Medieval festival

HISTORY lovers can take a step back in time to a world of Kings, Queens, brave knights and skilled archers at Tewkesbury Medieval Festival.

The event on Saturday and Sunday, July 10-11, is now one of the biggest and best medieval spectaculars in the UK and there is sure to be something to intrigue and delight allcomers.

New for this year will be a display of horseback archery by the Stampede Stunt riders. Two would-be Kings will battle for the crown of England helped by more than 2,000 knights, archers, men at arms, gunners and foot soldiers while their families live in medieval encampments just as they would have done in at the time of the Battle of Tewkesbury.

King Edward and his courtiers will be making a stately progress around the site – or enjoying a sumptuous feast in their luxurious and colourful encampment. Jesters will be mystifying people with magical tricks and minstrels will be entertaining to earn an honest penny. There will also be bands, combat displays and demonstrations of ancient crafts.

Younger visitors will love the Bright Knight Learning Tent, where they can meet some of the people who recreate medieval life and even handle some of the items they use and take part in some historically based arts and crafts activities.

The event takes place on part of the site of the original battle of Tewkesbury of May 4, 1471, when the Houses of York and Lancaster met in a bloody battle which left thousands of brave men dead and put Edward IV on the throne of England.

The festival runs from 11am to 6pm on Saturday when it is followed by events in the town, including the mock trial and beheading of a number of captured Lancastrians.

This is followed by the service of Compline, as it would have been heard in the Abbey.

The festival comes to an end at 5pm on Sunday.

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