The ancestral home of the Duke of Wellington will host a series of summer events to mark the battles of Waterloo and Salamanca.
On the weekend of June 15-16, Apsley House, the London home of the Duke of Wellington, will be commemorating the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo with a fascinating and exciting weekend of re-enactments, talks and displays – many of which will feature items once owned by Wellington and Napoleon themselves.
Bringing a sense of the colour, spectacle and drama of the Napoleonic Wars to life, the 95th Rifles – one of Wellington’s regiments – will be recreating some of the aspects of life for a soldier in the early 19th century.
A number of real and replica weapons will be on display, with opportunities to hold various swords and muskets from Wellington’s era.
Visitors will also be able to see a Georgian surgeon demonstrate their ‘skills’ – recreating a time when doctors were, more often than not, barbers.
On a less gory note, there will be an opportunity to learn about Regency etiquette and social niceties within the magnificent setting of Apsley House.
On both days, the event will run from 11am-4.30pm.
On the actual anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo (June 18), Stephen Abs Wisdom will don the costume of both British and French Regiments who fought at the battle, to tell remarkable tales of bravery, daily life and derring-do from the battlefield – albeit with benign props. It is from 6.30-8.30pm.
The following month, there are plans for a Salamanca weekend (July 20-21, 11am-5pm) to mark the 207th anniversary of a famous battle.
Apsley House will provide the stunning backdrop to a vivid recreation of a military camp during the time of the Napoleonic Wars.
Featuring the 68th Light Infantry Re-enactment Society, the day-to-day activities of life in the regiment that fought at the Battle of Salamanca will be faithfully demonstrated.
Inside the house, join the Arbeau Dancers, to learn a few genuine Regency dance steps. There will be a variety of talks and demonstrations given by historians throughout the day.
The Anglo-Portuguese victory at Salamanca sealed Wellington’s reputation as a masterful military tactician and demonstrated that Napoleon and his forces were beatable.
Indeed, when Wellington entered France in October 1813, Bonaparte abdicated not long afterwards.
For more information and to book tickets, please visit:
www.wellingtoncollection.co.uk, follow @ApsleyHouse on Twitter, @houseapsley1817 on Instagram and ‘Apsley House’ on Facebook.
*The Waterloo and Salamanca Weekend events are included with your normal entry ticket and free for English Heritage Members.
No additional charges apply. The ticket price for the Waterloo Experience includes entry to the event only.