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Civil war re-enactors to recreate woman's brave defence of Shropshire castle

A woman's brave defence of a Shropshire castle during the English civil war will be commemorated next month.

English Civil War Society holding a pike drill.
English Civil War Society holding a pike drill.

Lady Brilliana Harley, an antecedent of the current Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire Edward Harley, held the castle at Brampton Bryan with her men against a much larger attacking force of Royalist troops.

The English Civil War Society visit to commemorate the two sieges of Brampton Bryan Castle in 1643 and 1644 on Saturday August 13 and Sunday, August 14. It will be held at Aardvark Books, at Manor Farm, Brampton Bryan, Bucknell, from 10am to 5pm.

Sheridan Swinson, co-owner of Aardvark Books said: "After 15 years this year will mark the last time that the English Civil War Society will return to our village.

"The story of the brave defence of Brampton Bryan Castle by Brilliana Harley is one that speaks to the ages, and I have no doubt that it will impress all visitors to the event."

This year’s event is held in memory of the late gunnery captain of the ECWS Roger Emmerson who has died since the event was last held in 2019.

Sheridan Swinson said: "Roger was an extraordinary larger-than-life personality, and it will feel very strange to run the event without him. Still, I know that he will be with us in spirit, making sure that the event goes with its usual efficiency."

The event will be filmed by Tom Middleton and his team from Lush Films on behalf of the St Barnabas Church restoration project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the film will be made available to schools throughout the area, and included as part of the visitor package at Brampton Bryan Church.

In addition to the two sieges, the event consists of a large Living History Village, models of Brampton Bryan Sieges and of Mortimer’s Cross, exhibit tables and much more. Noted battlefield historian Martin Hackett, author of ‘Lost Battlefields of Wales’ amongst many titles, will be on site to talk about the Sieges of Brampton Bryan and of nearby Hopton Castle.

Refreshments and hot food are available on site.

Tickets cost £5 for adults with under 16s and parking free.

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