1861 Raid on Raglan Church

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Fans of the popular TV show, "Who Do You Think You Are", may recall the visit of Alexander Armstrong to Raglan in search of the story of his ancestors. We were pleased to welcome Ben Russell to our village on 16th April 2013 to share the 'story behind the story' as well as 'what WDYTYR' didn't tell us.

What was this all about? Supposedly, Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquis of Worcester, asked to be buried with his 'steam commanding machine'. This was the first practical steam engine to be invented. As there was no known model of this machine in existence, the Science Museum had decided to see if indeed Edward Somerset had indeed been buried with his steam engine. In order to find out, a team of men from London set out to Raglan in 1861 to open the vault in the Beaufort Chapel of St Cadoc's Church.

During his brief stay, Ben gave a public lecture on the 1861 Raid on Raglan Church. He also met with the Raglan School History Detectives and give a talk to Raglan School during his stay in Raglan. We are grateful of the support of the Beaufort Arms Inn and Heritage Lottery Fund is sponsoring this unique and fascinating little known story. For more information please contact Dr. Cheryl Morgan, Raglan District Sense of Roots Project, 01291 691 271

As part of this project, we wanted to learn the story behind the story and 'what WDYTYR' didn't tell us. There is no record of this event in our Church records or in the Newspapers of the day. What was this all about?

We contacted Ben Russell, Curator, Mechanical Engineering at the Science Museum in London to learn more. We invited Ben to give a public lecture at St Cadoc's Church on the 1861 Raid on Raglan Church as well as meet the Raglan School History Detectives and giving a talk to Raglan School during his stay in Raglan. We asked him to share something about his job role and the purpose of the museum, as well as relating any of the less well known local historical facts that might fascinate or amaze the children. He did that -- and more! We are grateful for the support of the Beaufort Arms Inn and Heritage Lottery Fund in sponsored this unique and fascinating little known story.

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Ben Russell, Science Museum The Raid on Raglan church took place in this vault! Public Lecture at Raglan Church
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Raglan Castle where the Earl of Worcester worked on the first Steam Engine The Earl of Worcester's workroom in the tower at Raglan Castle Looking out at the destruction made in the Civil War
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