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The Sealed Knot presents "The Battle at Hylton Castle"

Author: Roger Heywood Published: 11th August 2010 07:15
See our photos from the battle here !!  
Come along and see one of the UK's largest and most exciting English Civil War re-enactments at Hylton Castle, Sunderland this summer.

See the artillery supported by pike and musket as the Sealed Knot commemorate the English Civil War in Sunderland.

There will also be a full programme of entertainment for all the family.




The Battle at Hylton Castle

Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August 2010

Hylton Castle, Sunderland, 11am - 4pm     FREE 

For further information visit

Alternatively telephone Sunderland Tourist Information Centre on 0191 553 2000





Background Historical Information


On March 2nd 1644, a Scots Parliamentary army camped at Harraton, after allowing the Royalist forces to quit Sunderland.

The importance of Sunderland was its harbour, which enabled coal to be cargoed to London, since the Scots army controlled the Lambton and Lumley mines, and also allowing supplies to be sent from London to the army in the North.

However, the Royalists soon returned in greater numbers. There was a military action around Penshaw Hill and Humbledon Hill called the Offerton Skirmish on 7th March 1644, with accounts ranging up to 74 fatalities.

It was the first time the Parliamentary soldiers defending Sunderland were able to range their 60 cannons against the Royalists. But the battle was abandoned due to a heavy snow storm.


At  Hylton Castle on 23rd - 24th - 25th March 1644, there was a much bigger battle, with contemporary accounts describing up to 2,500 fatalities, alleged and denied by both sides.

There are reports of Dragoons, Musketeers and Cannons firing from 4pm till midnight on the first day of the Battle, but as with Offerton the true extent of casualties will never be known.


The Town of Sunderland itself was attacked on 26th May 1644 by the Royalists in an attempt to capture the port and re-take the many prisoners being held there. The people of Sunderland and merchant seamen playing a major role in helping the parliament soldiers repulse the attack from the town walls.

Naval battles also took place, sometimes with foreign ships caught up in the war, with the Dutch Government demanding the return of a Man of War taken by a certain Captain Haddock of Sunderland, 14th July 1644.

All this had a devastating effect on the whole of our area, with the Parliament Army complaining to London that. ''County Durham was now a Country (sic) where there is nothing left to be sequestrated with only old men, women and children still there.''

As supporters of the King, being on the losing side finished the Barons of Hylton as a power in the Nation.

But Sunderland benefited from supporting Parliament, emerging as a Sea Port in its own right after originally being held back by Newcastle's powerful royal connections.

Denny Wilson 2010

Sourced from - Sunderland and it's Origins.

By Dr Maureen Meikle and Dr Christine Newman, Sunderland University



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