National Civil War Centre

I notice a few weeks have slipped by, so time for an update.  I've got a lot of projects on the go - both in the wargaming world and in real life.  However the whole month of August is booked as leave, so I hope to have plenty to share with you over the coming weeks.

If you are a UK-based gamer, I thoroughly recommend a visit to the National Civil War Centre in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.  I have an annual pass and can honestly say it's the best museum I've ever been to - I visit at least once a week.  Of course, we're currently planning our English Civil War campaign so there's a lot of research I do there but it's also quite a good family destination.  My brother takes his 8-month-old there - apparently the only thing that stops her crying is watching videos of pikemen.

Quick overview:
  • Fairly small museum, containing a large room with lots of ECW exhibits, mainly focusing on Newark
  • Several other rooms looking at Newark through the ages
  • Dressing up for kids (and adults!)
  • Some great, very professional short films depicting important events in the war
If you do go, I recommend you make a day of it and take time to explore the Civil War defences around the town as well.  Anyone interested in 17th century defensive warfare should definitely visit the Sconce - best example of earthworks from that era anywhere in Europe.

Time for pictures!

Sir Thomas Fairfax's wheelchair!  He scooted around this contraption by turning the handles on the arm.  It had this description of the great man in later life using the chair:
"wherein he sate like an old Romane, his manly countenance striking Awe and Reverence into all that beheld him, and yet mixt with so much modesty, and meekness, as no figure of a mortal man ever represented before."
Thought this exhibit was fascinating and quite sad in a way, thinking of the great
leader from all those paintings sat in there in his old age.
My brother as a matchlock musketeer. 
My trusty wench / lovely girlfriend and I
The Sconce
And no, I don't work for the tourist board.

Look out later this month for an ECW Supercampaign, to rival our glorious ACW one from a few weeks back.  We'll be refighting the Third Siege of Newark, my brother as the Parliamentarian commander, Kieran as the Scots leader, and I as the glorious Royalists!

For the King!



  1. Some very nice pictures there. Dressing up as a Roundhead appeals for some reason.

    I'm very excited to read on this campaign!

    1. They're all equally fun, oddly enough the armour didn't seem as heavy as I expected. Not sure if that's because it's a replica.

      We should have a full update at the end of the month but I'll try and post a few battle reports now and again.

  2. Kool. If you're ever down this way again, I've a really nice one day tour; Edgehill, Copready Bridge, Stow on the Wold and lastly Burford.

    1. That sounds like an incredible trip - all in one day? That's the good thing about researching ECW. It's all so... local.

  3. Ed, that looks really brilliant. I visited the Queen's Sconce about ten years ago and was really impressed. It was very overgrown and seemed to be a real favourite with BMX racing teenagers (which was fair enough). It's good to see that there's a great new museum there - I shall certainly be paying a visit. Thanks for the great photos!

    1. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I should mention for people who've visited the sconce in the past that a few years back it was renovated. All the vegetation was cut away and an unobtrusive footpath and bridge have been added to facilitate wheelchair access. There are more display boards now as well which makes it much easier to visit.

      I'm sorry to say that ten years ago I perhaps didn't appreciate the historical significance of the Sconce and may have frequented that particular locale with my velocipede and teen-aged compatriates... I hope it wasn't me you saw.

      If you ever swing by Newark way again drop me an email.

    2. As I remember from our visit, the BMX bikers were most amused that anyone would be interested in taking photos of their mound. I had a feeling that they didn't appreciate it was Britain's best example of a Civil War field fortification - and, no, I wasn't going to spoil anyone's fun by telling them. The gorse hedges were huge ten years ago, so good to hear that they've been removed/ pared-back. It was still a great visit, and to be honest, the BMXers did add a lot of comedy value to the day.

      I'll certainly drop you an email if I'm in Newark again. I can't promise to come by bicycle, though!


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