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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 (https://cemahistory.org) 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 info@cemahistory.org

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CEMA opens their doors to visits on Armed Forces Day

CEMA are opening their site to the public in their first open day on Armed Forces Day on Saturday 26th June.

CEMA Centre for Experimental Military Archaeology (https://cemahistory.org) is 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.

The site is normally closed to the public as it is a working site used by Schools and Media companies.  Do not miss this opportunity to come and see the Great War trench system built on the site for filming.  In fact, the site has already been used for independent filming.

Drop in from 1.00pm to 5.00pm. No charge but donations welcome. Refreshments available plus parking, toilets, etc. Conducted tours of the trench will be available from 1.00pm. There will be stands from CEMA and Wessex Archaeology who will be bringing a number of British Great War items found on Salisbury Plain.

Even some refreshments on the 26th will reflect CEMA’s pan-historical research. The CEMA Beer Project (CBP) will be selling fresh pints and bottles of beer and demonstrating their plans for historically accurate brews and a Pub Crawl Through the Ages. Follow the project at cbpbrews.com.

Please note, Trench visits will need appropriate footwear and sadly as the site in a wooden area, the site is not wheelchair accessible.

You can also find out about all the other projects being considered on the site.

To visit, simply come to the Kent Showground at Detling and follow the signs to the site and car park.