A TOWN is set to go back in time to host a re-enactment of an historic battle from the 17th century.

More than 600 members of the English Civil War Society (ECWS) will come to Wimborne for the first time to stage the Battle of Wimborne.

Between May 25 to 27, Royalist and Parliamentary foot soldiers and cavalry will take over the town, with a military camp set up at Julian's Bridge.

Across the Civil War, Poole was staunchly puritan and parliamentary stronghold, while the wider county was mostly Royalist, with Wimborne and Corfe Castle siding with King Charles I.

Two large re-enactment battles will be held on Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27 when the Roundheads from Poole will march to clear Wimborne of its Royalist troops once again.

Across the weekend, the Minster Green will be a site for action, too, as a riot that broke out in the church caused the Earl of Shaftesbury to send in troops, will be brought to life again.

Visitors and residents can take part in interactive displays of 17th century life, including basket making, weaving, dyeing, food preparation, music, printing, writing, needlework, embroidery, woodturning and paper making.

Military Living History in the town will portray the varied and dangerous life soldiers faced in the Civil Wars and how the civilian population suffered.

The ECWS is working with organisations including The Museum of East Dorset, Wimborne Town Council, Dorset County Council, The Minster, local schools and Wimborne BID in this free, not-for-profit event.

At the museum, an exhibition will tell the story of Wimborne from the Civil War, through the Restoration and the Monmouth Rebellion, called From Revolt to Rebellion.

This will be supported by the town’s Militia, which is set to celebrate its 25th anniversary at a special event in September.

An historical talk will be held at Allendale House on May 16 by Haydn Wheeler, about the Clubmen in 1645, a group of people who rose up to protest about the devastation of their homes and livelihood in the war.

Tammy Sleet, Wimborne BID manager said: “We’re thrilled to be supporting this exciting event for the town which is set to bring alive this epic historical period of Wimborne.

"Figures show that such an event can help increase visitor footfall by 40 per cent so we’re looking forward to not only a bloody (fake of course!) but also a very busy May bank holiday weekend for businesses in the town.”