmire and things now went in the Parliamentarians’ favour.
To reach the re-enactment of the battle at Mill Island in Nantwich, the group set off via Welshman’s Lane to enter the town via Welsh Row.
At 2pm the Sealed Knot Society consisting of several hundred soldiers dressed in period attire put on a battle display lasting over an hour including frequent cannon fire, pike men in action and much gunfire before presentations.
The return to Acton was again along the towpath of the Shropshire Union Canal from Marsh Lane Bridge but now the walk was undertaken in heavy rain, however as a consolation the group were rewarded with a vivid rainbow as the walk ended.
For more information go to ramblers eastcheshire.org.uk