English Heritage never fails to host the most spectacular summer events. August 2022 was jam-packed with historical events up and down the country. This year we travelled up to Scarborough Castle for the Knights Tournament.
The Knights Tournament ran for 3 days and as always, each day the programme was filled with exciting events.
Warwick Warriors is the name of the company who provided the knightly entertainment. All members of this group were outstanding!
The main events took place in the centre field. They included archery and a display of sword fighting.
The interaction with the crowd was fabulous. It soon became apparent that the red knight was a villain who began to insult the gold knight.
This bad blood was a theme which ran throughout the rest of the day and really did involve the crowd in the events. We were all booing and jeering the red knight. He and his squire were hilarious.
As the momentum built, in the later part of the afternoon we were treated to some more intense knightly combat skills.
The Battle of the Barriers
The Battle of the Barriers was an aggressive engagement. The knights took it in turns to meet each other at the barrier. The aim of the game is to hit your opponent with your weapon and protect your own body in the process. Knights are awarded the highest point for a hit to their opponent’s head.
They must complete this engagement over a barrier which must remain in place at all times. The referee or the Marshall ensures there is no cheating and he keeps a count of the scores.
The Crest Melee
The Crest Melee was another exciting event of the Knights Tournament. The knights took it in turns to meet in the field. Each knight had 3 feathers which were attached to his helmet.
The aim of this game was to knock the opponents feather from his helmet. When a knight had lost all his feathers, he was eliminated.
The Grand Melee
The final event of the day was the Grand Melee. This was a bit of a free for all. All 4 knights and their squires met in the field. They could form alliances with other knights and squires, or not. The children (and adults) were all cheering for their favourite knight.
Our favourite was the green knight and we made sure we were sat in his corner!
As the fighting ensued, the green, blue and gold knights made an alliance against the red knight. And even the red knights squire had had enough by this point and joined the winning team!
As well as the military engagements, there was a jester who held shows throughout the day. Tom Fool was absolutely hilarious and had both children and adults captivated and in fits of laughter.
As with the knights, the engagement with audience was excellent. Talking with Tom Fool after the show, he told me he is part of a group called The Silly History Boys. The group made podcasts which are available wherever you would normally listen to your podcasts. They also have a YouTube channel, The Silly History Boys Show. Their shows are absolutely hilarious and well worth a listen!
Each and every member of this event was incredibly friendly and approachable. My daughter was constantly hanging around them, asking for autographs and photos. They would kindly pause what they were doing and take the time to chat with her (and me). The knights, squires and the jester really made this the most fantastic day and one to remember!
We have a disabled family member and so accessibility is always our top priority. Scarborough Castle are incredibly accommodating of disabled people (as are most English Heritage sites). With the blue badge, we were able to park inside the castle walls so there is no uphill walk. Once inside the castle, the ground is relatively flat (although you can enter the castle itself which is challenging for those with mobility issues).
We also have a puppy. As well as their consideration for disabled people, another reason why we rate English Heritage so much is the fact they permit dogs into the majority of their sites. Our dog Biscuit was able to enjoy the day just as much as we did!
Enjoying a day’s entertainment with the back drop of the magnificent Scarborough Castle and the incredible views this castle affords was a real summer treat. We look forward to seeing the Knights Tournament next year!
You can watch our Videos of the Knights Tournament on our YouTube Channel Lellalee.
For a similar post, see our post on Osborne House.