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Pikes and Plunder
Newark's Annual Civil War Festival

Since 2016, Overton's have worked with the National Civil War Centre in Newark to host the town's annual Pikes and Plunder Civil War Festival - taking place on the early May Bank Holiday each year.


Hundreds of re-enactors from the English Civil War society come together in Newark to give a glimpse of what the historic town looked like in 1646 during the Third Siege of Newark - the battle that ultimately led to the surrender of King Charles I and the end of the First Civil War.

The event usually sees thousands of visitors each year, coming to see our living history camps at the castle and the Sconce to see what every day life was like during the Civil War for ordinary people and soldiers alike; and then at the end of each day is the battle re-enactment of the Third Siege featuring clashes of pikemen, volleys from the musketeers, charging cavalry and the earth-shaking cannon shots from the artillery.

It's a great day out for all of the family with plenty of activities and events throughout the day.

Overton's looks forward to seeing you there!

Weekend Schedule

This was the 2019 schedule, but gives an idea of what the event is like when Pikes and Plunder returns to Newark!

All events below are free of charge, no ticket required.

11am - 1pm - Market Place Drill Displays

Watch Civil War soldiers drill and complete a stunning volley of musket fire in Newark's magnificent cobbled market square surrounded by Civil War period buildings! Including have-a-go sessions for children, wreath laying on Sunday and Parliamentarian Surrender summons on Monday.

11am - 4.30pm - Living History at Newark Castle

Take a trip back in time and see how armies were fed, clothed, shod and equipped during the bitter Civil Wars with a fabulous period encampment inside the castle walls. Vital crafts like blacksmithing, basket weaving and leather work will be demonstrated.

12pm - 2pm - Living History at the Queen's Sconce

Discover what life was like on the front lines with a fascinating look inside an artilleryman's camp. See the incredible weapons they used up close, hear from a senior Royalist officer and chat to the crews about the science behind 17th-century gunnery.

2pm - 4pm - Skirmish at the Queen's Sconce

The 370 year old fort will once again be the prize as Parliamentarians and Royalists clash for ownership. From 2-3pm, watch as initial skirmishes set the scene for full scale battle. From 3pm, hear cannons cry as banners fly and pikes clash. And, for the first time, see the visceral impact of cannon fire on the Sconce with stunning pyrotechnics.

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