"By the end of December, the town was surrounded by Royalists and under siege. However, help was at hand in the form of a Parliamentarian force of '3550 horse and 5000 foot' which had marched south from Lancashire under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax."

During the English Civil War, the Royalists (Cavaliers loyal to King Charles I) and the Parliamentarians (Cromwell's Roundheads) fought for a foothold in Nantwich. The town was considered the second most important in Cheshire at the time.

The Battle of Nantwich took place on January 25th 1644 - a battle which became the first major victory for the Parliamentarians of the entire war. The battle was commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax (Parliamentarians) and Lord Byron (Royalists).

"The defeat at Nantwich thwarted King Charles's plan to create a field army in the northwest based on regiments returned from Ireland."

Following the Parliamentarians' victory, the people of Nantwich wore holly sprigs in their hats in celebration.

Fast forward to present day, The Sealed Knot comes to Nantwich annually to re-enact the battle. The celebration is known as 'Holly Holy Day'.

Image by Janine Meuche