Bucket list – ‘See a Medieval Joust at a Castle’ = completed
One of our most favourite days out as a family is to watch a re enactment, especially at a castle. Lincoln castle is somewhere that we have visited quite a few times now since moving back to the UK. I remember seeing the Grand Medieval Jousting weekend advertised last year. I really wanted us all to go but we were already booked to go away somewhere. So when I saw it advertised again this year I just knew we had to go. Lincoln castle has many historic events on throughout the year, they even have concerts, festivals and luna cinemas.
Grand Medieval Joust
Normally it is free to enter the actual grounds of the castle. You are only charged an entry fee if you want to walk the recently completed wall walk or to look around the castle prisons and see the magna carta. When they have an event on in the grounds you are only allowed to enter if you pay an entrance fee. More information on this can be found at the bottom of my review.
The grounds were open from 10am and the days events started at 10:30am. I did hear some people complaining that they had arrived at 11am but had to wait until 3pm for the jousting. To be honest the information was on the Castle’s website with the running of events. We rather enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere of the day and it didn’t bother us at all that the jousting was sometime later.
Before we arrived we sat outside at a café and soaked in the views of the castle and the cathedral. At the same time we could hear 2 people playing medieval music on authentic instruments. It was lovely and really got us in the mood. A visit to Lincoln castle always involves Jamie pretending to shoot cannonballs at either us or at Lincoln cathedral opposite.
What was there to see:
The Medieval Re-Enactment Camp
I love to see people dressed up and I thought the authenticity of the medieval re-enactment camp was very good. Not only were there sights and smells but most of the reenactors were doing displays that you could stand and watch or even participate in.
The days events started with a weapons drill. We sadly did not get to see this. But we did see the falconry display. The falconer was the first person we saw upon entering the grounds and he had a few birds out on display. He engaged well with the crowd. He allowed some members of the public to fly one of his birds from himself to them.
Peterkin the Jester
He was such a character. He’d already won us over by engaging Jamie in a long conversation as to where his horse was. We saw a couple of his performances during the day. They involved hilarity, silly tricks, audience participation, egg on nose balancing and fire. Jamie laughed a lot at the Jester!
Arming the Knight
Jamie has a lift the flap castle book. It’s one of his favourites and in it you get to dress a knight in his suit and armour. So he was thrilled to be able to watch the knights being dressed in the same thing. It was very interesting seeing how it all went on, such a huge amount of effort too. The commentary was very informative.
The Joust itself
The Grand Medieval Joust was of course the highlight of the day. It was all very exciting. There was commentary throughout so if you didn’t understand what you were watching you could by listening.
To the beat of a medieval drum the female judges/event overseers entered the arena on horseback. The knights were then individually introduced and entered the arena, also on horseback.
The knights took it in turns to take a very long wooden lance and the aim of the game was to break as much off their lance on the other knight’s armour as possible.
Some breaks were very dramatic with wood flying everywhere. The female judges would then take each lance to be measured. They went back and forth many times.
Eventually there was to be a decider between the two best knights. The last break was one of the best which I managed to photograph. It was all done very differently to the jousting that we saw elsewhere last year. All three of us enjoyed it not only because it felt very authentic but also because it was very entertaining.
As mentioned above, although the event was in the outdoor area of the castle it was not free to enter. Entrance was charged at the same rate that you would pay on a standard day to walk the wall and see the Magna Carta and Prison. This is the all inclusive adult price of £13.50, £11.00 for a concession, £7.20 for a child and under 5’s are free. A family ticket is £34.20 (2 adults and 3 children). You were entitled to see the event, walk the walls, see the prison and the magna carta on the event day.
Your ticket entitles you to a free return within 6 months.
There is a café onsite. This was incredibly busy during the event. My only suggestion to the Castle would be to perhaps have an outdoor refreshment stall selling ice-creams, cold and possibly hot drinks and snacks. I think this would help the queue in the café.
I hope you enjoyed my review. Please comment below. Have you ever been? Would you like to go?
Disclaimer: We were provided with tickets for this event for the purpose of my review. All words, thoughts, opinions and photos are my own. Please do not reproduce.
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