This Sunday (15th May) a large, medieval-style event is coming to the town centre of Chesterfield to commemorate the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Chesterfield. There will be plenty of free entertainment for the whole family to enjoy including an arena and medieval craft area in New Square, along with music, dancing and games and a battle from the Swords of Mercia recreation group.
Now for the history lesson….In 1266, Robert de Ferrers, 6th Earl of Derby, joined forces with Baldwin Wake, Lord of Chesterfield, and continued a rebellion (started by Simon de Montfort) against King Henry 3rd. The King’s forces, led by Henry of Almain, caught up with them at Chesterfield, and on the 15th May, a battle took place near the church where de Ferrers was hiding.
The men of Brampton, hearing that there would be fighting around the church rushed to defend it. The King’s forces defeated the rebels; de Ferrers was captured and taken to London where he was stripped of his titles and land.
Sunday sees a commemoration of this event and will feature a re-enactment of Robert de Ferrers being brought out of the ‘Crooked Spire’ and paraded through town on a medieval style cart. He will then be ‘tried’ in New Square and banished from Chesterfield! Local groups – businesses, charities, schools, clubs and residents were all invited to form into guilds and march into New Square on the day.
We’ll be there as the ‘Guild of Record Keepers’!
You can find the full programme for the day by visiting www.chesterfield.co.uk ‘Events’. The programme runs something like this [subject to change]:
11:00 Event Open
11:00 Arena – Music from Baldwin’s Wake
11:15 Arena – Dance from Cock and Magpie Morris/Chesterfield Garland Dancers
11.30 Arena – Swords of Mercia – family-friendly activity involving children
12.00 Arena – Music from Baldwin’s Wake
12.15 Arena – Dance from Cock and Magpie/Chesterfield Garland
13.00 Mayor’s arrival and tour of New Square
13.30 Arena – Henry of Almain calls for Robert de Ferrers to answer the charges against him
Robert de Ferrers brought in on cart from outside Revenues Hall; Swords of Mercia Trial by Combat
14.00 Arena – announce winners of Library’s “Then and Now Competition”
Guild of Bellringers ringing Chesterfield Bob Major at Crooked Spire
14.05 Arena – Dance from Cock and Magpie/Chesterfield Garland
14.30 Arena – Music from Baldwin’s Wake
15.00 Event ends
Throughout the day (in no particular order) – Ferret Handler; Pedlars, including Cunning Woman; Nenna Kind Archery; Swords of Mercia display; Wargame in Assembly Room; Museum stall, Library stall, Yorkshire Bank stall, Crooked Spire stall; Pentrich Group; Children’s games in Assembly Room; English Heritage stall; Brampton Brewery stall; Soroptomists stall; Kilton Falconers; Derbyshire Record Office; Battlefields Trust; Pole Lathe; Spinner; Besom Maker; Commemorative Stone; Medieval Walk Leaflet.
As the programme says, we’ll be there in all our medieval finery (or more accurately something I ran up on the sewing machine from remnants of material – the effort, if not the sewing skill, is what counts!). I’ll post some photographs next week. So come along and see us on our stall, it’s looking like a great free family day out!