Kings and Queens, medieval knights, Victorian servants and many more will be bringing history to life at English Heritage sites across the country this summer. From dramatic re-enactment events to the chance to get hands-on or meet people from the past, there’s never been a better chance to step into England’s story at places where history really happened.
The awesome spectacle of knights in shining armour in full medieval combat can be discovered in a series of events throughout the summer holidays. The drama and excitement of the tiltyard will come to life at the Grand Medieval Joust, which will run at Pendennis Castle in Cornwall and Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight. There’ll be something for everyone at these events, with medieval encampments, entertainment from the Jester, period music and even a knight’s training school for kids.
At Clash of Knights, knights will battle it out in the ultimate test of skill and strength, the medieval ‘melee’. Four teams will collide in adrenalin-fuelled battle, armed with shield and club, in one of English Heritage’s most popular events. Battle commences at Beeston Castle in Cheshire, Framlingham Castle in Suffolk, and Dover Castle, Kent.
There’s plenty of other living history events taking place across the country too, as well as a wide programme of family activities. Every day in August at Dover Castle in Kent, King Henry II will be recruiting junior visitors to his army, giving them the chance to test their skills and impress royalty. At Audley End House and Gardens in Essex, visitors can discover life above and below stairs, from meeting the service staff hard at work in the kitchens, to discovering what life was like for Victorian children in the re-opened nursery wing.
Visitors can also meet a Roman legionary at Hadrian’s Wall; get to grips with helmets, swords and weaponry at Clifford’s Tower, and meet Kings and Queens at Carlisle Castle. At Osborne in the Isle of Wight, there will be traditional Victorian fun and games for kids (and parents!) on Queen Victoria’s private beach, while those who pay a visit to Dartmouth Castle in Devon could find themselves in the middle of a Pirate invasion!
Find out about all this and more, including hands-on history events at English Heritage properties across the country, at www.english-heritage.org.uk/