It was a beautiful day on Saturday, so we we hopped into the car and headed to one of the many castles near us that we have been meaning to visit. Kenilworth Castle is a English Heritage site and has lots of history. While my husband loves the middle ages I tend to gravitate to the Tudor and Elizabethan period. This castle was once owned by Robert Dudley who was very close to Queen Elizabeth the First. Unfortunately the castle is a ruin with the only fully preserved building being the gate house and the Tudor stables, which now holds the tea room. In recent years the castle staff have recreated the gardens as seen during Elizabethan time when she visited the grounds of the castle.
This weekend the castle was hosting a reenactment group of the 15th Century and had many activities for the public to enjoy. First we saw Falconry demonstrations:
We saw several birds demonstrating how falconry was once done during this period. It wasn't uncommon for a females to be working the birds as it was thought a woman's gentle nature put the nervous birds at ease:)
Here the women is throwing a rope into the air with bait on the end and the bird caught it mid air and landed with the prey. Fascinating to see how fast these birds are.
We were told that the birds often don't want to give up their prey so the handlers need to make a trade with the bird, but first they need to cover up the prey the bird caught and offering the bird a treat. Only then will the bird give up the prey it caught.
Next we saw a knight competition ending with a joust. First the knights had to show their skills in a obstacle course using different weapons:
Riding with a sword they needed to cut a cabbage off a pole which was about a man's height. Earn 1 point if successful.
Next using a mace they needed to smash a melon riding at full speed. 1 point scored if successful.
Next throw a javelin at a stuffed man again riding at full speed. Scored 1 point for a hit.
Lastly using a lance they must hit the shield on a pole called a quinton and the score depends on how many times the shield revolves.
Each knight did this circuit twice and the score was added up for a winner and then they moved on to the jousting. While we waited for the knights to get into their amour we had entertainment.
Jester with magic, pranks and all around silliness:)
The knight's squires egging on the crowd to pick their man as one to champion:)
The knights and the horses in all their amour!!!
Gearing up for the run.
It is a hit!! The scoring of this game was 1 point if you hit the arm, 2 point if you hit the body, 3 points if you hit the small shield on the knights amour. Each Knight had 3 runs and then a winner was declared. Despite all the safety in place these day there are still risks at this game with the last causality being in 2007 when a reenactor was killed by a splinter going thru his eye piece in the helmet.
After the tournament we explored the living history encampment:
We had a great day transporting our selves back to the 15th century!
I am linking this post up to the Field trip Hop! Come over and see what is going on with others home schooler this summer.