The Jousting Life

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Experience life in Medieval Times at Leeds Castle this Summer

From Leeds Castle:

The Royal Armouries and Leeds Castle will bring history to life by staging a magnificent nine day Medieval Festival within the beautiful Castle grounds in Kent from Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st August 2014. There are endless sights and sounds to discover and at the heart of festivities, display of an exceptional collection of armour that belonged to King Henry VIII, The Tonlet Armour and The Horned Helmet, which will be on display in the Castle from 23 July to 21 September 2014.

The Horned Helmet given to King Henry VIII by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian I
(photo from Leeds Castle)

Leeds Castle visitors will experience life as it was in the Middle Ages with a different programme of inspiring activities each day, ranging from the Royal Armouries’ Knight School, Princess School, a 15th century-style Longbow Archery Tournament, Skill-at-Arms demonstrations by jousting knights and Infantry Skirmishes. Twice daily falconry shows, a medieval market and living history reenactment camps will allow visitors to embrace the sights and sounds of this colourful era for Leeds Castle’s flagship event of the year.

The return to a glorious past will culminate in a thrilling Grand Tournament comprising authentic jousts and a real life unchoreographed Mêlée on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 August in a thrilling special ticketed event. For more information on The Medieval Festival presented by The Royal Armouries and Leeds Castle please visit:

Andreas Wenzel and Mark Caple of Destrier, Mounted Melee(photo from Leeds Castle)

From 23rd July until 21st September, the Exhibition Centre will host the Henry VIII and the Royal Armour Workshops Exhibition examining the world of Tudor armour and armourmaking techniques with highlights from the Royal Armouries collection. Shortly after Henry VIII came to the throne in 1509, he established a royal armour workshop in the Palace of Greenwich, bringing armourers from abroad to make armour of the highest quality for the king and his court.

Evening Open Air Cinema screenings will allow visitors to enjoy picnics under the stars whilst being entertained by Medieval-inspired films choosing from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves on Sunday 24th August or The Princess Bride on Wednesday 27th August. Tickets are £12 for adults and £8 for children.

Special Guest Appearance from Mike the Knight: Tuesday 26th August
A must-see for budding knights and princesses is a Children’s Day on Tuesday 26th August with a special guest appearance from Cbeebies Mike the Knight and Evie. These popular characters will entertain with magical stories and photo opportunities at the Squire’s Courtyard Playground from 11am to 4.30pm. Royal Armouries Knight School gives young knights the chance to practice skill-at-arms and jousting and budding courtiers can learn about Royal etiquette and court dances in the Princess School. Medieval Characters, Cedric Super Knight Puppet Show, Walkabout Jesters and Medieval Circus Skills also begin on Tuesday 26th running until 31st August.

Arms and Armour Talks: Wednesday 27th August
Expert presentation and talks from Dr Thom Richardson, Deputy Master and former Keeper of Armour and Karen Watts, Senior Curator of Armour and Art at the Royal Armouries will provide in depth background into the incredible armour displayed at Leeds Castle this summer and the specialist armour used for the joust. Dr Thom Richardson: 'Arms and Armour in the Tudor Period' is at 11am and 2pm with Karen Watts: 'The Tournament' at 3pm both in the Maiden’s Tower.

Jousting Armour(photo from Leeds Castle)

‘Herstory’ day – Talks by women, about women of the Tudor age: Thursday 28th August
A fascinating day of knowledge awaits with three historians and historical novelists giving talks on the life of women in the Tudor period. Talks take place in the Maiden’s Tower at 11.30am with Lauren Mackay, 2.00pm with Amy Licence and 3.30pm with Elizabeth Fremantle. Books signings will be taking place after each talk and books will be on sale in the Maiden’s Tower and the Leeds Castle shops. Talks are included in entrance ticket free of charge.

An Evening with Best-selling Historian, Alison Weir at Leeds Castle: Thursday 28th August
Join historical author Alison Weir and other guests for an intriguing talk entitled ‘The Monstrous Regiment of Women: Tudor Queens and Commoners’ followed by a wonderful summer feast in the 17th Century Fairfax Hall and optional overnight stay in a B&B Stable Courtyard bedroom. Alison is currently the best-selling female historian in the UK specialising in queens from the Medieval and Tudor periods. Event price including dinner - £40 per person. Accommodation - £140 per room.

Medieval Banquet in the Fairfax Hall: 29th August
Come dressed as Lords and Ladies from the Middle Ages for a hearty feast fit for a King, in the oak beamed Fairfax Hall at Leeds Castle. The Medieval Banquet will be served on trenchers in four courses. After dinner, dance the night away with a traditional Ceilidh band. Evening price - £59 per person. Accommodation - £140 per room.

The Grand Tournament: Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st August
The return to a glorious past will culminate in a thrilling Grand Tournament comprising authentic jousts and a real life unplanned Mêlée on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 August. Visitors will see the squires arm the knights in full plate armour, before witnessing four knightly warriors compete in this thrilling special ticketed event. Tickets are £24 per adult, £21 per concessions, £16 per child. Annual tickets to Leeds Castle are not valid for this special event.

Mark Caple and Andreas Wenzel of Destrier, Joust(photo from Leeds Castle)

Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent, within easy reach of London, just off Junction 8 of the M20. Royal Armouries is one of Britain’s oldest public museums and home to one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world. It has sites at HM Tower of London, Leeds and Fort Nelson in Hampshire.

Medieval Festival poster(photo from Leeds Castle)

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