Dine like a Tudor and experience the anarchy of the Civil War at Northampton's Delapre Abbey this August

Step back in time for an exciting weekend of displays, demonstrations and hands-on history, complete with cavalry and cannons!

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 10:04 am

Watch Northampton' s turbulent past be re-enacted before your very eyes at Delapré Abbey this August.

The Not So Civil War takes place at the historic abbey on Saturday August 21 and Sunday August 22 from 11am until 4pm. The site will come alive with spectacular fun for all the family as they step back in time for an exciting weekend of displays, activities and hands-on history.

Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust's head of engagement and interpretation, Eleanor Sier, said: "We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to this exciting event.

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The Not So Civil War Event at Delapre Abbey. Credit: Matthew D Crosby

"It’s great that we’re able to commemorate this moment in our history and I can’t wait for everyone to join in the fun."

Visitors can watch a full historic drill display on the South Lawn complete with cavalry and cannons, learn all about the military tactics of the 17th century and experience what civilian life was like. Surgeons, cooks, gravediggers, midwives, gardeners will go about their day-to-day activities so that you can discover how they cook, create, and cut off limbs!

Delapré Abbey has close links to the English Civil War as the home of Zouch Tate, the MP for Northampton, who inherited Delapré in 1617. He was closely involved in the upheavals that led to the beheading of King Charles I in 1649.

Leading the fun is renowned re-enactment group, The Devereux’s Regiment, which has a passion for bringing the past to the present. The regiment was established in the early 1970s and has members from all over the UK helping to bring historic buildings to life.

Colonel Nicholas Deverux’s Regiment, Spencer Houghton, said “Colonel Nicholas Devereux’s are delighted to have the opportunity of telling the story of Northampton’s vital role at the beginnings of 'The Not So Civil War' where the Parliamentarian forces rallied ahead of the first major battle at Edgehill just two days march south west near Banbury on the Northamptonshire/Oxfordshire border.”

If that alone isn't enough for Northampton's keen historians, Delapré Abbey's AA-rosette awarded restaurant, Hibiscus, is hosting a 'Not So 17th Century Feast' to tickle your tastebuds. Visitors are invited to take their seats in Hibiscus' Tudor Kitchen on Wednesday, August 25 to enjoy a four-course modern twist on period dishes for £70 per person.

Head chef at Hibiscus, Sam Squires, said: “Our Not So 17th Century Feast is a playful way to tie the heritage of the Abbey in with our menus.

"I’m fascinated by the history of food so, to research what was being eaten hundreds of years ago – some of which was disgusting – and to put a modern and delicious twist on it is really exciting. It’s all a bit of theatre for our guests.”

This event forms part of the Abbey’s programme of summer fun for families with the house open Sundays to Thursdays throughout August, a sports themed outdoor trail, and a classic car show in September.

Visitors can also enjoy Bottomless Brunch and Afternoon Tea in the Orangery café, and award-winning fine dining at Hibiscus.

The Abbey team earlier this year announced that they will be gifting an Annual Pass to over 7,500 local families, which will enable them to explore inside the house for free. This scheme launched in May and anyone living in an eligible postcode can register by visiting delapreabbey.org/local.

Tickets for the' Not So Civil War' event cost £5. Under 18s accompanied by a paying adult go free.