Remember, remember the 5th of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
We see no reason
Why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
We all know the rhyme, but just why should we remember the 5th November?
How it all began
In 1603, English Catholics who were tired of being persecuted under Queen Elizabeth I, were hoping for a more sympathetic king in James I. Unfortunately, the new King took just as hard a line against Catholicism, and by 1605 revolt was in the air.
A small group of revolutionaries, under the leadership of Robert Catesby, hatched a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament, intending to kill the King and as many members of Parliament as they could. They hoarded 36 barrels of gunpowder in a cellar under the House of Lords, and made plans to ignite it. On the 5th November, however, the authorities, tipped off by an anonymous letter, raided the cellar and captured Guy Fawkes, one of the conspirators. He was later put to death for treason.
The practice of lighting bonfires on the anniversary of the date began very quickly after Guy’s death, supposedly in celebration of the King’s escape. It’s traditional to make ‘guys’, or effigies of Guy Fawkes, from old clothes and straw, and burn them on the fire, and it used to be common for children to ask for ‘a penny for the guy’ as they collected money to buy fireworks.
Our modern day celebrations have become more and more elaborate, with intricate fireworks, bonfires, traditional food and wine. Traditional fare on November 5th includes parkin (a spiced oat and ginger cake), treacle toffee, potatoes baked in their skins and mulled wine.
Our November 5th celebrations
Our bonfire night celebrations are one of the highlights of our year, and we’re proud that so many people come from far and wide to attend. As well as our huge bonfire, we have a fireworks display, toffee apples, hot food and that all-important beer tent. If you haven’t been to one of our events before, why not come and give it a try this year – starting at 6pm on Tuesday November 5th, it’s a fantastic night out for all the family. See our Events page for more information.