Kenilworth Castle – Event Review

“Well its hot – damn hot. Hottest part is my braies, you could cook things in them. Do a little crotch-cauldron cooking. That’s what I’m talking about.”

The 13 & 14th July saw the second of our two 2013 events at the beautiful Kenilworth Castle.

Kenilworth is probably the Companye’s favourite castle. You really have to visit it to realise how magnificent it is, and the size of the fortifications. We were privileged to be encamped within the Keep area, and it is really something to watch the sun coming down over the battlements, and then wake to such splendid scenery.

July’s show was a Grand Medieval Joust, featuring a select English Heritage jousting team. The renowned jouster Jeffrey Hedgecock (off Historic Enterprises fame, we wear a lot of their kit) was over from California to joust and we were all looking forward to seeing what he could do. He didn’t disappoint.

http://m.kenilworthweeklynews.co.uk/news/grand-joust-takes-kenilworth-castle-back-in-time-1-5284806

It was an extremely hot weekend. After two years of ‘summers’ of solid rain, no one was permitted to complain about the weather on pain of being flayed and rolled in salt.

Luckily, we had a good few thousand public to share the hot weather with. One of the best aspects of shows at Kenilworth is they always seem to attract a really good natured and engaged crowd, and this event was no exception. We were busy from the moment the doors opened till the bell ringing EH heavies threw them out at 5pm (and they would have stayed longer I’m sure). By far the biggest draw was Helen skinning and jointing a rabbit she had brought with her (above). In an age where children believe meat comes from Sainsbury’s in plastic packets, the attending children were fascinated how to cook rabbit stew from scratch, and that no part of the animal was wasted.  

Once the public have gone just getting Kenilworth Castle to yourselves is pretty special.

In the evening, we had a household BBQ, interspersed with bouts of dagger fighting. Warren, who is relatively new but great addition to our Companye turned out to be really rather skilled with a dagger. Ninja Pete has real competition in this area.

As the sun went down, out came the NERF guns. In a tradition first started last year, Kenilworth becomes host to “The Redneck Nerfers versus the Ninja Zombies of Dooooom!”. Sadly, Loki was not in Loki costume this year, and Sarah wasn’t going to be loaned Jo’s Nuada costume again after the effect on Lee, but helpfully Jo dressed up as Lara Croft, and Warren came as Crocodile Dundee. Though, now I come to think about it that might not have been a costume.

All in all, it was a great event and hopefully we’ll be back there again.

Next up, a review of English Heritage’s flagship event – History – Live! which takes place at Kelmarsh in Northants.

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