A taste of the 15th century royal court comes to Goodrich Castle this bank holiday weekend, providing visitors the change to step back in time and rub shoulders with knights, princesses for the site’s Medieval Tournament!
Goodrich Castle’s moat will be requisitioned to create a combat arena in which knights in shining armour fight with every ounce of their strength to impress the noble ladies watching on! Visitors can watch as the armourer winces with every dent and nick on the plate armour and swords he has so lovingly created!
Alongside the combat displays – and to ensure that the historic tradition of the Tournament continues in future generations – the knights will be looking to recruit some of the visiting youngsters to start their training at Knight School, learning some of the skills necessary to survive both in ‘friendly’ tournaments and deadly wars.
“Being a knight was very hard work, with noble boys entering training at a very young age with a gruelling programme designed to focus their minds and bodies on the fight,” explains English Heritage’s regional events manager, Karen Pike. “Indeed, the act of ‘knighting’ involves the laying of a sword on first one, then the other shoulder of the trainee, which is intended to depict the last time the knight will ever allow anyone to land a blow on them without responding with deadly force!”
In case any of the knights suffer injury during their bouts, the medieval barber surgeon will be on hand to offer suitable treatment. An expert in shaving, amputations and ‘rebalancing the humours’, visitors can chat to him about medieval medicine and see some of the tools of his trade, including knives, sharp saws and even some live blood-sucking leeches!
The Medieval Tournament runs each day from 11.00amto 5.0pm, with the castle itself open from 10.00am to 6.00pm. Admission prices are £7.20 for adults, £6.50 for concessions and £5.00 for children, with a family ticket available for £19.40. English Heritage members receive discounted admission of £1.40, £1.30, £1.20 and £4.00 respectively.
For more information, please contact GoodrichCastleon 01600 890538 or visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/goodrich