“Nantwich Besieged,” an exhibition recalling the English Civil War in this locality, has opened at Nantwich Museum and will run until Saturday 17 September. Mayor of Nantwich Town Council, Councillor Andrew Martin supported by Councillor Norma Simpson, opened the exhibition and Crewe and Nantwich MP, Edward Timpson, unveiled one of the centrepieces, a mural depicting the scene in the town square as the townspeople prepared for attack by the Royalists. David Pritchard of Applewood Independent, who sponsored a large scale model depicting for the first time the scene on the day of the Battle of Nantwich: 25 January 1644, also contributed to the event.
Prepared and installed by the museum’s Research Group the exhibition examines some of the local realities of the war reflecting the conflicting views of the Crown, Parliament, religious interests and a general reluctance towards the conflict.
Life in the Parliamentary garrison town is examined through the eyes of four fictional characters, a lady from the upper echelons of society, a felt maker, and two young people who variously comment on aspects of life at the time. The exhibition outlines the key trades in the town, identifies the key characters of the conflict, how it developed, how the town defended itself and various events in the lead up to the siege and its relief through the Battle of Nantwich.
The time is illustrated through lavish illustrations prepared by museum artist, Les Pickford, including a mural depicting the scene in the town square as the threat of siege became real accompanied by an audio visual developed by museum photographer Paul Topham. A further dimension is provided through displays of artefacts of the time, replicas and authentic clothing. Thomas Malbon was a lawyer who wrote a diary of local events during the Civil War. That diary still exists and is a key exhibit in the exhibition enabling visitors to read for themselves some of the events as recorded by the hand of one who witnessed first hand the siege and relief of Nantwich. There is something for everyone with a variety of activities. A series of talks considering various aspects of the conflict include a Battlefield Walk and Talk, Maps and Models, Coin Hoards, Events at Barthomley, Sir William Brereton and Stained Glass, some local examples of which depict the Civil War. Three town walks will focus on Civil War events.More