For King or Parliament?

  • Sat 11 Aug to Sun 12 Aug
  • 10am to 4pm
How to book

The amazing history of Middleton Hall is coming back to the future at the National Botanic Garden of Wales thanks to the world-famous re-enactment experts Sealed Knot.

“Sir Henry Vaughan’s company of foote” is returning to Carmarthenshire over the weekend of August  11th and 12th to bring to life the history of the civil war in Wales.

The year is 1644 and the country is two years in to a bloody civil war involving the Royalists (Cavaliers)led by King Charles the first, and his parliament (Roundheads) led by The Earl of Essex

Up to this point south wales has been in full support of the King and throughout the country the war appears to be going in the Kings favour. But in the last few months The Parliament forces of Pembrokeshire led by Roland Laughane and John Poyour have been beating The Earl of Carberry’s Royalist forces back in to Carmarthensire.

Henry Middleton, son and nephew of two of the founders of the East India Company is at home in Middleton Hall on the estate created by his family’s new found wealth.  Henry is a merchant, landowner, magistrate and High Sheriff of Carmarthenshire, but he’s also ‘new money’ and the crucial question is: which side is he on?

Various characters will help bring this fascinating period in our history to life and visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in 17th century life, and the immediate aftermath of the surrender of Carmarthen town by Henry Middleton and the town officials.

Costumed reenactors will be on hand to regale you with stories of the lives of local people, and their thoughts and feelings about the Civil War that was tearing the country apart. There will be a talk on historical clothing and displays of soldiers training with pike and musket, cannon and cavalry and in the afternoon witness what happens when opposing armies do battle!

Visitors will also have the opportunity to find out what life was like for children during this period and youngsters can try their hand at traditional games and toys, and can train with the soldiers.

There will be lots to see and do for the whole family.

Timetable for the Weekend

11.00-5.00 Living history camp in the Outer Walled Garden

Come and ask questions and get a close up look of 17th century life.

11.00 – 11.30  Skirmish in the Outer Walled Garden

The town falls from the control of the royalist forces into the hands of parliament

12.00  Mary Middleton’s catwalk of 17th century costume in the Great Glasshouse

2.00  Royalist forces reclaim the town at Waun Las Meadow

Troops with cannons and horses do battle

3.15  Troop drill – Colonel Gerard inspects their display in the Outer Walled Garden

with a few surprises thrown in

4.00  Military trials on Millennium Square

Judge David Jenkins tries the militia and townsfolk alike holding court in a mixture of English and Welsh, not allowed at the time but he chose to do so anyway.

You do not need to book this event. Normal Garden entry fees apply.

The Garden is open from 10am to 6pm with last entry at 5pm.

Admission to the Garden is £11.00 (including Gift Aid donation) for adults and £9.00 for concessions.

Entry is FREE for Garden members and parking is FREE for all.