Let the battle commence

At noon the cannon fires to honour the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at Swarkestone Bridge – the home of our rotisserie pub, The Crewe and Harpur.

Every year, in December, the Charles Edward Stuart Society holds a re-enactment at the Crewe and Harpur in Swarkestone, next to the famous bridge, to honour the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The troops set up camp in the pub’s beer garden before firing a cannon across the river at noon. Jacobite and Loyalist troops then battle it out for control of the vital river crossing. After a spectacular skirmish, wreaths are laid to commemorate the brave men who fought on both sides.

There’s heaps of history behind it and it makes the Crewe and Harpur really unique. 262 years ago, on 4 December 1745, Derbyshire was invaded by an army of six and a half thousand Scottish Jacobites, led by Charles Edward Stuart.

Bonnie Prince Charlie, as he became known, was on a mission to restore a Catholic King to the English throne. He marched his troops from Ashborne to Derby with the aim of reaching the South – but he didn’t make it that far!

Seventy of his highland men were sent to secure Swarkestone Bridge, in Derbyshire, reaching it four hours ahead of Government troops. As they arrived, the Prince’s commander Lord George Murray decided, that because of advancing government troops, they should retreat and accept defeat.

Following defeat, Charles was hunted as a fugitive for five months, and eventually escaped to France in September 1746. Rumours say he became `Boozie’ Prince Charlie before his death in 1788.

Once the troops have battled it out, it’s time for a pint and a bite to eat in the pub – in full costume of course! Tracey Locke, General Manager, and her team, play host as the reenactors swap stories and jokes over a few of our much-loved brews. The team share this unique story with their customers, who keep coming back every year.

What makes your pub unique? Is there some history attached to the site or local area? Perhaps the name of your pub has a historic reference that you use to wow your customers? If so, we want to know, so share your stories by commenting below!

Check out our video to watch the battle unfold and to hear from some of the team, reenactors and customers about how they make the most of this special event.



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