HISTORY enthusiasts have a rare opportunity to explore the spot where Royalists and Parliamentarians took up their positions on a famous York battlefield.

Russell Marwood, a guide from the York Archaeological Trust, will take visitors back in time when he dresses up in 17th century costume to lead a battlefield walk at Marston Moor.

The event will take place on June 28, followed by a barbeque in the 18th century barn and gardens of Marston Grange.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the Bar Convent Trust’s Jubilee 400 Heritage Project, which aims to give the convent’s museum a £500,000 facelift.

Jo Dodd, business manager at the convent, said: “This will be a rare opportunity in the sense that you are not normally allowed access to the land at Marston Grange where the battle took place.”

Organisers hope the event will raise at least £1,000 for the fundraising appeal, which is being supported by the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor. The Cardinal dropped into the convent in January after attending a Mass at York Minster to honour the life of Mary Ward – the North Yorkshire woman who in 1609 founded the order of nuns that live at the Bar Convent.

Mary was in York during the Battle Of Marston Moor on July 2, 1644 – one of the major turning points of the English Civil War.

Marston Grange, a private farm built on the battlefield, is now owned by David Smakman and his mother, Margaret, who was a teacher at the former Bar Convent school.

The walk will start at 2.30pm and take about one-and-a-half hours.

Tickets cost £12 without transport, or £15 if you wish to travel on the special event bus, with pick-up points at the Bar Convent and Acomb Green.

To book, phone Lynn Gale on 01904 643238 or email reception@bar-convent.org.uk.

More than £30,000 has already been raised for the fundraising appeal, with another event taking place tonight at the convent.

Professor Peter French, a specialist in forensic speech, will give a talk called Sounds From The Dark Side, revealing how he can tell if somebody is lying.

It is thanks to the forensic analysis of Professor French and his team that high profile cases such as the Who Wants To Be A Millionnaire coughing fraudster were brought to trial.

Tickets cost £6, including light refreshments.