The Battle of Antrim anniversary re-enactment will be held in Antrim town on Saturday 3rd June 2023
- Battle of Antrim 225th Anniversary Re-enactment, Castle Gardens, 3rd June, 10.30 – 16.30 and a chance to put Antrim’s history ‘on the map.’
Put away the PlayStations, exclude the X-box and lay down the laptop, for on Saturday 3rd June everyone has a chance to put Antrim’s history ‘on the map’ with a thrilling, up close re-enactment of the Battle of Antrim.
Albert Titterington, Director of Country Lifestyle Exhibitions (organisers of Antrim’s hugely popular Irish Game Fair) today highlighted the huge significance of the Battle of Antrim 1798, and revealed the exciting ‘battle’ programme for spectators in Antrim on 3 June 2023.
He said that a re-enactment is planned to mark the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Antrim. There will be two ‘performances’ in Castle Gardens, on 3rd June at 10.30 & 14.30.
Spectators will thrill to the crash of muskets, the flash of bayonets, the clash of pikes and swords, and the billow of gunpowder smoke from the cannon and other weaponry.
All this will be played out against the sound of marching kilted pipe bands and the traditional echo of Lambeg drums.
And with an historical display of artefacts and a chance to visit the re-enactors encampment in the break between performances this gives family the opportunity to really immerse themselves in ‘real living history’.
Also, in the stunning attractions of the world famous gardens it can form the basis a great family day our and it’s FREE of charge!
Turning to the significance of Antrim’s history, Albert Titterington said: “It is no exaggeration to claim that the Battle of Antrim was a pivotal battle in the 1798 Rebellion and indeed a pivotal event in the history of Europe.
Albert added: “A unique map of the time had been created featuring the major battles of the rebellion as, a clever visual way to literally put Antrim’s history ‘on the map’
“We only need look first at the history of the times and the changes it could have brought.. In the late 1700’s revolution was in the air with the American Revolution 1775-1783 and the French Revolution 1787-1799.
“These revolutions and tensions between France and England (leading to the outbreak of war between France and England in 1793) inspired the setting up of the Society of the United Irishmen in 1791, firstly in Belfast and then Dublin.
“The membership of both societies was initially middle-class, and Presbyterians predominated in the Belfast society while the Dublin society was made up of Catholics and Protestants.
“The societies’ main objectives were parliamentary reform (based on universal male suffrage and complete Catholic emancipation) and the elimination of British rule in Ireland.
“This desire for change ultimately filtered down into a radical working class movement organised on military lines ”
Albert Titterington highlighted the events which were to take place in Antrim that would have huge historical significance.
“On 6 June 1798, Henry Joy McCracken, the leader of the United Irishmen in Co. Antrim, issued a proclamation calling for the United army of Ulster to rise.
“He knew that the magistrates were due to meet in Antrim town on 7 June and sent orders for garrisons in Randalstown, Larne and Ballymena to be attacked, while he and James Hope, with the men of Belfast and South Antrim, would lead the main attack on Antrim town.
“They would then would move on to march on Belfast in conjunction with the United Irish rebels in County Down. However, the attack on Antrim was repelled and the United Irishmen scattered in disarray.
“Had the small British garrison not stood firm and the 10,000 plus Antrim rebels joined up with the Down, Wexford and other groups of rebels, the history of Ireland, Britain and Europe could have been very different.”
Finally, Albert Titterington confirmed the exciting battle re-enactment programme for 3 June 2023 is as follows:
There will be two Battle of Antrim 225th Anniversary Re-enactment performances on 3 June 2023 as follows:
• Dates & Times: 3 June, 10.30am & 2.30pm
• Location: Antrim Castle Gardens
• Tickets not required ADMISSION FREE
The re-enactment will be filmed and photographed on the day.
Both performances will feature red coated troops with cannon, muskets, and fife and drummers facing rebels armed with muskets and pikes together with their Ulster Scots pipe bands. Antrim-based, Living History Ireland, will field over 100 people in costume.
The rebels will attack troops defending part of the wall of the old castle as part of a noisy and colourful pageant indicative of what actually happened in the battle.
An informative commentary will be carried on throughout the re-enactment, and, when it is finished, the leaders of the combatants, Major Daniel Seddon and Henry Joy McCracken, will be interviewed, and the public can also speak with them and examine weaponry etc.
Two cameos of the Battle will be re-enacted i.e the attack on the Lord O’Neill, the County Governor, which ultimately resulted in his death and the legend of local woman Peggy Gordon who it is alleged helped retrieve the British Cannon when they were overrun.
To illustrate the pivotal role that the Battle of Antrim played in the Rebellion and ultimately in the history of Europe and of course to literally ‘put Antrim on the Map,’ the organisers have produced a copy of the Beaufort 1797 map of Ireland.
This map would have been used by the British forces with the main battle sites marked on it.
Albert added: “The public will have a unique opportunity to ‘mix and mingle’ after the performance with the re-enactors at the re-enactors’ encampment, chatting with those involved and examining the period costume and authentic weaponry of the time.”
The event is being co-ordinated by Country Lifestyle Exhibitions Ltd ( organisers of the Game Fair) in association with Antrim-based Living History Ireland and the management team of Castle Gardens.
For further details call : 028 44839167 or E: email@example.com
There are other events celebrating the 225th anniversary of the battle including a play and battlefield bus and walking tours from 5-9th June 2023: for further details see :