The Crabchurch Conspiracy
Is back For 2017
10-11-12 Of March

Friday 10th March

The tickets are now on sale for the first part of the Crabchurch Conspiracy Weekend, that being ... The History Talks Evening at Pilgrim House, Weymouth.

Crabchurch: The History Talks: Professor Ronald Hutton, John Rees, Kit Berry, AsOne Theatre Company.
10th March 2017. 7pm - 11pm

"This year’s Talks will be held at Pilgrim House, in the heart of Weymouth’s historic quayside. Our Talks are a perfect introduction for those new to this area of history, and an opportunity for experts to discuss and explore in greater depth. With talks from some of the country’s leading historians and authors, authentic dramatisations from our talented local actors and the opportunity to ask your own questions, this year’s show will not only be a chance to get to grips with the history, but will be an immersive and enthralling evening’s entertainment.

The programme will include:

Renowned author and academic Professor Ronald Hutton of Time Team, Timewatch & several other notable quality TV productions who will talk on The Civil War in the Westcountry.

John Rees, writer, academic and political activist will talk about his fantastic new book entitled The Leveller Revolution.

Kit Berry, writer of The Stonewylde Series will talk about her experiences on writing a new genre of novel, namely one set on Portland during the English Civil War.

The incredible Jane McKell of the AsOne Theatre Company and the one and only Jon Dixon will return to perform their excellent dramatisations of real-life Crabchurch characters.

There will also be a Q&A opportunity with our speakers, reenactors and local author of The Crabchurch Conspiracy, Mark Vine.

Please click on link to purchase your tickets.…/pil…/professor-ronald-hutton/1073815719


Saturday 11th March

As we move through the weekend of The Crabchurch Conspiracy, Saturday night presents The Dolmen performing live
the Crabchurch Conspiracy album, with performances from Bishop Bray and Narrations from Diane Narraway and Steve Howl. 

The Performance shall be held at the Angling Club on Weymouth harbour.
Tickets now available to purchase here. Tickets are £7.00 per person
Limited Tickets Available



Book available to purchase, Click link below

To purchase your Kindle Edition, Click link below

Check out our Merchandise & Albums page to purchase your very own copy of the Crabchurch Conspiracy album.
1. Pax Quaeritur Bello   
(Spoken foreword by Prof Ronald Hutton)

2. Loyal Men of England 

3. The Good Old Cause  (William Sydenham’s song)

4. Avenging Angel  (The revenge of Francis Sydenham)

5. The Heights Of Chapelhay
(The death of Francis Sydenham)

6. Doctors Account (Voice of Dr Richard Wiseman read by Prof Ronald Hutton)

7. Lord Goring's March

8. The Battle

9. Lost Years (A fatally wounded soldiers reflection)

10. The Cold Waters of Weymouth Quay
(The tale of the demise of some 250 Irish mercenaries drowned in the "hole" of Weymouth Quy)

11. Welcome to the 'Danse Macabre
(Nothe Fort Hangings of traitors and conspirators)

12. Follow the Drum (A drinking song)

13. The World Turned Upside Down
(A common phrase known in the day)

14. King Saviour

15. England's Freedom, Soldier's Rights
(The voice of the Levellers)

16. New World (Final Narration by Prof Ronald Hutton)

17. Pax Quaeritur Bello (Reprise)

The History of Crabchurch

In 1645, several royalist plotters within the twin towns of Weymouth and Melcombe on the Dorset coast conspired to deliver the ports back into the control of King Charles 1.  It has been suggested that he needed a safe south coast port at which to land a huge French army which he hoped would deliver a decisive blow and end the resistance of the Parliamentarians whom he had been fighting for almost three years. 

The conspirator’s plans were almost successful, but their intended victim, Colonel William Sydenham, Commander of the Parliamentary garrison and MP for Melcombe, managed to get most of his force into that town, though he lost a much loved and respected brother and fellow soldier, Francis, in the initial assault. Soon, a two week long internecine bombardment was taking place between the factions.

In the third week, what appeared to be the coup de gras arrived in the shape of the archetypal cavalier general, George, Lord Goring and his 6,500 strong army, which meant that Sydenham’s tiny but stubborn garrison of just 1300 souls, were now outnumbered six to one. It would surely only be a matter of time before Melcombe too fell to the King’s Army.

Underestimating Colonel William Sydenham, the eldest son of a local Dorset landowner, was Goring’s first and biggest mistake, for not only did Sydenham succeed in retaking Weymouth, but he also withstood the full might of Goring’s military response, delivering a “miraculous victory” and ending the King’s aspirations of getting the upper hand in Dorset.

Mark Vine.

Lyrics & Transcript

1. Pax Quaeritur Bello   
(Spoken foreword by Prof Ronald Hutton)

The great Civil War of the 1640s was probably the worst experience the English, Welsh, and Cornish had ever known.  In terms of actual mortality, about a quarter of a million people out of a population of less than five million died, directly or indirectly, because of the conflict.  Sure, plagues -Bubonic Plague and influenza- killed a greater percentage of the population at certain times; but this was a conflict that didn’t just kill people - it annihilated their sense of themselves and of their world.  It dug up the very roots of their sense of religion, politics, and society; their chances of surviving as communities not just in this life, but in the next: their chance of getting to Heaven, or landing in Hell.

The Civil War of England was not a war between States.  There was no boundary lying between communities that opposed each other on principle, and because of religious and political differences.  This was a war which grubbed its way into the hearts of every county, every community, and many families.  It even tore individual minds and spirits apart.  This was a civil war in the true sense of the word- like a virus getting inside the “body politic” and rotting it from the inside, until at last it fell apart.

We tell the story here of one community - a vital, strategic little seaport, lying where the great chalk hills of the South country sweep down to face a sparking sea, and the Isle of Portland rises against the Southern sky beyond…

2. Loyal Men of England

Loyal men of England listen well
Your king has rung the muster bell
He bids you rally to his side
To chase away the traitor’s tide
May all good men answer his call
May all good men answer his call

God in heaven is looking down
On every village and every town
He sees who’s faithful
He sees who’s not
He knows whose heart’s beset with rot
So come on men, answer to his call
Yes may all good men answer to his call

Come rich and poor, march unto his aid
Let not your argument be swayed
A pox on those who did betray
They’ll answer on judgment day
So come on men, answer to his call
May all good men answer to his call

With joyous hearts we’ll loudly sing
For the rightful true-born King
A King for you
A King for me
Glorious in his Majesty
So come on men, answer to his call
May all good men answer to his call.
Yes, may all good men answer to his call
Yes may all good men answer to his call

May God save our precious King
Lead him on to victory

Saviour of our wayward souls
Watching over this poor land
There to gather all to his side
At liberty’s last stand

Is basically a call to arms by the Royalists at the outbreak of hostilities using religion and fear as a form of blackmail. Many people were so shocked at the thought of another Englishman ever taking up arms against, as they saw it, a King ordained by God himself, that they were incensed beyond all reason.

 3. The Good Old Cause  (William Sydenham’s song)

A leader brave 
A brother strong 
Set apart from the common throng 
Pledged his life to Parliament 
All for the good old cause 
Risk all for the good old cause

Lead from the front in peace or war 
The King’s excesses to deplore 
Live or die with sword in hand 
All for the good old cause 
Risk all for the good old cause

For whom do we fight ? 
For God and the right
For whom do we fight ? 
For God and the right 
And all for the good old cause
Risk all for the good old cause

Born of soil, born of stone 
Dorset meat on Dorset bone 
Able to see through all the lies 
All for the good old cause 
Risk all for the good old cause

Lead from the front in peace or war 
The King’s excesses to deplore 
Live or die with sword in hand 
All for the good old cause 
Risk all for the good old cause

For whom do we fight ? 
For God and the right 
And all for the good old cause 
Risk all for the good old cause 
Risk all for the good old cause

This song is about the eldest of the five Sydenham brothers and the main character in the book. Colonel William Sydenham was a man apart. His iron will and disciplined mind made him the perfect leader in time of war and peace. Almost entirely forgotten now by the Country and County he served so ably, he remains one of the most interesting characters from the period.

4. Avenging Angel  (The revenge of Francis Sydenham)

What price a mother’s love
What price a family name
What lengths to go to for revenge
On he who is to blame,
I rode with Francis Sydenham
Outnumbered six to one
Death held no fear for him
As Dorset’s bravest son.
I rode with Francis Sydenham
Outnumbered six to one
Death held no fear for him
As Dorset’s bravest son.

Stick close to me I heard him say
With thunder in his face
For I’ll now avenge my mother’s blood
Or die here in this place
He hacked and slashed 
And cut a path
So that many a man fell
Then rode up to that murderer
And blew him straight to hell.
He hacked and slashed 
And cut a path
So that many a man fell
Then rode up to that murderer
And blew him straight to hell.

Avenging angel
Relentless force
Hand of justice
In a rebel cause
Power of nature
Throughout the land
Soldier, brother
Dorset man
Soldier, brother 
Dorset man
Soldier, brother
My soldier brother
My sweet soldier brother.

Major Francis Sydenham was a larger than life character.  The second of the brothers, he was a Dragoon officer and leader of the Parliamentary Horse in Dorset.  The Sydenham’s mother was callously murdered as she barred entry to her home to a Royalist raiding party led by a Major Williams.  3 months later, Francis chased Williams and his men all the way from Poole to Dorchester (23 miles) and fought his way through them to get to Williams.  Once there, he shot him dead with a pistol ball to the head, one of many heroic deeds that this professional soldier embarked upon.

5. The Heights Of Chapelhay
(The death of Francis Sydenham)

A light has gone out 
At the dawning of the day
A bright, shining star 
To illuminate our way,
A voice amongst the maelstrom 
To hear what we say
Cut down on that bloody ground
On the heights of Chapelhay 

A first breath of summer
A shield against all ills
A lightning storm raging 
Across fair Dorset hills
Our torch in the darkness
Has been taken away
Upon that bloody ground
On the heights of Chapelhay

And tears will fall
Just like the rain
When drums hail his name
Although he’ll never, never fight again
He’ll be remembered, by all Dorset men
He will be remembered
By all Dorset men


“Among the slain was Major Francis Sydenham, the Governor’s brother, whose memory may not be buried with him.  His death was no small joy to his enemies, to whom he was a perpetual vexation and terror, and no small grief to us who had our eyes too much upon him…”

At midnight on the 9th February 1645, 120 royalist soldiers from the garrison at Portland, aided and abetted by royalist sympathisers from Weymouth & Melcombe, attacked and captured two forts in Weymouth. Their watchword for this daring night attack was ‘Crabchurch’, which they used to lessen the chances of them killing each other by mistake in the darkness.  It was at one of these forts, the mighty Chapel Fort of St Nicholas overlooking Weymouth quay, that the never say die Major Francis Sydenham was mortally wounded whilst mounting a counter-attack to retake the fort.  The epitaph written for him by a minister in the garrison (and quoted as part of this song) speaks volumes of the esteem in which this fearless young man was held.

6. Doctors Account(Voice of Dr Richard Wiseman read by Prof Ronald Hutton)

7. Lord Goring's March

A beautiful instrumental piece by Taloch & Josh, to mark the arrival on the battle scene of the infamous Cavalier General, George, Lord Goring. He was a professional soldier with a fearsome reputation for letting his men rape and pillage their way through every town they took.  He arrived outside Melcombe with 4,500 soldiers which meant that Sydenham’s small garrison was now outnumbered more than six to one.  Goring thought that he could teach the provincial upstart, Sydenham, a lesson in warfare that he would never forget.  But underestimating Colonel William Sydenham was Goring’s first and biggest mistake as around 500 royalist soldiers were killed in one terrible night of slaughter.

8. Lost Years

Black powder chokes my senses
Muskets deafening my ears
Comrades falling all around me
In this killing ground of tears

And I’m following the colours
‘Cos there’s nothing else I can do
Just waiting for the end to come
With one last, one last thought of you

Oh my heart is bleeding
Bleeding all over the earth
But in this world of pain and sorrow
What is one poor heart worth

Well I watch you sadly weeping
In mourning for our lost years
Though the days have turned to decades
Since my last letter stained with your tears

Well I’m following the colours
‘Cos there’s nothing else I can do
Just waiting for the end to come
With one last, last thought of you

Oh my heart is bleeding
Bleeding all over the earth
But in this world of pain and sorrow
What is one poor heart worth

This sad and haunting song speaks of loss and of the heartache of losing love and a life together, due to war.  The ghost of a woman's husband/lover lingers near her, even though decades have passed since they were parted.

The turning point of the whole Battle of Weymouth was when Colonel William Sydenham tricked his far more illustrious and experienced opposite number, George, Lord Goring into believing that he had already won the battle and that Sydenham’s men were routed.  On they came in their hundreds down the old, dark High Street of Weymouth, secure in their own minds of an easy victory.  Instead, they walked into a brilliantly laid ambush and were cut down where they stood.  About 200 were killed and, as a vicious hand to hand fight ensued, Sydenham’s Dorset soldiers succeeded in beating off the numerically superior and more experienced royalist force and chased them back out of Weymouth.


10. The Cold Waters of Weymouth Quay

They took us for soldiers
To fight in a war
Away across the sea 
To battle the bloody English horde
For another man’s royalty

For a foreign King in a distant land
In a fight that’s not our own
Whether coward or brave
A watery grave 
Is where you’ll find our bones

From County Clare to God knows where
From heaven straight to hell
We fought and died in a February tide
In a freezing winter swell.
And ne’er again in sun or rain
Shall our poor dead eyes see 
The Moher Cliffs, or Killaloe
From the waters of Weymouth Quay
Cold waters of Weymouth Quay

They called us Papists, they called us scum
They called us what ever they will
They hung us from trees
Like meat in the breeze
Till the crows had eaten their fill.

Tis true we came as mercenaries
To lay old Dorset bare
But they were too strong
And fought us like wolves
With a courage fine and rare


Another desperately sad song.  After the disaster in the High Street, the royalists at last seemed to be making headway as 250 Irish soldiers who were stationed in an isolated fort upon the Nothe, fought their way into Weymouth to link up with Goring’s men.  Their luck ran out however when they met with the triumphant Sydenham’s men coming the other way and a short but bloody fight took place, which saw William Sydenham’s horse killed beneath him and the Irish beaten back and finally, fleeing for their lives.  But as the battle took place in the small hours of a cold February night, the Irishmen, on unfamiliar ground, missed their turning and instead blundered into, or else were driven over the quayside and into the freezing waters below.  All 250 perished in the cold waters of Weymouth Quay.

11. Welcome to the ‘Danse Macabre’

Tread softly, up on Nothe Hill 
The folk up there don’t sleep too still 
They don’t mind the driving rain 
But a cold east wind 
Sees them dance again 
All to the Hangman’s tune
Yes all to the Hangman’s tune

The rooks and crows that circle the bay 
Watch this grim carnival of decay 
Swing and sway the whole day long 
The cause they died for is proven wrong 
Now all hear the Hangman’s song 
All hear the Hangman’s song

And the Danse Macabre
Where the Devil takes your soul 
Down, down, down to hell
The Danse Macabre
Where the Devil takes your soul 
Down, down, down to hell
Down, down, down to hell

Conspiracy led them to their doom 
All rotting in the late winter gloom 
Hodder has flown the nest 
The Bridport Dagger awaits the rest 
They’ll all be dancing very soon 
Yes all to the hangman’s tune.

So play the pipes and beat the drums 
You will pay for what you’ve done
The moment the music stops 
Is when you take the final drop ……

Welcome to the’Danse Macabre’ 
Where the devil takes your soul
Down, down, down to hell

Welcome to the Danse Macabre
Where the Devil takes your soul
Down, down, down to hell
To hell

With the Battle of Weymouth won, it was time for William Sydenham to track down the ‘Crabchurch Conspirators’ and to try them for their treachery and the loss of a much loved brother in arms, Francis.

Fabian Hodder, a Melcombe merchant and the main architect of the conspiracy, escaped justice, but many others were captured, tried and executed for their part in it.  This song is about paying the price and, dancing to the hangman’s tune..

12. Follow The Drum.

I was a Dorset farmer’s boy, till the Captain came for me
And I heard him speak of liberty to oppose the monarchy
So I learned to fight and I learned to kill and a musket learned to shoot
And we’ll take this King with all his court and remove them branch and root

And we’ll follow the drum to Kingdom Come
To forge a better way
And we’ll keep our standard flying high
Till freedom wins the day
And if I should fall before the end, don’t waste time mourning me
Just raise a glass and kiss my arse, then on to victory

And don’t hate the man who brought me down 
It was either him or me
And the King’s to blame for curdling the cream
Of English soldiery
Let each man fight and each man die
And let his soul depart
Knowing he has walked a path
True to his own heart

And we’ll follow the drum to kingdom come
To forge a better way
And keep our standard flying high
Till freedom wins the day
And if I should fall before the end, don’t waste time mourning me
Just raise a glass and kiss my arse, then on to victory


Essentially, a rousing drinking song, full of bravado, but with the unmistakable message that the tide of the war was turning against the King and that the common man saw a chance to change his world for ever.  A Dorset farmer’s boy hears a rebel Captain speak of opposing the crown, becomes a soldier of parliament and learns how to kill.  Bent on removing the monarchy once and for all from this land, he marches away to his destiny.

13. The World Turned Upside Down                                                               
Such a thing I never saw
As all these years of civil war
Seasons come and seasons go
Hard to tell a friend from foe

The Devil stalks this tortured land
Leading sinners by the hand
The people cry and wear a frown
To see their world turned upside down         

With knaves as master and masters’ knaves 
So many lie in early graves
Questions asked, but no answers found
Just more bodies in the cold, cold ground

So hard to live, so quick to die
Searching for the reason why
Victims of a callous crown
That turned this old world upside down

Repeat all four verses.

A common term of the day, used in many different ways to register the hopelessness and woe felt by many at the time.  This simple, but effective bardic style rendering speaks of that feeling of doom which gripped this tortured land during the 1640s.

14. King Saviour

Righteous people gather unto him
The one and only King
Power of life and death over us
Sweet lord of everything

His glory everlasting comfort us
His mercy there to see
All you have to do is come to him
To live eternally

A beautiful and unique piece of music, so unlike anything that The Dolmen have ever done before and giving full range to Taloch’s skill, both as a composer and musician. Featuring a guest appearance by guitarist, Jez Lee who also plays bouzouki on it.

In this song, in the eyes of the King’s dwindling supporters, both he and the King of Heaven merge as one eternal entity

15. England’s Freedom, Soldier’s Rights (The Leveller’s Song) 

As sure as daybreak follows night
Out of darkness shall come light        
The principles on which we fight
Are England’s Freedom, Soldier’s Rights

The King and Lords have had their day
Their way of life is in decay
March forward to a brand new day
Together hand in hand

With sweat in rich brown soil tilled
With blood upon the battlefield
A true utopia to build
In Albion’s sacred land  

For as sure as daybreak follows night
Out of darkness shall come light        
The principles on which we fight
Are England’s Freedom, Soldier’s Rights

Out of pain and poverty
We must strive for liberty
A quest for true equality
For every common man


The battle cry of the Levellers, a group of politically aware soldiers of Cromwell’s New Model Army, who, as they quite rightly claimed, had fought and beaten the King and now wanted something in return …. guaranteed rights for every common man in the kingdom.  Many, both high born and low, agreed with them to varying degrees, but would Cromwell and the new elite, allow their dream to flourish ?

16. New World

There’s a new world calling us
Far across the sea
We’ll build our own Utopia
Just for you and me

Far away from the madding crowd 
That want to drag us down
Far away from the man who wears
That crooked, blood-soaked crown

So, weigh the anchor
Set the sails
Our journey has begun
Weigh the anchor
Set the sails
We’ll head towards the sun

We’ll be storming horizons new
To see the other side
Nothing more to be afraid of
Nothing left to hide

There’s a new world calling us
A chance to dream anew
To build our own Utopia
Just for me and you

Weigh the anchor
Set the sails
Our journey has begun
Weigh the anchor
Set the sails
We’ll head towards the sun


After 9 years of debilitating civil war, it was little wonder that many felt as if a clean break, far away from the old country was the only answer. As poverty and religious intolerance continued to sweep the land, both rich and poor set out for the New World in search of their own Utopia

17. Pax Quaeritur Bello Reprise

As if to signify that nothing ever really changes, we leave the album as we entered it, with the inevitability of war being never more than a stupid decision or a hurt pride away.

Here’s hoping that one day, it will change.

Words & Music are the copyright of The Dolmen & Mark Vine. The Crabchurch Conspiracy 2009


Reviews & Comments

"This is a spectacular subject for a musical album, and one rarely treated in that 
form. The Dolmen make the result work really well, alternating bulletins of real history with the kind of electric folk, from high-energy dance to lament, which the band has always played to perfection. I felt both entertained and moved: it seemed at times as though a real voice was being given to the dead".
Ronald Hutton, Professor of History,Head of Subjects University of Bristol. 
(Leading authority on the history of the British Isles in the 16th & 17th century)

  "The Crabchurch Conspiracy by The Dolmen presents a foray deep into Civil War country. A wonderful mix of storytelling and song , the album focus moves gracefully between the personal  tale and the public knowledge of the period .  The jiggery folkery and clever use of spoken word and sound effects combine to draw the listener into a fanastic world of musket smoke and music. At times it manages to sound like it was recorded 'live in 1645.'......This is a CD for musician, historian and campfire beer swillers alike. I hope someone commissions it as TV drama. The pictures it already creates are colourful and dramatic enough to demand this. Well done to all concerned. 
An Uncivil Civil War Triumph."
Rev Hammer“Crabchurch Conspiracy” Review By Kevin Davis.

A band that have been expanding and honing their sound over the last 16 years, Dorset folk-rockers The Dolmen have moved bravely forward with their new album “Crabchurch Conspiracy”. In fact to call it simply an album is to underplay its ambition and scope, making use as it does of spoken word and dramatic atmospherics as well as music and lyrics. The result is a multi-layered experience, moving the listener between historical documentary and soul-stirring music.

“Crabchurch Conspiracy” takes its name from a book by Dorset author Mark Vine, and retells a vital and fascinating part of the county’s history during the English Civil War. The story of the Roundhead soldiers who defended Melcombe and Weymouth in 1645 is seamlessly woven together by a combination of narration and self-penned songs. What could be fragmented or laboured in less capable hands is instead fluid and continuous, taking the listener on a journey rather than a classroom lecture. Extended instrumental sections employing ‘traditional’ instruments such as fiddle, bodhran and crumhorn enhance this experience further, as do the background atmospherics of soldiers in the field.

Great folk music achieves what much popular music fails to – a genuine identification with human emotion and ideation, whether of individuals or archetypes, as well as the time and place in which they are set. “Crabchurch Conspiracy” successfully meets this challenge, achieving historical accuracy, emotional reflection and idealism instead of dry scholarship, cliché or naivety. This is a testament to the band’s obvious attachment to the subject matter and is exemplified by singer Taloch, whose voice imbues each song with authority and authenticity. The plight of the common man is starkly and sympathetically portrayed, and a voice given to civilians, Royalist soldiers and Irish mercenaries as well as the main subjects. As a result it honestly represents the human condition in all its forms, exposing brutality, frailty and loss as well as bravery and idealism. These themes are reflected in the diversity of songs, ranging from introspective ballads like “Lost Years” to rabble-rousing, tub-thumping anthems such as “Good Old Cause” and “Follow the Drum”. These latter two whisk you away into a world of marching regiments and raised standards, and could easily pass for authentic militia songs of the time.

“Crabchurch Conspiracy” is indeed an ambitious effort, but the Dolmen prove they have the skill, passion and connection to make a success of it. Radical historians will delight in seeing Levellers and Royalist traitors brought to life, musicians will admire the craft behind the songs and lyrics.

In an era where culture and identity are increasingly supplanted by property prices and celebrity, this is a welcome reminder of who we are and where we came from….

Steve Knightley. Show of Hands.

"As a lover of our Heritage, and one for good song 'The Crabchuch Conspiracy by The Dolmen' has been a complete joy to listen to. It blends the story of 1645 with The Dolmens lively blend of Celtic rock and sea shanties. Professor Ronald Hutton's narration accompanied by Taloch's vocal, and great production make it a very emotive interpretation of this moment in Dorset's history. The Passion from all involved in this album is clear as it takes you on a journey, that for a true son of Weymouth becomes very personal." 
Dave Goulden (Presenter/Dorset's Wessex FM Radio) 

"As Comanding Officer of Sydenhams ECWS company the album is also very close to my heart.
Its sheer roller coaster of emotion and power. This is something very special and more than an album. Keith's voice is superb for the telling of such an important story of courage and sacrifice of the Sydenham family and people who lost all in the 17th century. 
Best listened too after hanging a do not disturb sign on your door, turn off your phone, put on your head phones and lose yourself in the 17th century. To all who have worked on this album THANK YOU "
Steve Piper, English Civil War Society 
This album was never meant to be in the strict musical style of the 17th century or civil war period, but rather an album of songs wholly inspired by that time and in particular, by the incredible events surrounding an episode in Dorset’s Civil War history known as The Crabchurch Conspiracy.  The songs pay respect to the characters connected with the Crabchurch Conspiracy, but from a modern perspective.

The songs on this album commemorate the bravery and tenacity of the Sydenham brothers and their staunch men and also recall some of the grisly events that occurred during the month long engagement and the final Battle of Weymouth.

It cannot be hoped to deliver a full account of the complicated and protracted events of the Crabchurch Conspiracy on this CD, but hopefully, The Dolmen conjure a flavour of the times and in their own way, pay homage to the brave souls of both sides who fought for what they believed in and, in many cases, paid the ultimate price.

Mark Vine, Author of the Crabchurch Conspiracy Book.

Foreword/Narrations by Professor Ronald Hutton. 

We appreciate greatly the time, effort and expertise given by Professor Ronald Hutton in recording this wonderful foreword and also for the reading of the splendid and moving piece in the harrowing ‘Doctors Account’.

The Doctors Account was probably one of the most challenging pieces due to the nature of its content, being, like the rest of the album, an entirely true story. Recorded in his diary by Doctor Richard Wiseman, a royalist surgeon at the siege of Melcombe, we feel it displays in sickening detail the horrendous conditions under which men fought and died during this most destructive of conflicts.

Prof Hutton plays to perfection the character of Dr Wiseman and in doing so produces a haunting atmosphere that sends a chill through the spine, leaving the echo of his voice and the account, firmly rooted in ones memory for all time.

Special Thanks Ronald from Taloch, Mark and all of us at The Dolmen.

Artwork & Cover Design by the painter, Sem Vine.

This is the third Dolmen album cover to date by this artist and they are all truly unique and fantastic.  What a talent to be able to emotionally relate, conjure and enchant with such awesome visuals.
Semi is an artistic inspiration, authentic and unique

Many Many Thanks for blessing us with your artwork Semi.

Thanks To All
The Dolmen x x x