Tudor Picnic

Tudor Picnic
Tudor Picnic

Tudor Picnic III – This time its 1645 and the Civil War
Sunday 3 July 11am – 4pm at Sandsfoot Castle, Old Castle Road, Weymouth.

After the success of Tudor Picnic I in 2009 when the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s Coronation was celebrated and last year’s Tudor Picnic II when the reign of Elizabeth I was remembered, the ‘Friends of Rodwell Trail and Sandsfoot Castle’ have moved on to 1645 and the Civil War Period for Tudor Picnic III. The Friends are aware that the Tudors had long gone by the Civil War but felt that to call it ‘Stuart Picnic I’ might lead to problems in the future.

This is a free family day in Sandsfoot Castle Gardens with period entertainment against the backdrop of the 16th century Sandsfoot Castle overlooking the waters of Portland Harbour. The Civil War was Sandsfoot Castle’s most active period when it changed hands between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians in what is known as the Crabchurch Conspiracy. There will be displays and demonstrations of 17th century life, entertainment and combat throughout the day as well a lerret, a type of local boat that can be traced back to at least 1618 and still in use until recent times. It is hoped that fishermen who remember going to sea in lerrets will come and share their memories.

An unusual event this year will be the creation of the largest “painting-by-numbers” mural that has ever been created in a day in Dorset. The finished painting will be 32 feet long and 8 feet high and will depict various views that the castle has witnessed during its 472 years life. Paint, brushes and aprons will be provided so all that is required is for as many people as possible to come along and between 11 am and 4pm to take a paint brush, follow the instruction and fill out a section. Graham Winter, Mayor of Weymouth and Portland will be adding his splash of colour to the mural when he visits the event. The finished ‘People’s Mural’ will be mounted at the castle during its refurbishment alongside a special mural that has been painted by the students of Budmouth College

There will be lots of other things to see and do for all the family,  including, making ‘Crowns and Coronets’ and story telling for the younger visitors; skittles, quoits and Aunt Sally for the more active,  as well as live music and dancing from the 17th century. There will also be an explanation of the renovation work that has already started on the castle that will lead to full public access by next year and an opportunity to see a model of the castle as it was in 1539 when Henry VIII had it built with Portland Castle to keep out those dreadful Europeans!

All are welcome to come along on Sunday 3 July between 11am and 4pm at Sandsfoot Castle, Old Castle Road, Weymouth and bring a picnic or enjoy the food at Sandsfoot Cafe for a free family fun day.

Tudor Picnic III is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sandsfoot Castle Cafe and is part of the ‘Spirit of the Sea’ Maritime Festival that runs from 2-10 July, catch up on all the events on ‘Spirit Live’ radio on 87.7fm over the festival.