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A Battle Rages Across The National Forest

Friday, 28th May 2010

This area has often featured at the centre of major historical events.  Ashby de la Zouch Castle was the inspiration for the fictional tournament in Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Ivanhoe, and during the Civil War it survived a siege for more a year due to its tunnels, tower and wells that you can still see today.  On 31 July-1 August visitors will see a Clash of the Knights with medieval knights fighting for their honour in the castle grounds with awesome combat displays!  For further details contact the castle on 01530 413 343 or visit

An English Civil War camp, with period tents and artifacts, will transform Barton Marina for The Sealed Knot Living History Weekend on 17-18 July.  This free event will show what life was like in the mid-seventeenth century and include drill and musketry demonstrations. For details and times visit the website

Bosworth Battlefield is where Richard III, the last king of England to die on the battlefield, lost his crown to Henry VII.  The 525th anniversary of this battle will include a spectacular re-enactment event on 21-22 August at Leicestershire County Council’s Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.  At Donington le Heath Manor House you can see the bed in which King Richard allegedly slept, before setting off from Leicester into battle. The curator of Bosworth Battlefield will be hosting a talk on the battle and how it was lost and found at Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre on 19 July and at Donington le Heath Manor House on 27 July.  For more information on the Bosworth events contact 01455 290 429 or visit  To book for the talk at Donington contact 01530 831 259.

Donington le Heath Manor House will become a medieval world of knights and fair damsels, peasants and dragons, castles and battles on 11 August and 12 September.  Find out more on or contact 01530 831 259.

Kings and noblemen were regular visitors to this area as far back as Saxon times when the Mercian kings of the 8th Century were buried in Repton and Mary Queen of Scots was held captive in Tutbury CastleThere are lots of other events taking place throughout the summer that celebrate the history and heritage of the area.

Meet the characters who lived in Calke Abbey during ‘Calke Alive’ days on 5 and 26 June.  To find out about the many other events at this fascinating house contact 01332 863 822

Claymills Pumping Station hosts regular steaming days where visitors can actually have a go at firing up the steam engines.  Claymills has four large beam engines, steam powered engineering workshops, early steam powered dynamo house and twenty other steam engines. All engines are original to the pumping station.  It is a fascinating glimpse into the ingenuity of our industrial past! Visit the website

To find out what other events are taking place, please click here.  Or for more information on attractions, activities, events and places to stay in and around The National Forest, the 2010 visitor guides to the Forest and Beyond are bursting with great ideas.  These are available from Tourist Information Centres or from the National Forest Company on 01283 551 211, email: enquiries@nationalforest.