Most have heard of the famously foiled gunpowder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament but it is possible most were unaware a similarly ill-fated conspiracy occurred on our very own doorstep.
In 1655 a group of around 200 conspirators loyal to the ousted King Charles II gathered at Rufford Abbey with the intention of marching north to rendezvous with other Royalists in Yorkshire.
They were part of a ring known as the Sealed Knot, commissioned to disrupt parliamentary rebel Oliver Cromwell’s newly formed Protectorate.
But the group was forced to rapidly disperse when it became clear that support for the insurrection has been identified and discouraged from taking part.
Now Sherwood Forest is once again providing a backdrop to the civil war as the film set for a famous battle during the second siege of Newark in 1644.
During the battle townspeople loyal to the King were scattered into the woods by attacking Parliamentary forces before they were routed by Prince Rupert and his cavaliers.
The costumed footage is being used for a Newark and Sherwood District Council project using a smartphone and tablet app and special effects to bring the conflict home to viewers.
Some of the footage will also be used in the £5.4m National Civil War Centre, which is set to open early next year in Newark.
Michael Constantine, centre manager, said it would be a national attraction and give visitors to Nottinghamshire another reason to stay over and spend money locally.
“This is an attract and disperse methodology,” said Michael. “People come to the area for one attraction then see what else they can visit, like Sherwood Forest Country Park and Sherwood Pines.
“We are attracting people in with the civil war but they do not just want heritage and need a break - and the Newark and Sherwood District Council area provides a range of other attractions.”
The National Civil War Centre’s building dates back to 1529 and is being restored by Edwinstowe-based Robert Woodhead Ltd, using expert craft skills and hi-tech engineering expertise.
Spokesman Simon Butler said: “Our head office is based in the district and we strongly believe in employing local people to work on this project.
“We are keen to encourage the development of heritage skills in construction to ensure our heritage buildings continue to be protected in the future.”
The £5.4 million project includes a £3.5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £1.9m funding from Newark and Sherwood District Council and £500,000 from Nottinghamshire County Council.