Holly Holy Day

Holly Holy Day was held yearly to commemorate the victory of a makeshift Parliamentary army under Sir Thomas Fairfax over the Royalist forces of Lord John Byron at Acton on 25 January 1644. The townsfolk would wear a sprig of holly as a memorial to the raising of the siege, which if it had been successful would have delivered the whole of Cheshire into the hands of the Royalists. The commemoration of Holy Holly gradually faded and it is not mentioned by the mid-1700s. After some 200 years it was decided to reestablish this celebration in conjunction with the Sealed Knot.

A muster of the Sealed Knot has been held in Nantwich on the Saturday nearest 25 January every year until 2021, when restriction of COVID19 have caused it to be postponed. Unfortunately the renactment has been postponed again in 2022.

Dr Keith Lawrence, of the Cheshire Civil War Centre at Nantwich Museum, provides a brief description of the days leading up to the battle and the confrontation at Acton near Nantwich below:

Below is a Battle of Nantwich Re-enactment, from 1994:

Below is a film of the Battle of Nantwich reenactment in 1972, courtesy of John Brough:


We also have free downloads, including an excellent Comic for Children.

We also have a range of booklets about the English Civil War Booklets, and the Battle of Nantwich, in our online shop. Our latest publication, Visiting Nantwich English Civil War Battlefields

Cover of Visiting Nantwich English Civil War Battlefields booklet

is available as a booklet, or a digital download – which means that you can read it straight away in your own home, without paying any postage. It describes the significant battle sites around Nantwich. This fascinating 40 page guide, written by Dr Keith Lawrence, will show you where these sites are, and what remaining evidence is there to see. Your visits to Acton church, or Cheerbrook, will never be the same again!

Click here to see the full range of English Civil War Booklets booklets available in our shop.

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