Last weekend saw the Companye encamped once more at the splendid Kenilworth Castle. We were there recently in April for St Georges day and it felt like no time had passed until our return.
Well, it has to be said – it was a wet one.
When we say wet, biblical is perhaps a better expression.
However, whilst these things are sent to try us, rain did indeed exist in 15th Century England and it was a case of keep calm and carry on. Some things never change!
So, despite the inclement weather – we had a great time. We were there as part of English Heritage’s ‘summer’ season of authentic jousts, contested competitively with solid lances. Our authentic recreation of a tournament gallery (to our knowledge the only one out there at the moment) had been requested to complement the jousting arena and boy did it look an appropriate part of the spectacle. From here, our Ladies watched their champions in the lists.
This year’s Joust was slightly special, as for the first time English Heritage had allowed women to joust as women. Whilst inauthentic, allowances had been made given that Jousting is now recognised as a revived sport and the top jousters should be allowed to compete regardless of gender.
The nation press had picked this up, so there was much focus on this going into the event:
We were delighted to see Nicky be recognised for her equestrian skills, we have known her for ages and she has been a great friend to the Companye, managing our attendance at the Woodland Skirmishes at Tournament Stud.
As well as the jousting, there was authentic traders, jesters, medieval music, and two arena displays from the Harrington Companye.
In the morning, we showcased the English Longbow.
There was some amazing shooting on display as you can see from the target in the photo. It was hard to split the contestents, but it was a day for the girls and after invoking the Holy Platforms of St Baby of Spice, Chloe struck a blow for girl power and won the Saturday Tournament. Not bad for someone who has recently took up the bow! Stan returned to form on the Sunday and proved why he is the current Archer of Wolfage Manor.
Then after the jousting, it was time for combat..
Firstly we demonstrated dagger techniques from Hans Talhoffer’s manuals, before moving on to some I.33 Sword and Buckler. This was fresh for some of us who had recently attended the excellent Two Days of the Blade seminar and it was a great chance to course correct errors we had previously picked up.
Then we moved through the other weapons, before a treat for the crowd – as there was so many of us in attendance we staged some lungbusting group combat between two opposing lances of men. Lastly, in the spirit of the Tournee, we closed with Circles of Honour; and Treachery! Only the strongest would remain.
Sadly, we have to report that poor Phil also won’t be having any children for a while after this lovely codling shot from Marcus in the poleaxe bout!
And so, after the combat the event came to a close. It wasn’t quite the glorious summer evening we had hoped for but we manage to squeeze in a wee game of rounders.
Until Sam lost the ball.. No, you won’t be living that one down anytime soon.
Feedback from EH has been wonderful, and whilst this is our last appearance at Kenilworth for 2016 we should be delighting the crowds there again next year.
For the Companye, next up is our showcase Battle of Northampton event at Delapre Abbey with our great (and noisy) friends in the Companye of Seint Barbara!
We shall see you there, but lastly we can’t close this month’s blog without introducing you to the newest member of the Companye, who attended her first ever event. Welcome to Evie..