MUDEFORD Quay rang with the sound of battle once again at the weekend as historians and re-enactors revisited a famous skirmish.

A recreation of the 1784 Battle of Mudeford took place at the beauty spot, just meters from where the original assault took place.

Participants in the event - held as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Christchurch Heritage Festival - used black powder weaponry and pyrotechnics to bring the battle to life.

It takes place again on Sunday at 12noon and 2pm. 

The festival, organised by the Christchurch Culture and Learning Arena’s Watch the Wall team, celebrated the town’s smuggling past.

Visitors enjoyed talks, exhibitions and films, as well as the battle.

Organisers also attempted to trace the descendants of local smugglers and revenue men.

Dave Allan of events company Pike and Shot said: “It’s the first time we’ve done this here and it’s gone really well.

“The story itself is fantastic - it’s great to be able to tell it like this.

“It was one of the biggest engagements of its kind. Around 300 people were involved.”

The Battle of Mudeford was a skirmish fought between smugglers and Customs and Excise officers.

It took place on what is now a car park at the quay.

The battle resulted in the death of a Customs officer, and subsequent trial and execution of one of the smugglers.

Historian Mike Andrews said the event has brought the area’s history to life.

“We are planning to make this a biannual event, although next time we hope to focus on Christchurch’s role in the civil war,” he said.

“We’re moving through the town’s history.”

Re-enactors built a village on the quayside to show visitors what life would have been like at the time of the battle.

There were also cutlass drills and naval gunnery demonstrations, while visitors also had the opportunity to handle real weaponry.

Weapons used by re-enactors in the battle were accurate recreations, Alex Compiani of the Wimborne Militia explained.

“The weapons we have here have considerably reduced size charges, They are reproductions, but exact reproductions,” he said.

“There’s a lot of trust and a lot of training involved for us.”