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‘Holly Holy Day’ Battle of Nantwich events at St Mary’s Church, Acton

Article and Photographs: Jonathan White

‘Holly Holy Day’ Battle of Nantwich events at St Mary’s Church, Acton

Aerial view of St Mary’s Church, Acton and the surrounding Cheshire countryside (photograph: Jonathan White)

St Mary’s Church on Monks Lane in Acton, near Nantwich, have organised ‘Holly Holy Day’ Battle of Nantwich events on Saturday 22nd January 2022.

‘Holly Holy Day’ Battle of Nantwich events at St Mary’s Church, Acton

The Church will be open from 9am until 11:30am serving hot drinks and buttered toast. At 10am Mike Lea (local historian) will give a talk: ‘The Civil War explained’ inside the Church. At 11am a guided walk will head off to view the battlefields without treading through the muddy fields! Please come and enjoy any or all of these events (donations are gratefully received).

Aerial view of the Battle of Nantwich battlefield at Henhull with Acton in the background (photograph: Jonathan White)

Acton Church is well ventilated, but whilst inside the Church please wear a face covering and use hand sanitiser whilst entering & leaving the church. Also, please wear your warm clothes!

Aerial view of the Battle of Nantwich battlefield at Henhull with Acton in the background (photograph: Jonathan White)

The ‘Battle of Nantwich’ occurred during the first English Civil War (1642-1646) and was fought between the Parliamentarians (Roundheads) and the Royalists (Cavaliers) who were loyal to Charles I.

At the end of 1643, the Royalist Army had secured much of the North West and Cheshire with the exception of Nantwich where, surrounded by Royalists, the Parliamentarian garrison held out under siege. Namptwiche, as it was then called, was Cheshire’s second major town and very important due to its strategic position on the road to Chester. A Parliamentarian force under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax (1612-71) advanced from Lincolnshire to relieve the town. This army engaged the Royalists in the Henhull area to the west and defeated them in the Battle of Namptwiche.

As Fairfax’s forces marched on Acton, Col Richard Gibson deployed four Royalist regiments of infantry to meet them. The Royalists fell back to Acton Church where Col Gibson surrendered to Fairfax. Many of the Officers took refuge in Acton Church and were also taken prisoner after surrendering. The battle took place on 25th January 1644 and it was a Parliamentarian victory. To celebrate the Parliamentarian victory people wore sprigs of holly in their hair and hats.

For further enquiries, please contact Stephan Davies Tel. (01270) 624135.

A representative from St Mary’s Church, Acton said: “We are very fortunate to have Mike Lea to come and explain the Battle of Nantwich to us; the hot buttered toast is a welcome treat too…on a cold January morning!”

PLEASE NOTE: ACTON CHURCH, ‘HOLLY HOLY DAY’ BATTLE OF NANTWICH EVENTS ARE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH ANY ORGANISED EVENTS WITHIN THE TOWN OF NANTWICH.

Tea at the Tower volunteers prepare to serve hot drinks and cakes (photograph: Jonathan White)

Future events at St Mary’s Church, Acton:

  • ‘Tea at the Tower’ – run by church volunteers and takes place EVERY Sunday afternoon (2:30-4:30pm) throughout the year. Hot drinks and cakes are available. Donations are gratefully received.
  • ‘Tea at The Tower’ guided monthly walks. The walks are at a relaxed pace and the 5-mile route will mainly involve canal towpath and lane walking and only a small number of stiles will be negotiated. Stout outdoor shoes or walking shoes/boots are recommended. Ample car parking is available in the Acton village car park. All are welcome, including dogs on leads. Donations are gratefully received. All walks start from St Mary’s Church, Acton at 1pm (please meet for 12.45pm at the Church), and for those who wish to indulge in cake and a drink, walkers will be back in time to visit the Acton Church ‘Tea at the Tower’ community café. The future dates for the walks are Sunday 6th February 2022, 6th March, 3rd April and 8th May.

All the events raise valuable funds for St Mary’s Church, Acton, a Grade 1 listed building.