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Published: January 21st 2012
The Holly Holy Day.
Nantwich was the site of a crucial battle in the English Civil War when, in 1644, the Royalists lay siege to Parliamentarian Nantwich. By the end of 1643, Cheshire was in the hands of the Royalists with the exception of Nantwich, which was a Parliamentarian Garrison.
For six weeks, the village was under siege until Sir Thomas Fairfax and his army of 5000 Parliamentarians arrived on the scene. Finally, on the 25th January 1644, a battle lasting for two hours culminated in the capture of the Royalist baggage train together with several senior Royalist officers and the siege was lifted.
Fairfax's success led him to command the New Model Army just over a year later but in celebration of the lifting of the siege, the locals wore sprigs of holly in the hats and clothing. To this day, the celebrations continue with the addition of a wreath laying ceremony and a re-enactment of the battle by the Sealed Knot.
Several hundred members of the Sealed Knot marched from their billet at Malbank School down Welsh Row to the The Square where, following prayers by the Rector, a wreath was laid on the War
Memorial and a gun salute given. After a demonstration of 1640's military tactics, all made their way to Mill Island where the battle was re-enacted.
The weather this year remained dry though cold, cloudy and windy.
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