Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands played a key role in the turbulent times of the English Civil War, from its start in Nottingham in 1642 to surrender and betrayal at the Saracen’s Head pub in Southwell.
Standard Hill in Nottingham is the place where King Charles I first raised his banner and began forming an army at the outset of the war. In true British understated style, the location is not signposted, but is a must-visit for keen history buffs.
The conflict over control of the government pitted the Royalist supporters of the monarchy against the Parliamentarians, led by Oliver Cromwell. Three phases of a complex war over power and religion followed, until finally Cromwell’s army defeated the Royalists in 1651. Charles I was beheaded for treason after being double-crossed by the Scots, and Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England until his death. Shortly thereafter, Charles II was invited to reclaim the throne and the monarchy was restored, but was never again allowed to rule without Parliament’s consent.