English Civil War Earthworks Weekend at CEMA History

Professor Christopher Duffy described the English Civil War as “a war of trenches, ramparts, palisades, bombardments and blockades”. But just how easy was it to construct a gabion, a fascine, or any other type of fieldwork so common at the sieges or on the battlefields of the wars?

This is just the type of question that the Centre for Experimental Military Archaeology ( was created to explore. Led by Andrew Robertshaw (whose impressive CV includes military advisor to Steven Spielberg), CEMA has been established to provide an educational and a filmmaking resource, and has already recreated a length of British Great War trench at its base in Detling in Kent.

This autumn, CEMA is looking to take on the type of military engineering that would have been so familiar to soldiers (and occupants of besieged towns) of the English Civil Wars.

CEMA is inviting historians, re-enactors, students and anyone else with an interest in the more technical aspects of the period to spend the weekend of 16th and 17th October at CEMA HQ investigating and reconstructing fieldworks, exploring and learning the techniques of their construction.

Previous experience isn’t a requirement, but an enthusiasm for the period and a willingness to work and learn with other like-minded people is!

The intention is to limit numbers to around 20, and it’s hoped that these people will gain the knowledge and experience to pass on to others as this project is expanded in 2022 and beyond.

For further information, and to register your interest, please contact CEMA at