Shropshire Star

History comes alive in Shropshire this bank holiday

Knights will be doing battle at two Shropshire castles this bank holiday weekend, while Roman soldiers will be out in force elsewhere.


There will be events involving medieval knights at both Ludlow Castle and Stokesay Castle, near Craven Arms.

At Ludlow Castle the Knights of Battle Heritage will be returning to fight for real as contenders once again go head to head to lift the hotly contested Heritage Cup, held in grounds for a fourth year, from 10am to 5pm on Monday.

Last year fighters travelled from all over the UK to take part and the castle was packed with families coming to see the spectacle, with about 2,000 people attending altogether.

While the fighting is the focus there will also be medieval themed activities for a full family day out surrounding the competition, with historical group The Company of the Raven demonstrating the arming of the knights, archery, weapons and a live forge, with a full "living history" village.

There will also be medieval jester Kris Katchitt performing fire walking, fire eating and laying on a bed of nails, as well as a treasure hunt, dressing up and a "junior joust" for younger visitors.

Meanwhile up the road at Stokesay Castle, there will be two Medieval Courtly Combat days on Sunday and Monday with displays of archery, axe, mace and sword, plus, music and dancing from the Roving Minstrels, storytelling from days gone by and an opportunity to meet the knights, ladies, archers and squires, and find out about life in medieval times.

And those in need of some refreshment can visit the new Stokesay Castle Tea Room, which opened on August 11, offering a range of local specialities including Shropshire Fidget Pie and Shrewsbury Biscuits.

On the same days visitors will have an opportunity to become a Roman soldier for the day at Wroxeter Roman City, near Shrewsbury. Little soldiers can immerse themselves in Roman life and times as they learn how to defend their empire with battle drills, chariot drills and sign up to the gladiator school.

The latter two events are at English Heritage sites. The body is responsible for 16 historic sites in Shropshire.

At Boscobel House and the Royal Oak, near Cosford, a special conservation in action day will be held on Monday, offering visitors the chance to find out about the techniques English Heritage uses to help preserve its collection for future generations to enjoy, with interactive demonstrations.