HISTORY nearly repeated itself in Wallingford this weekend as hundreds of Roundheads and Cavaliers fought in fearsome battle.

More than 750 history buffs from the English Civil War Society invaded the area around Wallingford Castle and settled in. The re-enactors set up a “living history” camp in Castle Gardens in Saturday, showing off 17th century skills and traditions.

Then, shortly after 3pm on Saturday and Sunday, the sides faced off. In a representation of the siege of the castle, on the first day the King's Army drove back the Parliamentarians, only to end up surrendering yesterday.

Some of the thousands watching even got involved – seven-year-old Harry Randell got to try on a Civil War-era helmet and said: “The helmet is very comfy but I think it would have been a bit heavy.”

Wallingford became invaluable to King Charles I as a garrison for Royalist troops when he raised his call to arms against Parliament in 1642.

As Oliver Cromwell began to win the war, Wallingford Castle was under siege for 12 weeks before eventually giving in.

Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed and the remains were used around the town, including the building of the tower of St Mary-le-More church.