National Civil War Centre

Virtual Pikes and Plunder

While Pikes and Plunder can't continue as normal this year, we've brought the action online with content which will make you feel like you're exploring the Castle grounds, surrounded by fascinating displays by the English Civil War Society's fantastic re-enactors!

Our map of the Newark Castle shows you the different areas you can explore.


1 Living History

Watch our video of Living History at the Castle: 

Then explore the tents and learn about the trades and the people who did them in our amazing interactive Living History Virtual Tour (PDF File, 8,251kb)

(The tour may not work on mobiles so use a laptop to enjoy. We recommend opening and downloading for best results. Alternatively a non-interactive version is available here: Non-Interactive Living History Virtual Tent Tour (PDF File, 5,354kb))

Watch a snippet of a blacksmith in action here and see a woodturner at work here.

2 Battle!

Watch our video of stunning battle re-enactments at Pikes and Plunders past:

Find out exactly how a 17th century musket would have been handled in this video.

Plus, you can see re-enactors on the march in this short film and a musket firing in slow motion here.

You can also watch a fascinating flag demonstration by Ed Maxwell of Colonel Robert Overton's Regiment of Foote below:

 Hear one of the trademark sounds of Civil War battle with these brilliant drum calls by Stephen and Elene Foster:


3 Music and Games

Discover 17th Century entertainment, games and recipes below!




Here are some popular games from the 17th century and ways that you can enjoy them at home with things you have lying around!

  • Quoits - Quoits has changed much over the years but usually involves throwing hoops of rope over an upright peg or pegs. It was popular for children in the 1600s as a target game. You can play this at home with a kitchen towel holder and a sellotape ring! Just set the kitchen towel holder a distance away from you and try to throw the sellotape ring onto it!
  • Hoops - Hoops was a much-loved game for young girls in the 17th century. They would throw a hoop in the air and try to catch it with a stick or pair of sticks. Think what you could do this with at home! Any sort of long tube would do for a stick while something ring-shaped (which is light enough to throw in the air safely) could be the hoop.
  • Nine Pins - This game is a predecessor of bowling which we play today. Set out three lines of objects that could be knocked over and roll a ball to see who can knock down the most!