Event Review – The Siege of Hedingham Castle (2018)


Slightly later than planned but finally a review of our opening Medieval Siege Society event of the season, which took place on the early May bank holiday.

Hedingham Castle is the jewel in the MSS crown, and a welcome return every year – and 2018 was one of the best in recent memory.

For a May bank holiday it was hot. Dang hot. (Hottest place was my braies, you could cook things in them).

The Companye arrived and were set up in the lower Bailey area along with our great friends and battlefield rivals in the De Cobhams, which meant some great campfire singing was the order of the day.

This year’s events were based around the year 1469, and the unrest started by the Earl of Warwick in order to remove the family of the new Queen (Elizabeth Woodville) from positions of power around his nephew King Edward of York. This would of course culminate in the 1469 Battle of Edgecote, which the MSS has previously recreated on the actual battle site in 2009/10.

The scenario was that a steward of the castle in the service of the De Vere family, was still holding out against a Yorkist force sent by King Edward to starve them out, and to preserve the castles integrity. However, as the morning of the event started and the castellan agreed to surrender, news arrived of rebellion in the north, and the return from Calais of the Earl of Warwick. This changed the calculus of both sides – for the Lancastrians it was now worth holding out to see the outcome of the national squabble, for the besieging Yorkist force, time was no longer on their side and they now sought a quick end to this matter, regardless of the cost.

As it was a siege event, as well as the mighty MSS trebuchet (melon tossing with a smile TM) this year also had the cannon from our friends in the House of Bayard! Le Boom.

The fighting was fierce, and although the Yorkists had the better of the morning, the final assault upon the walls of Hedingham proved to be much for the attacking force. The Lancastrians carried the day, and with it hope that their absent queen Margaret of Anjou may one day return.



We were delighted that there are some videos of the event on YouTube, the links to which can be found below:

5th May Afternoon – Video

6th May Morning – Video 1

6th May Morning – Video 2

6th May Afternoon – Video

It was a great event, and there are far worse places to be than North Essex on a May Bank Holiday. We can’t wait to go back next year!


The annual Hedingham steps photo.

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