Kenilworth Castle is a favourite site for the Companye – not only is it one of the best castles left in the entire country, we get to camp in the inner Bailey and its a magical experience.
As per last year, the July event was centered around English Heritage’s four man elite jousting team – with the Harrington Companye providing other displays.
As well as our award winning living history encampment, English Heritage were so impressed with our arena display back in April that they explicitly asked us to re-stage it – and it was given as much billing on the day as the Jousting superstars.
Each display consisted of a whistle stop action packed tour of medieval weapons and armour – barely giving the audience and participants pause for breath.
We started by showcasing the fearsome longbow. Well, I say showcasing – during one shoot off every single archer (some of them national champions!) managed to miss the target! Much hilarity ensued, and of course the men at arms were sympathetic to their plight.
After the missile firepower, we took a quick look at the armour of the period – from the expensive full harness of a Knight, down to the basic linen protection of a retained man at arms. Having shown the public what to expect, we then proceeded to some competitive circles of Honour, and treachery.
Following this, we brought both sides of the display together, the men at arms advancing under arrow shot towards a body of archers – in order to see what they could do.
Now, the moral of this story is that if you are foolish enough to do this sort of thing, then you should probably wear some codling protection. Even better advice, is that if you can’t find your cricket box, lending your maille skirt to someone else is an even more ill advised affair.
So, for you edification and delight – we present Lord Harrington getting shot in an interesting place. Apparently, he was not hit in the testicles, as by a lucky chance his John Thomas got in the way. Most lucky!
Lastly, the kids were invited in to have a go at hand to hand combat with our men at arms. This was a vicious affair, with the men at arms dropping quicker than a Brazilian in a penalty area! Having worn the kids out they left happy for the day and we had some thanks from some grateful parents.
After hours activity was a more chilled affair than in previous years, but songs were sung, and combat recounted. Watching the sun set quietly over the battlements of such a historic site and having it all to yourself is part of why we do this amazing hobby.
Thanks to the English Heritage events team – the Kenilworth crowd are always great and pleased to see us.
Roll on next year!
With thanks to Matt Crosby for the photos.