Three and a half centuries have passed since England's countryside erupted in the bloody civil war that cost 1 in 20 Englishmen his life. Throughout 1992 and into 1993, exhibits and events throughout England will recall that troubled time, marking the 350th anniversary of the war's outbreak.
"Arms and Armor," the first ever traveling exhibit of the Royal Armories, will display Charles I's gilt armor, along with weapons and equipment used by both sides. The exhibit will be in five cities: Coventry (to July 26), Nottingham (Aug. 2 to Sept. 20), Worcester (Sept. 26 to January 1993) and Cirencester (Jan. 9 to March 28, 1993).
Several other cities have scheduled events. Worcester, whose museum, the Commandery, is devoted to the Great Rebellion, will hold a Civil War festival (Aug. 22 to 31), Oliver Cromwell Day (Sept. 3) and a war-games exhibition (Oct. 10 and 11). On Sept. 19 and 20, in what is billed as the largest cavalry battle on English soil since the 17th century, the
Battle of Powick will be re-created along Worcester's River Severn.
Members of the Sealed Knot Society will raise Charles I's standard on Nottingham Castle's green on Aug. 22 at 6 p.m., marking the war's exact beginning 350 years before, followed by a march to the city's Old Market Square.
Among many other living history events are a major troop muster at Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire (June 20 and 21); the Battle of Stow-on-the Wold, Gloucestershire, with entertainment and displays (July 4 and 5); a major battle re-enactment by the English Civil War Society at Helmsely Castle in Yorkshire (July 25 and 26), and a Scots garrison display at Warkworth Castle, Northumberland (Aug. 15 and 16).
Additional information about some Civil War events is available from English Heritage, Special Events Unit, Keysign House, 429 Oxford St., London W1R 2HD; The Commandery, Civil War Information, Sidbury, Worcester WR12HU, England; and the British Tourist Authority, 40 W. 57th St., New York, N.Y. 10019; (212) 581-4700).