Her solo tour is called Lionheart as her songs turn their attention to the historical family of Richard the Lionheart, and bring to life the crusading king of the 12th century.

Maddy will be joined by her long-term collaborators Nick Holland on the keyboards and Troy Donockley on the guitar, uilean pipes, cittern and whistles.

The songs are given from the point of view of Eleanor of Aquitane, Richard’s mother who was in Maddy’s words “a magnificent woman”.

She said: “She was beautiful, powerful, fabulously wealthy and a duke in her own right.

“It’s difficult not to get caught up in this incredibly controlled character who loved fighting and was very good at it and a great horseman as well.

“His father, Henry II kept his power to himself until he died and Richard became involved in the crusade as well as Eleanor.

“I find it fascinating how relevant the songs are to what is happening today in the world with the war in Iraq, and that very often happens with history — that it repeats itself, events in the future are similar to those from the past.”

Maddy has been in the business for more than 35 years and spent 28 of those with one of the biggest folk-rock bands of all time — Steeleye Span.

She was appointed an MBE in 2001 for her outstanding contribution to the music industry and believes it was recognition of the skill and popularity of folk music.

“The English always seem a bit embarrassed by our traditional folk music whereas the Irish celebrate theirs.

“We seem to want to cough and turn away, but this is a sign that it is at last being taken seriously.”

Maddy’s spine tingling performance will start at 8pm and tickets cost £12. To book, call the box office on 01276 707600.

Samantha Chapman